This album was released on February 8th in the year of our lord 2000. This is one of the few Ghostface Killah albums that I’ve actually heard already, and it’s widely regarded as one of his best albums. At this point in the Wu-Tang marathon, a lot of guys were dropping subpar albums, so it’ll be nice to finally cover another classic. This is also the first Wu-Tang album of the new millennium, so it’s nice that they started things off with a bang. I’m glad RZA had more involvement in this album than the last couple of Wu-Tang solo records too.
The album starts off with a very cool Intro that samples the theme song from a 1960s Iron Man cartoon. It feels very CZARFACE-esque. I think it’s a really cool way to start the album. The first actual song is called Nutmeg, and it’s a highlight for me. I think the production from Black Moes-Art is boiling hot fire. The first verse from Ghostface is pretty awesome too. I love how aggressive his flow and delivery are. The second verse is even better in my opinion. I’m not as crazy about the final verse from RZA, but it’s still a pretty solid performance. I honestly probably would’ve liked this song even more if it was just a solo Ghostface track though. He really killed this song. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is a major highlight entitled One. I think JuJu’s production on this song is glorious, and Ghostface fucking slaughtered it. The first verse was fire enough, but he really went in on the second verse.
Crash through, break the glass, Tony with the goalie mask
That's the past, heavy ice Rollie laying on the dash
Love the grass, cauliflower hurting when I dumped the trash
Sour mash served in every glass up at the Wally Bash
Sunsplash, autograph blessing with your name slashed
Backdraft, four-pounders screaming with the pearly ash
Children fix the contrast as the sound clashes
Mrs. Dash, sprinkle with her icicle eyelash
Ask Cappa Pendergrass for backstage passes
Special guest, no more Johnny Blaze, Johnny Mathis
Acrobat, run up on that Love Jones actress
Distract the cat while I'm high, sugar, get a crack at this
The assonance in the first part of the verse sounds fantastic to me. That’s definitely one of my favorite verses on the album. I’m just gonna go ahead and say that this is my favorite track on the album. I think it’s a perfect song honestly. Everything about it is fire. It’s dope af. Track 4 is called Saturday Nite. This isn’t really a highlight for me, but I do think it’s pretty dope. The production from 6 July is nice, and the rapping from Ghostface Killah is fantastic. The whole song is just one verse, but it’s very good. The song ends kind of abruptly. It almost feels like more of an interlude than a full song. I think it could’ve been fleshed out further, but it’s still a dope song as it is. I fuck with it. It’s followed by another highlight entitled Ghost Deini, which features Superb of the American Cream Team. The production from The Blaquesmiths is really goddamn nice, and both of GFK’s verses on this track are stellar. I unfortunately don’t really care for the hook on this song because his singing frankly sounds like ass, but it’s nowhere near bad enough to ruin the song. Superb’s rapping on this track isn’t as fantastic as that of Ghostface Killah, but it’s definitely sufficient in my opinion. I don’t mind his presence on this song. I think he did his thing. Overall, despite having some gripes, I think the song is dope as hell. It’s followed by yet another highlight called Apollo Kids, which features Raekwon.
The production from Haas G is superb. The opening verse from Ghostface is fire too. It’s always weird for me to hear him namedrop my hometown because I’ve always viewed it as a super obscure city, but I guess it’s not as small as I like to think. Anyway, it was great to hear Raekwon spitting over some decent production again. His verse was relatively short, but I still enjoyed it a lot. There’s really nothing about this song that I don’t like. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album. It’s dope as hell. It’s followed by yet another highlight entitled The Grain. Honestly, I think this song has my favorite beat on the whole album. RZA did an amazing job with the production here. U-God said in his interview with DJ Vlad that RZA’s production got wack after Wu-Tang Forever, and I strongly disagree with that. All of the beats he provided to this project are fantastic. Anyway, the first verse from Ghostface is fire. I love that line about Queen Elizabeth spilling ketchup on her dress from a whopper. That was funny to me. I honestly would’ve preferred if this was a solo track from him, but RZA’s verse was pretty good too. I think the storytelling was very well done.
Tony Starks make the narc's dogs bark With the Benz parked, up against the boulevard Starks had the bone sparked One cop tapped the window glass like a cymbal crash "What the fuck, son! You trying to break glass?" He flashed his badge; "license and registrations" At that moment, his fat partner started chasin' Chicken heads they was racing with they hearts pacin' For snatching gold, trying' to dip into the god's basement
The song feels kinda short. I think one more verse could’ve pushed it to the next level. I still love it as it is though. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled Buck 50, and I think it’s the first song I ever heard from this album. Once again, RZA’s production here is phenomenal, and the rapping here is top notch. The first verse from Method Man is awesome. I’m not as crazy about the verse from Cappadonna just because his flow feels really sluggish. Thankfully, Redman comes in right behind him and slaughters it. That line about your weed having more seeds than ODB was pretty funny. Ghostface killed the final verse too. I love the way his flow sounded when he said “Zulu Nation in the 80s in front of Macy’s.” If I had to rank all of the verses, I’d say that Ghostface Killah was my favorite, followed by Redman, then Method Man, and then Cappadonna in last place. Cappadonna wasn’t bad though. They all did their thing. The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by Mighty Healthy, which was the album’s lead single if I’m not mistaken. I remember not really being as impressed with this song as I was with most of the preceding material the first time I heard this album, but I think I like it more these days. The production from Mathematics is really great, and Ghostface killed this track. Both of the verses are fire, and I even like the hook, which was sampled on Kanye West‘s New God Flow. I also really like the audio clips that are sampled from the movie Shaolin Rescuers. Again, I used to not be as impressed with this song as I currently am. I think it’s one of the better songs on the album now. It’s dope as hell. Track 10 is a skit called Woodrow the Basehead. I don’t really care for this track. I didn’t find it interesting at all. It’s not something that I ever listen to. I deleted it from the album. It just feels like a waste of time for me. It adds absolutely nothing to the album for me. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly bad skit though. I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with it being here. With that said, it’s probably longer than it needed to be. I think it’s an okay track overall though. It’s followed by a highlight entitled Stay True. I mentioned this song in my review of Uncontrolled Substance since it recycles a beat from that album. I think both versions of this song are good, but I ultimately prefer the Ghostface version. Inspectah Deck’s production is fire, and same goes for the verse from Ghostface. However, the main reason that I prefer this version is honestly just that the sung hook from 60 Second Assassin sounds really good to me. He’s not gonna blow anyone away with his vocals, but I just think the melody sounds really good over this beat. He did a great job. The song’s dope as hell. At this point, the album honestly starts to go downhill for me slightly. It never gets flat out wack, but it’s just not as amazing to me as the first half of the record. Track 12 is called We Made It, and it features Superb, Chip Banks & Hell Razah. I think the beat from 6 July is pretty solid, but it’s far from a highlight for me. I think all of the features came through with pretty good performances. Superb doesn’t have the most aggressive flow, but I like how hostile his lyricism is.
I ain't trying to waste my career on y'all
Even scuffle with y'all, waste gear on y'all
But if I gotta go out, you know I'ma show out
You gon' fuck around and get your whole back blown out
Chip Banks probably had my least favorite verse, but it was still pretty good. Hell Razah honestly had my favorite performance. That line about shattering souls like glass windows was awesome. Ghostface of course had a great verse as well. Again, this isn’t really a highlight for me on the album, but I still really fuck with it. I think it’s dope. Same goes for the following track, Stroke of Death. This one features Solomon Childs & RZA. I think it has one of the weirdest beats on the whole album. I really fuck with the production, but I could see how some listeners might find it annoying. I don’t mind it personally though. It’s one of those instrumentals that only works if really good rappers are spitting over it. Not every rapper could make a dope song out of this beat. I think the opening verse from Solomon Childs is pretty solid, and Ghostface sounds great on the second verse. I actually think RZA had the best verse though, surprisingly enough. It was kinda short, but he rhymed really well. Overall, this is a really dope track. All of the verses are good, and I really like the bizarre production from RZA. It’s followed by Iron’s Theme (Intermission), which has a pretty nice beat from RZA, along with some surprisingly good background vocals from an unnamed singer. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t say that they’re “surprisingly good.” It’s not like they were really singing their ass off. I just think the melody sounds good. A lot of times when Wu-Tang members try to sing they’ll be completely off-key, but that’s not the case here. I think this is a dope interlude. This track is followed by one last highlight entitled Malcolm. I think the production from Choo the Specializt is fire, and Ghostface murdered it.
I’m like Malcolm out the window with the joint
Hoodied up, blood in my eye, I let two fly like fuck it
Look how these niggas duck shit
One kid hollerin’, “what,” lookin’ up, he the big wig
Fake ass cat, low life, sodomized mind
Beatin’ niggas, big bricks of bread, sell ’em as dimes
His feet hurt, networkin’, he get no work
Yo, smack him where his hand hurt, fuck what he worth
I appreciate the tried & true structure of this song. Both of the verses from Ghostface are fire, and I even like the hook here. I think this is one of the best songs on the album. There’s not a single aspect of this track that I don’t like. It’s dope as hell to me. Most of the remaining tracks don’t really reach the heights that this song reached, but they’re still enjoyable for the most part. Track 16 is a skit entitled Who Would You Fuck?, and it’s just audio of a dumbass conversation between Ghostface and a few other Wu-Tang members. You can probably guess what the subject of the convo is based on the track’s title. I personally didn’t enjoy this skit at all, but I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with it being here. I will say this though; the acting is phenomenal. Actually, they probably weren’t acting. I feel like this is a genuine conversation that they were having, and somebody just so happened to be recording it at the time. That’s cool I guess. Again, I didn’t really enjoy it, but I don’t mind it too much. It’s followed by Child’s Play, which has a really gorgeous beat from RZA. I think the production here is fantastic. I’m not really crazy about the lyrical content from Ghostface, but I think it’s well executed.
Pretty little Sally sat up by the tree trunk
White miniskirt with a Betty Boop bum
She had an ass like Deborah Cox, face like Lauryn
Waist like a Coke bottles scoring
Even though the content of this song isn’t particularly interesting to me, I still really fuck with this song just because it’s so good sonically. I love the production, and Ghostface sounds great here. I think I like the song more now than I originally did when I first heard it. It’s a dope track. It’s followed by one of the weirdest songs on the album, if not the number one weirdest track, Cherchez La Ghost.
Most of the song is taken up by Madam Majestic’s vocals, which are pretty good. The melody she’s singing isn’t particularly great to me, but her singing isn’t bad. I really love the production from Carlos Bess on this song, and Ghostface sounded phenomenal on his verse, despite the brevity. I even think U-God sounded really good on his verse as well. Again, the song is really weird, but it works. I think it’s dope. It’s followed by the last actual song on the album, Wu Banga 101. Mathematics’ production here is really nice, and GZA killed the opening verse. He probably had my favorite verse on the whole track, which is saying a lot because everyone here rapped really well. I even think Masta Killa had a great performance here. If I had to rank all of the verses, I’d say GZA had the best performance, followed by Ghostface, then Raekwon, then Masta Killa, and then Cappadonna. However, like I said, they all performed really well here. I think this is another one of the best songs on the album, and I’m glad they closed things with a highlight. The penultimate track is a skit entitled Clyde Smith in which Raekwon threatens to whoop 50 Cent’s ass. It’s a response to a few lines from How to Rob, in which 50 Cent raps about robbing members of the Wu-Tang Clan. I see why this track was included, but I’d be lying if I said I got any type of enjoyment out of it. I would’ve much preferred if they actually rapped a diss to 50 Cent instead of just talking about him for two and a half minutes. I’m pretty indifferent towards this track as a whole though. The closing song is entitled Iron’s Theme (Conclusion). This is a pretty cool way to close the album in my opinion. It’s nearly identical to track 14, aside from another audio clip from the aforementioned Iron Man cartoon from the 1960s. It probably would’ve been cooler if they came up with an original song instead of just recycling the song from the intermission, but I still fuck with this track. I think it’s a good outro.
This album is really great. It’s not my favorite Ghostface Killah album, but it’s not hard to see why it’s held in such high regard. The production is fantastic, and Ghostface rapped his ass off on every verse. All of the features came through with pretty great performances as well. I really don’t have any consistent complaints with this project to be honest. Ghostface killed it. This project along with Ironman easily makes him one of the best members of the Wu-Tang Clan at this point in their careers. I think I like this album even more now than when I initially heard it a few years ago. It’s really dope.