Seattle rhymer Macklemore said it best when he spit, “I grew up really wanting gold fronts, but that’s what you get when Wu Tang raised you.” I second that. As a kid, I idolized the Wu. They’re the crew of crews, with more hits than misses. Check their storied history of incredible studio efforts, monster solo releases and bona fied classics. I anticipate Wu drops like kids line up for two-hundred dollar sneakers.
Ghostface’s records are hybrids of grit and class; stories of major weight pushed through the five boroughs balanced with quiet gems of love and deception. This time around we’re served up a fictional war between Tony Starks and the DeLuca crime family. The scheming and plotting is brought to life by composer Adrian Younge, compelling the listener to connect the narrative which certainly hooks us, but spends too much time playing out like the second half of a Tarantino film. Live instrumentation is a blast, but there are moments when it’s a bit overly dramatic, leading to more smirks than menacing Staten Island stares.
Lyrically, Twelve Reasons To Die is Tony Starks at his finest. Ghost’s cadence is unmistakable, razor sharp and somehow completely relevant record after record. Check the tale of the tape and you won’t find a string of glossed up radio hits. Under that thin layer of dust you’ll uncover four-star full lengths with over a decade of staying power. The deluxe edition comes loaded with the instrumentals for all you bandcamp champs. Enjoy gangsters.