Album: Ghostface Killah

The powder party is over, but he's still a killah: The Big Doe Rehab, Def Jam
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The sixth album by the Wu-Tang Clan soldier alternately known as Tony Starks (although that isn't his real name either) makes only a limited amount of sense unless you know what came before it. Following 2006's cocaine-themed Fishscale, and its baby brother More Fish, the overwhelming atmosphere of The Big Doe Rehab is that of a comedown. Opening skit "At the Cabana" may sound like a white-powder party at Tony Monero's house, but it isn't long before reality kicks in and Ghostface is detailing the desperation of drug life, and the venal things he'd do "for a quarter, never mind a dollar". Released almost simultaneously with the Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams, this solo effort deserves to be heard on its own merits. Considerably more orchestral than the pardon the pun stark minimalism of the typical Wu work, The Big Doe Rehab recontextualises classic Philly soul samples in a world of murder, while Ghostface's intricate wordplay and anguished delivery are at their very peak. Standout track is "Walk Around", which recounts the aftermath of a gruesome killing, like a splattercore "Bohemian Rhapsody": "Blew his brains out over the middle of my shirt, can't get the stains out... I'm plucking off little pieces of meat".

Download this A Sopranos whacking in rap form: 'Walk Around'