Release Date: Dec 4, 2007
Record label: Def Jam
Review by Amos Barshad.
By the time they enter their second decade in music, most rappers are in dire need of career resuscitation. But despite that last word in the title of his latest solo outing — The Big Doe Rehab — Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah isn’t one of them. Now 37, he’s released six acclaimed solo albums (from 1996’s Ironman to last year’s More Fish) full of gritty narratives, plus a few comical cuts.
Ghostface Killah took his name from the inexorable villain in The Mystery of Chess Boxing. Known for his relentlessness, the film character would hunt down enemies for years, only sleeping when they were dead. The lone mark of his identity was a miniature medal plate with a ghost insignia left at the scene. Fourteen years after he was the first swordsman heard on Wu-Tang's seismic debut Welcome to the 36 Chambers, the moniker only partly suits.
To expect Iron Flag Part 2 would be wrong. 2001 marked the last time the Wu-Tang Clan swarmed as one, Flag an assault of poisonous darts shot over streetwise RZA bangers. Six years later, fifth WTC LP 8 Diagrams pops vintage Shaolin lyrical heat, "Take It Back" prepping a firing line of "Wolves" in feeding frenzy. Opener "Campfire" burns slow as Method Man and Ghostface tag-team a haunting beat, even depleted Wu MC chemistry rivaled only by Tribe's Q-Tip and Phife.