Ghostface Killah : Bulletproof Wallets

Score

[url=/artists/110993.htm]Wu-Tang Clan[/url]'s most soulful lyrical acrobat returns with mostly quality gear...

Ghost’s most appealing quality is a sensitive,

vulnerable side which few of his Wu compadres, never mind rappers in general, risk exposing without a

qualifying macho swagger. Take G-funk smooch ‘Never Be

The Same’, a pure bleeding-heart lovesick yarn

featuring Raekwon and Carl Thomas. Ghost is a straight

soulman at times, but more Marvin Gaye than Barry

White, even on oiled-up shagfests like the scented

porno-groove of ‘Strawberries’ or the silk-sheet

seduction saga ‘Love Session’.

Deep inside these

agonising, sincere, cheese-free R&B shuffles it is

sometimes easy to forget that we are in the Wu-Tang

warzone. But elsewhere, the body armour gets a full

workout, on propulsive military hood-raps like

‘Hilton’ or the squalling juggernaut lollop of ‘Juks

(Pop Your Collar)’, where Ghost warns [I]”you’re fucking

with the metaphor kingpin”[/I] while his splendidly named lieutenants Trife and Superb watch his back.

‘Bulletproof Wallets’ is a solid album, not as lively

as the Killah’s 1996 solo debut ‘Ironman’, but more

consistent than last year’s ‘Supreme Clientele’.

The production is assured, never falling back on

clipped, clich├ęd, off-beat Wu-loops. Ghost‘s lyrics

are always worth a second and third listen too: [I]”We

laptop niggaz,”[/I] he booms at one point, [I]”like a Wesley

Snipes movie on a Sunday in Bermuda”[/I]. Right you are, Ghostie, me old mate.

Only one serious gripe: where is the nifty Isaac Hayes

duet from the US-released album? Huh? Otherwise, hats

off to the metaphor kingpin, the sultan of simile and

quite possibly the wonderful wizard of allegorical

conceit too.

Stephen Dalton