Ghostface Killah is easily the most consistent member of the Wu-Tang Clan when it comes to great solo albums and for his 13th solo album, The Lost Tapes, it’s no different. As teaming up with producer, Big Ghost LTD., throughout the 13-track effort provides Ghost with that classic soulful Wu sound and such a great chemistry between the two that results in yet another great masterpiece album.
From the very grimey and gritty hard-body first real track, Buckingham Palace, that sees Ghostface come out swinging rhyming, “Hunnid G’s. Bone crusher, I’m like the hood’s top celebrity. Long dick ya chick like my rap’s longevity. Colder than a glass of ice cubes. I got ‘em all in bad moods, stompin’ on shoes I never lose. I don’t give a fvck about how your feelin’. Got the roof on fire, legs to the ceilin’. Sexual healin’, we throw on that Marvin Gaye shit,” he shows he is going all out with this album. The very next track, Majestic Accolades, providing some of the most aggressive and gritty hard-body rhymes or even the most killer bars on, Cold Crush, which shows he’s as hungry as he’s ever been in his now 25 plus years in Hip-Hop. The features from Benny The Butcher, KXNG CROOKED and .38 Spesh on posse cut, Buckingham Palace, provides some of the most aggressive and gritty out of this world hard-body rhymes you will ever hear too. Crook providing the most noteworthy of them with these very memorable rhymes, “Yeah, bandana tied around the nozzle, pop pop! The nozzle is the nostril of the Roscoe, pop pop! Possibly I’m comin’ across as hostile. You could be double-crossed by your Apostle, that’s the Pentecostal gospel. Black C.O.B. flag hangin’ out the left side. Blowin’ in the atmosphere, the atlas here is Westside. Rap up in the stash spot when I heard my connect died. His wife is Columbian, got Columbian neck tied.” While Planet Asia’s wordplay on the very strings-driven, Majestic Accolades, is among the best performances on the whole album. The writtens and wordplay from longtime Wu-Tang affiliate, LA the Darkman, Ras Kass and Chris Rivers, over the banging drums of street ryder cut, Cold Crush, quite brilliant too.
The album really truly comes together as it reaches the midway point with the Snoop Dogg, E-40 and LA the Darkman featured lead single, Saigon Velour and the Killah Priest and Bishop Lamont featured, Constant Struggle. Velour finding the trio of Ghost, Snoop and a very rejuvenated E-40 providing some of the best performances of their career. Easily one of not only the top two cuts on the album, but even among the best of Ghostface’s career. While the very soulful, Constant Struggle, finds the Wu emcee lamenting the gift and curse of his celebrity, and soulful ladies jam, Done It Again, which features fellow Hip-Hop legend, Big Daddy Kane, fellow Wu-Tang member, Cappadonna and Styliztik Jones; finds Kane and Cap spitting some of the best verses of their legendary stellar careers. Not to mention how perfect Big Daddy Kane smoothly spitting, “I remember when I first tried to holla. When I was just a shorty and I always tried to follow you out the park gyms on a hot summer day. Never thinkin’ you was gonna ever run away. You ran with a lot of cats, solo to a crew. But the whole thing about it, no one told you what to do. Independent like Destiny’s Child,” sounded on the record.
The very triumphant sounding and sample-heavy, Watch ‘Em Holla, which features fellow Wu-Tang Clan members, Raekwon, Masta Killa and Cappadonna, meanwhile provides some of that 90’s rawness and realness. The guitar from Reignwolf and Luke Holland, as well as chorus from Reignwolf on the rock-heavy sample inspired, I Think I Saw a Ghost, provides the perfect backdrop for Ghostface and featured artists, Vic Spencer and Sheek Louch, that will have any rock-head or rocker appreciate how three emcees were able to provide something many can rock and jam out to. Spencer providing these memorable 2-3 bar verses with; “Rock and Roll shit still make you do the wop though. Leather pyjamas, the house shoes off white, If I wanna win the finals I gotta call Mike,” and “Time for me to shit on the rap game. Range Rove cruise on train tracks in the rain. Face twisted when I’m cracking your frame, gates missing when I lap on a plane. I may fracture your brain.” Sheek Louch also providing this memorable closing part of his verse on the track, “Lyrically another level deep. Get another shovel. It’s hard to hate on the God, so get another devil. Yeah, weed and liquor in my cup. Still middle fingers up. Wu-Block.”
A still mostly predominantly NYC-based album like most Ghost and Wu-related albums, records like these add a much-needed spice to the album you otherwise probably wouldn’t hear. The intro and outro from legendary New York-based actor and Hip-Hop purists, Michael Rapaport, as well as the skits add a nice touch to such a momentous album too. Which has a 90’s sound with a still taste of today’s freshness thanks to Ghostface’s killer personality. That makes this another great album to add to Ghostface Killah’s already stellar solo catalog and even further cement his place as one of the top emcees in the entire storied history of Hip-Hop.