For real, who would’ve called it back in ’94 when Wu Tang’s “Enter the 36” dropped that out of all the mc’s in the Wu that Ghostface would be the one leading the way holding the Wu flag 16 years later? It sure wouldn’t have been me. Wasn’t Meth suppose to be the next “one”? Wasn’t GZA the lyrical one? And “Liquid Swords” was another Wu banger but what came after that? Wasn’t Rae suppose to hit us with “Built for Cuban Linx 2” 10 years ago instead of “Immobilarity” and “The Lex Diamond Story?” I can’t front, I thought Ol’ Dirty and Deck would’ve had longer careers this Ghost! But once the classic “Only Built For Cuban Linx” dropped, I realized that Ghost was dope. He held Rae down and actually had me wanting to hear to hear his solo jawn now. And once Ghost dropped “Ironman” I realized Ghost wasn’t just “dope”, Ghost had “it”. Ghost had his own style, his own slang…hell, Ghost had his own lane. And truth be told, Ghost has one of the best discography (minus that last “Ghostdini” jawn) that any MC could ask for. So where does Ghost’s newest release “Apollo Kids” fit into that discography? That’s a good question.
The album sets off with that classic Ghost sound with “Purified Thoughts” with Killah Priest and Gza and “Superstar” with Busta Rhymes uses one of my fav Roy Ayers breaks and has Ghost and Busta killing it. “In the Park” with Black Thought has them both reminiscing on the classic days of hip hop and Thought straight BLACKS OUT while giving you a guided tour through Philly’s hip hop history and “Drama” with Joell Ortiz and Game is a certified Sean C and LV banger that gives you some of those classic Ghostface quotes like “have that ass sweating like TD Jakes.” But the highlight of the album has gotta be Jake One’s (another one of my fav producers) “Troublemakers” with Raekwon, Meth and Redman. Jake KILLS this beat and EVERYBODY comes correct on this. Not to mention, Red sounds more focused on this beat then I’ve heard him since he laced Bean’s “One Shot Deal” a minute ago.
At the end of the day, “Apollo Kids” is a solid effort from Ghost. The problem is, I’m not used to “solid efforts” from Ghost. I’m used to bangers from Ghost. This is one of those times that an artist is a victim of their own success. If LeBron gave you a 12 point, 5 rebound night what would you think? For an average player, that might be a good stat line, but for LeBron? Naw, we want LeBron giving us 28 pts, 11 rebounds and 10 assists EVERY night! Now is that realistic? Naw. But it’s what we want. And it’s the same with Ghost. I want that Ghostface album where damn near every song is a banger, not just one banger here and there. But even with this album not being a certified “Ghost banger”, with a discography like his, Ghost is still averaging a triple double in my book.
3.5 outta 5