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Ghostface Killah

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Mixtape: Childish Gambino – Royalty

Okay, Gambino is a mastermind, but you already knew that. Today, the Community star and rising rapper Childish Gambino releases his new mixtape, Royalty, complete with features from, well, almost everybody. TDE members ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul pack a double-punch on “Unneccessary”, Wu-Tang‘s RZA and Ghostface Killah make appearances on tracks number eight and nine respectively, Danny Brown seems to be hopping on everybody’s mixtape, and we even have features from singer-songwriter Beck and fellow comedian Tina Fey. Happy Fourth!

DOWNLOAD: Childish Gambino – Royalty

Royalty Tracklist:
1. Royalty
2. We Ain’t Them
3. One Up (feat. Steve G Lover)
4. Black Faces (feat. Nipsey Hussle)
5. Unnecessary (feat. ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul)
6. Shoulda Known
7. R.I.P (feat. Bun B)
8. American Royalty (feat. RZA & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
9. It May Be Glaour Life (feat. Ghostface Killah)
10. Toxic (feat. Danny Brown)
11. Silk Pillow (feat. Beck)
12. They Don’t Like Me (feat. Chance The Rapper)
13. Arrangement (feat. Conage)
14. Won’t Stop (feat. Danielle Haim of Haim)
15. Bronchitis
16. Wonderful (feat. Josh Osho)
17. Make It Go Right (feat. Kilo Kish)
18. Real Estate (feat. Alley Boy, Swank & Tina Fey)

Listen: Action Bronson – “Contemporary Man”

Queens big man Action Bronson had a huge 2011 with his no-nonsense flow and Ghostface-like talents on the mic. To ring in the new year, Action B teamed up with Party Supplies on a brand new track entitled “Contemporary Man”, a track that includes an endless list of samples ranging from Phil Collins to Charlie Sheen. You can’t really go wrong with ’80’s samples and some good, old-fashioned spitting.

Bronson and Party Supplies are currently wrapping up their full-length project Blue Chips, on which “Contemporary Man” will make its official debut. You can expect Blue Chips to drop in February.

MP3: Action Bronson – “Contemporary Man (Prod. By Party Supplies)”

Listen: DOOMSTARKS – “Victory Laps”


joomplu:289MF DOOM (all caps when you spell the man’s name…) and Ghostface Killah, known together as DOOMSTARKS, have finally released “Victory Laps”, the first official single from their forthcoming album. While the two masked rappers have yet to announce the album’s release date, Nature Sounds will first be releasing a picture disc vinyl with “Victory Laps”, the Madvillain remix, and the two instrumentals. You can listen to the two trade lines over a grimy piano loop below.

MP3: DOOMSTARKS – “Victory Laps”

You can preorder the Serato 12″ here.


Interview: Max Tannone Talks ‘Ghostfunk’

Max Tannone, the producer behind JaydioheadMos Dub, and Dub Kweli, has just released his brand new mashup project. This time, he pairs Wu-Tang Clan‘s Ghostface Killah up with African funk to create Ghostfunk. Just hours after the album’s release, Max took some time to discuss his new project with us. Check it out below.

Download Ghostfunk:


Review: Ghostface Killah – Apollo Kids

Ghostface Killah – Apollo Kids

Released: December 21, 2010
Label: Def Jam
Purchase: iTunes | Insound | Amazon

Despite being a largely consistent critical hit across the fifteen years in his solo career, former Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah has never been able to tap into the commercial success of his former group. His last album, Ghostdini was panned for straying from what he did best, and some feared that he was beginning to lose his touch. His ninth album, Apollo Kids, proves that this was only a misstep and not an indication of future trends.

Ghostface employs his traditional alchemy by combining ’70’s samples, innumerable guest stars, and stories of growing up on the streets of Staten Island, yielding gold in track after track. One of the better samples comes immediately, with Ghostface asking on “Purified Thoughts”, “Am I a good man?” A reverent reflection on how far he has come, the theme of divinity is appropriate for his status in the rap world. This segues nicely into the acceptance of his rise in “Superstar,” boasting some of the strongest music on the album.

Not content to bask in the good life, though, Ghostface is quick to pay respect to his roots, and a good half of the album focuses on different facets of this theme. The gritty “Black Tequila” draws comparisons between New York gangs and Italian mobsters. “In Tha Park” traces Ghostface’s origins, paying homage to his musical and social influences. The album’s best track, “Ghetto” hits all of the right notes. The sample (Marlena Shaw‘s “Woman of the Ghetto”) is touching enough on its own, but to hear the Ghostface and his guests’ responses to such questions as “How do you raise your kids in the ghetto?,” driven by an appropriately soft beat, propels the song to a new level.

The album’s tracks focusing on relationships, or lack thereof, are less effective. The sample on single “2getha Baby” breaks the pace of the song (and through a bold looping decision, even breaks its own pace), but it just isn’t impactful enough to warrant such a break. “Handcuffin’ Them Hoes” is a standard “love ’em then leave ’em” rap that delves into crassness that Ghostface should be above by this point in his career. Guest artist Jim Jones‘ voice fits the beat and lyrics, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Jones aside, many of the guests on Kids pack a punch. Busta Rhymes intricately weaves his way through an exciting verse on the already energetic “Superstar.” Black Thought infuses his rhymes with real passion on “In Tha Park”, aptly concluding his story with “That’s the reason for my real rap penmanship. / That’s where I started it and that’s where I’mma finish it.” Fellow Wu-Tang members RaekwonU-God, and Method Man bring the album to a strong finish. If the other guests fall short, it’s more often because of what they’re stacked up against rather than their own deficiencies.

Even though Kanye West shook up the rap world only a few weeks before the release of Apollo Kids, Ghostface shouldn’t be overlooked. In contrast to West’s bombastic, radio-friendly songs, Ghostface’s gangster rap is more down to earth, focusing on the content instead of catchy choruses (half of his songs don’t have one to begin with). It won’t make him a commercial success, but it demonstrates his continued relevance in the rap world.


Standout Tracks: “Superstar”, “In Tha Park”, “Ghetto”