I was introduced to Ghostface Killah when I was introduced to the entire Wu Tang Clan on their debut CD, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). From beginning to end you could listen to their debut CD as RZA, GZA, Method Man, ODB, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface and even U-God kept your attention with their fiery lyrics and RZA's production. My favorite tracks ended up being the 1st 2 singles, "Protect Ya Neck" and "Method Man", as well as "C.R.E.A.M", "Bring Da Ruckus", "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'" and "Wu Tang: 7th Chamber". After the first group CD the members of the Wu would release their first round of solo CDs: Method Man dropped "Tical" and ODB dropped "Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version". Both CDs were pretty good although I clearly had higher expectations for a Method Man solo CD. However, when Raekwon dropped Only Built 4 Cuban Linx with Ghostface playing Steve Nash adding a huge assist to the project, I clearly had a newfound respect for Ghostface Killah. It was clearly evident that he had skills on the first group disc, but after hearing him on the majority of "Only Built For Cuban Linx" it was as if RZA woke up a sleeping giant. Ghostface's lyrics were phenominal on the CD. I had alot of favorite tracks but the 2 tracks that always stick out for me are "Verbal Intercourse" which was a track with Raekwon, Ghostface & Nas and "Guillotine: Swordz" which was a track with Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface & GZA. GZA then dropped the classic "Liquid Swords" and it was Ghostface's turn with his 1st solo disc Ironman. Don't get me wrong, "Ironman" was a nice CD but it didn't live up to the success of Raekwon's CD. My favorites included "Iron Maiden", "260", "Poisonous Darts", "Daytona 500" and the smooth "Camay", which featured a sick Teddy Pendergrass sample of the track "Can't We Try". The group came back together with the classic double CD Wu-Tang Forever a year later in 1997. The majority of the double CD featured classic tracks such as the 1st single "Triumph", "Reunited", "A Better Tomorrow", "Hellz Wind Staff", "It's Yourz" etc. The 2nd round of solo CDs didn't go to well for the Wu Tang as a whole. However, Ghostface still managed to drop what I feel is his best solo CD ever on his 2nd go round with Supreme Clientele. Although the 1st single "Apollo Kids" with Raekwon was nice, Ghost had several other bangers such as "Ghost Deini", "Wu Banga 101", "Nutmeg", "We Made It" and one of my all time favorite posse cuts in "Buck 50" which featured Ghost with Redman, Method Man, Masta Killa, & Cappadonna. Ghostface released Bulletproof Wallets a year later and The Pretty Toney Album in 2004. Both CDs were quality releases from Ghost but they couldn't compare to "Supreme Clientele" or "Ironman". However, last year Ghostface released his 5th solo disc Fishscale and in my opinion, that is the closest that he has come to equalling the magic of "Supreme Clientele". "Fishscale" had a nice mix of producers with the likes of J Dilla, MF Doom, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, Sean C & LV, etc. and my favorite tracks ended up being "The Champ", "Shakey Dog", "Kilo", "Clipse Of Doom", "R.A.G.U." and "Beauty Jackson". Ghostface also dropped More Fish in Decemner of last year and that seemed like a Ghostface CD with multiple tracks with the Theodore Unit and tracks that didn't make the final cut of "Fishscale". However, you still got alot of nice tracks on the CD especially "Ghost Is Back" which basically jacked the entire beat of Eric B. And Rakim's "Juice (Know The Ledge)".
Well ladies and gentlemen, nearly a year later and a week before the new Wu CD entitled The 8 Diagrams dropped, Ghostface is back with his 7th solo disc, "The Big Doe Rehab". The CD gets started off with a bang on the track "Toney Sigel", which originally featured Styles P from The Lox. Ghostface & Beanie Sigel have a nice collaboration together along with Solomon Childs. However, I would have chosen the verse that Styles P recorded for the song before Solomon Childs' verse. "Toney Sigel" was produced by Sean C & LV, who along with Diddy did the majority of the production on Jay Z's "American Gangster" CD. Method Man seems to be upset that Ghost busted his groove on the track "Yolanda's House" that also features Raekwon. Ghostface does a good job of storytelling on the track as he tells us how he found Method Man doing the ultimate no no with a paticular woman..lol Raekwon adds a nice verse on the track as well as this is my favorite track on "The Big Doe Rehab". Kid Capri adds even more energy to the single "We Celebrate". This track right here shows you why Ghostface is the most consistent member of the Wu when it comes to releasing solo CDs. "Walk Around" is produced by Ant Acid, who has production credits on "Fishscale" and "More Fish". Ghost tells us a story about some events that happened and the potential consequences of those things. Ghostface's son, "Sun God" joins in on the fun with Trife Da God on "Yapp City". Sun God & Trife did a nice job on the track "Miguel Sanchez" that was featured on "More Fish". This time around Scram Jones produces a track that allows all three rappers to tell you how things can go down in the streets when necessary. Ghostface creates a nice song with "White Linen Affair" as he creates a scene where if he were able to run his own awards show how things would actually go down. Frequency & Scram Jones use a sick Soul Generation sample so you can imagination that you are watching The Toney Awards. It appears to be funny but the track is still up there as one of the best tracks on the CD. "Supa GFK" is a decent track but it ends up being something that was covered before with Redman's multiple chapters of the Sooperman Lover. You would atleast think Ghost would have gave Redman a call to drop a verse on the sample that he made famous in the rap world. "Rec Room Therapy" will be another favorite of Ghostface fans as he drops 2 nice verses and Raekwon and U-God step in to give nice verses as well. "Paisley Darts" mixes members of The Wu Tang Clan and Theodore Unit with Method Man, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Sun God & Trife all joining Ghostface on one track. This track reminds me of "9 Milli Bros" from "Fishscale" that featured the Wu. "Killa Lipstick" employs the same Faze-O "Ridin' High" sample that EPMD used for "Please Listen To My Demo". However, once you hear Ghostface and Masta Killa's verses with Method Man's hook you'll forget about that as this is another nice track on "The Big Doe Rehab".
There aren't too many things that I can find wrong with this CD. While Chrisette Michele made nice contributions on Jay Z's "Lost One" and on Nas' "Can't Forget About You", she seems out of place on Ghost's "Slow Down". "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita" that features Raekwon is a decent track but hopefully it wasn't supposed to be a sequel to Fishscale's "Shakey Dog" because in this case the original track was clearly better. "I'll Die For You" is another decent track, but it doesn't compare to the better tracks on "The Big Doe Rehab" in my opinion.
Overall, this is another quality solo effort from Ghostface Killah. While I may not rate this a 5 out of 5 like some reviewers have, I feel that "The Big Doe Rehab" is right up there with Ghostface's best solo releases. However, if I am giving a 5 out of 5 to "Supreme Clientele" and "Fishscale", it would be hard for me to give the same rating to this CD. However, Ghostface fans will be clearly satisfied with this release. Alot of people have criticized Ghost for his comments about "8 Diagrams" but if core Wu Tang Clan fans can get past that, I feel that they will be able to enjoy his latest solo offering.
James' Top 6
1) Yolanda's House w/Method Man & Raekwon
2) Paisley Darts w/Raekwon, Method Man, Cappadonna, Sun God & Trife Da God
3) Yapp City w/Sun God & Trife Da God
4) Killa Lipstick w/Method Man & Masta Killa
5) White Linen Affair (Toney Awards) w/Shawn Wigs
6) Rec Room Therapy w/Raekwon & U-God
We Celebrate w/Kid Capri
Toney Sigel (The Barrel Brothers) w/Beanie Sigel & Solomon Childs
Shakey Dog Starring Lolita w/Raekwon