Artist: Ghostface KillahTitle: More FishRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios
Ghostface Killah must love his craft. Starks dropped one of the best albums of ’06 with Fishscale but the sizeable sales numbers to match his rep still elude him. Instead of going into hibernation after taking that respectable “L”, Tone is back in record time with another tasty offering. The appropriately titled More Fish picks up where its predecessor left off with a twist of more repping time for his Theodore Unit crew.
The monster don gives the opener “Ghost Is Back” a different splash with a humorous intro featuring comic Tracy Morgan and a slick rendition of Rakim’s classic “Juice (Know The Ledge)”. Taking from the R’s original cadence, he flows on the track as if ’92 never left us. On the drama filled narrative “Miguel Sanchez”, Trife Da God and Ghost’s seed Sun God connect their verses to tell a story about on a commissioned hit on a Columbian drug lord the same name. Fantom Of The Beats sets the tone with dark horns and gritty drums while S.G. closes the song out with hard bars that steal the show.
With all the friendly help around, P. Tone still holds it down for delf. On the stellar
“Block Rock” we get Ghost in rare form, spitting classic lines like: “Best cuts, diamonds sitting sideways like they sit in a cup/You can pour goose on it, juice on it, you can make it a slush!” Beat smith Madlib implements a dusty arrangement of organ notes to give the track an abstract feel. “Outta Town Sh*t” finds the Staten Island goliath OT in a tense dice game that leads to some gunplay. His trademark vivid description paints the visual sans a brush over mellow keys.
Unfortunately the album loses some steam midway. Produced by Kool Aid and Peanut, the first single “Good” alienates his core fan base with a forced attempt at radio spins. When it comes to the supporting cast outside of Sun God and Trife, the rest of Theodore Unit is adequate but set themselves apart. Shawn Wigs in particular catches the biggest brick on the team with the snoozer “Pokerface.” Wigs tries to capitalize on the popularity of Texas Hold Em’ poker but doesn’t have enough finesse to make the joint stand out. He also hooks up one hit wonder Eamon for a quick fast forward on the unbearable “Gotta Hold On.” Additionally, “Josephine” was originally featured on Hi-Tek’s The Chip, though, here with a Trife verse.
With the heavier focus on Ghost’s supporting cast and the lack of ANY appearances from the 9 Milli Brothers other than Cappadonna, More Fish feels more like a glorified Theodore Unit project. Listeners will wonder if the waiter got their order wrong but still be privy to a savory dish.