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View Poll Results: fishscale
classic 55 21.91%
banger 137 54.58%
average 52 20.72%
mediocre 3 1.20%
WACK like that 4 1.59%
Voters: 251. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-17-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Ghostface Killah - Fishscale

Well, he's done it again. Fishscale is yet another amazing but impossible-to-sell Ghostface album. It's the weirdest thing; he talks about how his career isn't popping off like it should, how he has Def Jam behind him now, how he's ready to go out and work himself to the bone promoting this thing, and then he goes and makes an album full of claustrophobically discordant coke-rap that will immediately scare away anyone who doesn't already love him. Only maybe three or four of the songs on Fishscale have actual hooks, and we've already heard two of them, "Back Like That" and "Be Easy." He's enlisted MF Doom for four or five tracks, and he's taken the absolute weirdest stuff Doom had to offer, dizzy and stormy and cluttered things. There's an amazingly strained and urgent Just Blaze banger, just a mind-bendingly great song, but it's not going to get Ghost's crazy ass on 106 & Park anytime soon. His one concession is "Back Like That," which will probably get some rotation just like "Tush" and that Bulletproof Wallets song with Carl Thomas, but it's not going to turn him into a star overnight.

Other than that one song, Fishscale is Ghost's most aggressively weird album since Supreme Clientele. The frenzied lyrical free-association has almost disappeared (though there is this one insane song about being underwater I'll talk about later), but it's musically his most dense and fiery work, and there's a good chance it'll end up being my favorite album of the year. The entire Wu-Tang Clan appears altogether on one song, the apocalyptic banger "Nine Milli Brothers," all of them getting a couple of bars (including a posthumous ODB), and all of them sounding great. An uncharacteristically low-key Raekwon shows up on a few tracks, as does a wildly reanimated Cappadonna ("AKA the cabriver" he says at one point) and a quickly improving Trife. Ghost's son SG, who rapped a bit at Ghost's October BB King's show, gets a verse; he sounds like an average young NY mixtape rapper, which is more than anyone could've expected. And beyond that, there are no guest rappers, just Ghost going hard throughout, lovingly describing crack-selling memories and women standing at bus stops and, like, child abuse (the Jay Dee track "Strap" finds him nostalgic about getting his ass beat).

The album flows beautifully, the one weak track ("Charlie Brown") buried near the end and "Be Easy" and "Back Like That" working perfectly in context. One song, "Big Girl," is a slightly dubious story-track about telling women to get their act together and stop getting high, but it's told with enough humane grace that it doesn't sound condescending, at least not on first listen. The first two tracks, gun-talk memories both, are nearly as strident as "Run." Other, later tracks are simply gorgeous, built from the same dusky soul samples he used through much of The Pretty Toney Album. On first listen, it seems pretty much predestined that Ghost is going to remain a critics' favorite and nothing more; that's fine with me, even if it isn't fine with him.

Keep in mind, though, that I've only heard this album once, and I heard it last night at a listening party. I'd been avoiding these things since I moved to New York; this was my first. The idea always kind of grossed me out: record companies so paranoid about music critics bootlegging their shit (whatever) that they refuse to send out promo copies and instead invite everyone into a studio so they can schmooze around and half-listen to the album while it plays on really expensive speakers. It turned out to be really fun, though, all full of writers (many of whom I know) and Def Jam intern-types, everyone sitting on really uncomfortable metal folding chairs and crowding around tiny white tables, eating free food (slightly stale fried coconut-shrimp and some kind of really spicy Jamaican chicken-wings) and drinking free booze (Bacardi with pineapple juice is nasty; Bacardi with blue Powerade is amazing). You go through metal detectors and through hallways full of posters of Beyonce and Aerosmith and Harry Connick, Jr. and Beyonce again, into a room with red lights and crinkled-up strips of cloth hanging on the walls. The best part was the DVD they showed Ghostface explaining all the songs. Apparently the artists often show up to these things, but Ghost was on the Wu-Tang tour, so he taped this thing instead. It worked out great; he wouldn't have opened up much if he was looking this room full of people in the face, but he did when he was talking into a camera: "Please people, just listen, listen carefully ... I don't want y'all checking y'all cell phones, ordering pizza and shit." He went into a surprising amount of detail about putting songs together: "If there's a wack nigga out of four niggas, usually you'll put that nigga (long pause) third." In one truly stunning moment, he talked about the album's final song, which is about being underwater, seeing mermaids and Spongebob and the necklace from Titanic, everyone eventually going to a mosque and praying. Just hearing this song is a total mindfuck; seeing Ghostface explain it is even more so. So maybe all this stuff made me like the album more than I would've otherwise, but I don't know. It's pretty fucking great.

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Old 02-17-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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Short but sweet.

Originally Posted by Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage
Friday, February 17, 2006

Bung Bung Bung Your Bell Went Rung Rung Rung

That dude did it again.
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Old 02-18-2006, 03:07 AM   #3
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AAAAAHHHH!!! SO ILL!!! I can't fucking Wait...
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:12 AM   #4
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About the Ghostface session... maan is that album crazy. The adage of, "He follows the beat of his own drum" was made for Ghostface. He does and says what he wants, when he wants. I think Fishscale is his most complete album to date, with Supreme Clientele right behind. The chemistry he shows with Raekwon is priceless and there's a Just Blaze cut, entitled "The Champ," which is absolutely mind-blowing. BallerStatus.net's interview with Ghostface should be dropping very soon. ..."
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:55 AM   #5
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I'm so excited for this album i can hardly wait.
Wu Comin thru and the outcome is critical.
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:16 PM   #6
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Ghostface Killah going soft on us? My stinkin ass! Tony Starks re-enlightens any darknes that hung over the once prominent Wu-Tang Clan. Fishscale hits the shelves with power, finesse, and soul.

The Return Of Clyde Smith-I think we are all fans of Clyde Smith. In Supreme Clientele, he gave specific words to 50 Cent, calling him a, "fake faggot ass nigger." Good to start out with Clyde

Shakey Dog-4/5- First thing that struck me about the song was the beat. Is that a good thing? Well, no. Seemed pretty simplistic to me, with horns popping in and out and your usual voice sample. The great part of the song is Ghostface's verses, no arguments needed. You want to hear all the great dynamics of Tony, here's a good track to hear.

Kilo-4/5- Kilo, like Shakey Dog, isn't a track that grabs you and make you go "Hell yeah this is great." You have a catchy chorus going, "All around the world today, a kilo is a measure, whoever got the kilo's got the candy man," and so on. Raekwon brings the calm flow with very Cuban Linx-esque wordplay. You find yourself listening to this again and again.

The Champ-5/5- The Champ introduces Just Blaze to the album, and a little bit of Rocky, too. Any Rocky fan/Ghostface Killah fan will no doubt love this track, as both aspects are implemented here. Dominating horns and rugged drums followed with a pounding baseline equal up to one hell of a beat. This brings out the best in Ghost, as he speeds up the flow. To make a comparison, this is the best Wu solo track of the past couple years, beating out GZA's "General Principles."

Major Operation-Basically an intro to 9 Milli Bros

9 Milli Bros.-5/5- Dirt Mcgirt? Wait...Dirt Mcgirt? It seems to me that when ODB (RIP) is on a track, he likes to start it out with some words. RZA sworns everyone in; recycled from Fast Cars of "Birth of a Prince." Oddly, a track with 9 verses has a hook in it. They all spit quick, precise verses over a old-school piano loop beat, given to you by MF Doom. The first few times you hear this song, you'll have a big smile on your face, guarenteed.

Beaty Jackson-4/5- Add a new track to the list of "Songs that should have been longer," because this is one of them. If you turn this from a minute and a half track to 3 and a half minutes, it is one of the best songs on the album. The smooth, bass heavy beat done by J Dilla (RIP), was masterfully done.

Heart Street Directions-4/5- Is it dumb to rate skits? Not with ones this funny.

Columbus Exchange/ Crack Spot-3.5/5- This track is nothing special, but nonetheless, very good. Beat is fairly simple, with a couple of samples. Good verses by Ghostface once again.

R.A.G.U-5/5- You got the Ironman flavor on this track, with an old 1995 type vibe laid down by Pete Rock. Screeching violins with heavy drums add great amounts of replay value for this. I love the fact Rae and Ghost played off of each other's verses. This is a great track of the best 1,2 punch in the game.

Bad Mouth Kid- Skit. What kind of kid is this?

Whip You With A Strap-5/5- This track is the same formula on some tracks off of The Pretty Toney album, except executed much better. You have a great sample from J Dilla, and verses by Ghost relating closely to the songs' theme. Great job.

Back Like That-3/5-I am not an R&B fan, but I find myself listening to this track. Is it because I can relate to the story? That helps. Also helps that the beat is actually not bad, and it actually has good songwriting in it, unlike your modern day R&B.

Be Easy-4/5-Very, very catchy song. To me, although the beat isn't outstanding, is still well done. Pete Rock loves horns so much that this is all that the beat is. Even better is the catchy hook. Lyrically, Ghost brings a different flow and wordplay. Great track.

Clipse of Doom-2/5- With a title like this, you are expecting a very "Ironman" type beat. Ouch, the beat kind of hurts the ears. One of the few weak tracks on the album.

Jellyfish-5/5-Phew, the bad track is over. And now the great organ beat drops in! Very simple, but greater sounding the louder you play it. Ghostface was singing here and you gotta love the hook done by Trife and verse by Cappadonna. Give it up for Cappadonna because he came back to life on this album.

Dogs of War-5/5-Hey 2 bangers in a row! Solid beat with great verses from every member, including Ghostface's son, Sun God. Tough to skip this track.

Barbershop-4/5-Another track that should have been longer. The intro at the beginning was a great lead in to the verse by Ghostface. Should have been 2x as long. Still solid though.

Ms. Sweetwater-Leads in to Big Girl

Big Girl-5/5-With this song, you have a very busy beat with Ghostface speaking on life's troubles, basically. Love the soulful beat, remind me of Holla off the Pretty Toney album (also a fantastic track.) This song fits in none at all to tracks like Clips of Doom, Jellygish, or Dogs of War, so it may feel a bit out of place.

Underwater-5/5-Fantastic! A wonderful beat by MF Doom. This song screams creativity, unlike any other song you've heard. Ghostface is underwater and describes, in detail only Pretty Toney can use, what is going on above him. Excellent track.

The Ironman Takeover-Skit

Momma-2.5/5- Boring track to me. Beat isn't very nice at all. A shame, because Ghostface had good stories here as well.

Three Bricks-2/5- Very poor beat, with a West Coast feel to it. This type of beat does not belong, especially with 3 East Coast Rappers. BIG doesn't impress me as he never really has made my jaw drop. Ghost and Rae I can't really speak about because i've only listened to the song once. A poor way to end the album.

To conclude, I'll say that this is the 3rd best effort from Dennis Coles. The production is tickling at times and disappointing in about 3 tracks. To me, without Three Bricks, Clips of Doom, and Momma, I am labeling this thing damn near classic. With these 3 tracks I bring the rating down. Any Wu fan will enjoy or love this CD. Go buy it now!


Last edited by deadlymelody; 04-10-2006 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Konii blaze
About the Ghostface session... maan is that album crazy. The adage of, "He follows the beat of his own drum" was made for Ghostface. He does and says what he wants, when he wants. I think Fishscale is his most complete album to date, with Supreme Clientele right behind. The chemistry he shows with Raekwon is priceless and there's a Just Blaze cut, entitled "The Champ," which is absolutely mind-blowing. BallerStatus.net's interview with Ghostface should be dropping very soon. ..."
IRONMAN is his most complete album to date.....do your research

but i feel good about what your sayin but i still kinda miss drunk off ballantine ghost but SC ghost is just fine to me
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:14 PM   #8
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I heard a few tracks. I don' like Charlie Brown, and Back like that seems too comercial. Plus I hate that neyo fagg. I like Be Easy, and Kilos is a sick song. I can't get the hook outa my head!
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:28 AM   #9
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is ragu the one wehre rae starts it off... tellin people to close the blinds and shit?? watchin larry king live.... ?

Now yo yo, whattup yo, time is runnin out. It's for real though, let's connect politic - ditto. We could trade places, get lifted in the staircases. Word up, peace incarcerated scarfaces
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:30 AM   #10
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yeah so far i think it's the best track on the album, Ghost raps tight on every track though but some of the beats are that slow r&b bullshit.

Last edited by Marc051; 03-09-2006 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:57 AM   #11
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RAGU is some classic shit.
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:54 PM   #12
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Can someone tell me where i can listen to some fishscale songs other than, Back like that, and be easy

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Old 03-12-2006, 09:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sakk
Can someone tell me where i can listen to some fishscale songs other than, Back like that, and be easy
March 28, 2006 will probably have it
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Old 03-13-2006, 02:00 PM   #14
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FISHSCALE is the best WU TANG cd since SUPREME CLIENTELE.......fuckin stoked for this
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Old 03-16-2006, 02:23 PM   #15
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this album really suprised me, i thought it was gonna be some gay shit....wrong... overall, id have to give it a pretty close to classic rating in comparison to all wu shit... lots of great songs, real hip hop shit, a couple gay songs (i.e. back like that) but for the most part, some real wu shit that i thought i would never hear again. buy this album. all of you.
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