Published Oct 09, 2018The Lost Tapes, the 13th studio album by Ghostface Killah (one of the Wu-Tang Clan's most revered rhymers), is a release that — considering the year that hip-hop has endured — may have slid in under radars. That's really a shame, because with this LP, produced entirely by writer and Griselda collaborator Big Ghost, he's crafted something special that OG fans and '90s heads will swoon over.
Big Ghost provides the GFK with an incredibly cohesive, soulful, sound bed that at times feels like MPC chops left over from Ironman and Supreme Clientele sessions.
There are no solo moments here. Ghost is at a point in his career where an overly stacked playlist could signal desperation, but that isn't the case at all. While this playlist could be considered "star-studded," it's niche. The LP is swimming in features that range from obscure names like LA the Darkman, and newer acts like Big Pun's son Chris Rivers, to heavyweight MCs like KXNG Crooked and Ras Kass. None overpower Ghostdini, and none are out of place.
Some of the album's most obscure points are ultimately the most intriguing. Snoop and E-40 rapping on "Saigon Velour" sounds bizarre on paper, but is seamless in its execution. There is even a remix, which appeared on the Tidal stream, that includes (of all people) trip-hop legend Tricky. Then there's "I Think I Saw A Ghost," with its chorus from Saskatchewan indie rocker Reignwolf, and drums from YouTube-famous drummer Luke Holland.
Overall, Ghost hasn't lost a beat. "Majestic Accolades," for example, feels like it was recorded in 1996. Creating hip-hop that sounds timeless without sounding rehashed or forced at 48 years old is an art. The Lost Tapes is tangible proof that Ironman's pen game — and curatorial sensibility — are far from rusty. Ghost is said to be spearheading the Clan's next album (assuming there is one). If this LP is any indication of where his head is at, perhaps we have yet to experience the Clan's collective opus. (X-Ray Records)