Published Apr 20, 2014If you want to be generous, the new album from Vancouver rapper Ghost has something of a message of motivation most explicitly revealed through a sampled monologue on "Interlude": "The difference between the haves and the have-nots is the motivation to have." Work hard and you can achieve your dreams. Too bad Ghost's dream appears to be rapping about generic rap topics (weed, fashion and bitches, mostly) over generic street rap beats.
While Ghost doesn't bring anything new to the table — the numerous Tupac references provide a pretty good indication of Ghost's influences — he is a good rapper, rushing to fit syllables into his flow in only a few instances and delivering a handful of funny, witty punch lines. All that said, two songs really stick out: "I Think I'm A Ghost" combines a bouncy, minimalist beat and trip-hop hook with playful lyrics and a last verse reminiscent of Eminem; and "Maria" is a conceptual love song on which Ghost and guest Hardbody choose their life-long love for Nina (as in 9mm) over their current girlfriends, represented here as Maria. Have Nots isn't a bad album, but a little more creativity like this would have greatly increased the replay value of the album. (Independent)