Hidden Darts (Coll.Ed) Special Edition, Compilation, Explicit Lyrics
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Ghostface Killah (aka Tony Starks, Ironman, Ghost Deini, Pretty Toney, Wally Champ, GFK, Starky Love, Dennis Coles) is one of the best rappers ever. He continues to release quality music year after year. After Wu-Tang Clan achieved breakthrough commercial success in the early 90s, Ghostface, like his clan-mates, began a solo career, which turned out to be one of the most critically and commercially successful solo careers of all the group members. Since his debut on the opening verse of 'Bring da Ruckus', the first track from the Wu-Tang Clan's critically acclaimed debut, 1993's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Ghostface has made little effort to appeal to anyone outside of his loyal New York street fan base, yet he continues to achieve surprising commercial success. His latest release, called Hidden Darts: Special Edition, is a collection of rarities and non-album cuts that span Ghost's entire career. Full of raw beats and flowing rhymes, the CD features guest rappers including fellow Wu-bangers Raekwon, RZA, Method Man and Cappadonna, some of his boys from Theodore Unit including Shawn Wigs and Trife Da God, and a Rap legend you may have heard of named Slick Rick. This comp will be enjoyed by anyone that likes good Hip Hop music.
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Hidden Darts: Special Edition isn't an album of entirely new material. In fact, most of it is taken from the earlier days in his solo career. While I was reluctant to check out this album for that fact alone, I finally caved in, realizing that a collection of Ghostface outtakes, remixes, and collaborations are probably better than most emcee's studio albums. I was correct. While this album lacks cohesiveness(it's a compilation of tracks that span Ghost's solo career, after all), it is consistently dope from track to track; something that's not surprising when you take into account who is featured.
The track that finally influenced me to pick up this album is Wise; a song that was released earlier this year as a hype track for the compilation. This track alone is honestly enough reason to warrant a purchase of Hidden Darts; the production is dope, and Ghost's trademark whiny flow push the track well above average. This track shows why Ghostface is the undisputed King of Soul, as no one could've wrecked such a soulful beat with the presence that Ghost did.
Raekwon can be found on five tracks on this album, all of which showcase the amazing chemistry he and Ghostface have always shared. Belt Holders and The Watch are both infinitely ill, and The Sun, also featuring Slick Rick and RZA, is an amazing cut from four hip-hop legends; even if it is a revisit from Ghost's Bulletproof Wallets. That's basically all that's keeping this album from five-star status; there's just a little too much rehashed music to put this in the same league as the two Fish albums. While the material found within is equally dope, there's a bit too much 'been there, done that' to make this a classic; though, I don't know if anyone was expecting a classic from an album full of unreleased tracks and collaborations independently released by Ghost himself.
This is a must-have for Ghostface fans, and provides even more uncut dope to Ghostface fiends. Pick it up if you need even more Ghostface to tithe you over until his next project.
Unfortunately, there are a few things that I was slightly disappointed in. First of all, theres a couple songs where there is some recycled lyrics, namely "Hidden Darts", "CheChe la Ghost (Remix)", and "9mm" (which is a remix of "9 milli bros.". Really this doesnt hurt the album, because Ghost spits some origional stuff on those tracks too. "When You Walk" is a song that I already had, downloaded from the offical website, but its still a 5 star track so it doesnt hurt either. On the track "The Sun", Slick Rick appears in his old school style form, but RZA says like 4 bars...bummer. Cappadonna's lyrics weren't that great on "Odd Couple" IMHO, which is too bad because that is the only thing holding that beat, and Ghost, back from a 5 star song. I also could have done without Keyshia Cole on "Mama", the remix of "Momma" on the "Fishscale" album.
Overall this album is better than the last, and it seems Ghost cant be stopped, even if hes underrated.
Lyrics: 10/10 ~Ghost gets better and better.
Production: 9/10 ~Mostly bangers, but a couple fall short.
Content: 9/10 ~Nearly every track is hot.
Top 5 Tracks:
1. "Return of Theodore Unit" feat. Wigs & Trife
2. "Drummer" feat. Meth, Street Life, and I think Trife too.
3. "The Watch" feat. Raekwon
4. "Heard it All Before"
5. "Late Night Arrival" feat. Trife & Wigs
FYI: This album doesnt come with any track info or ghost thankyous, only a track listing...
With this release, which I believe is a sort of career retrospective of b-side tracks, I'm drooling all over myself in anticipation of Ghost and MF Doom's forthcoming collabo. The beats are a tad rougher and less polished than the last two albums, but it's all to the good. The this-just-in opener moves along nicely, followed up by two always-welcome collabs with Raekwon. I swear 'Murda Goons' is an MF Doom loop, and the 'Cher Chez La Ghost' remix here takes a loop that's been used a million times, but still sounds hot with Ghost's flow.
Not to mention the heavy-soul 'The Sun,' featuring nice verses from Slick Rick and the RZA.
With these last few albums, Ghost has reached Redman-like status as an artist who is consistently entertaining enough that even occasionally mid-level production can't bring him down. Props.
#1 - 9.5
#2 - 8 (f/ Raekwon)
#3 - 7.5 (f/ Raekwon)
#4 - 7 (only 16 bars)
#5 - 8 (f/ Street Life & Method MAn)
#6 - 8
#7 - 8 (f/ Cappadonna)
#8 - 8 (f/ Raekwon & American Cream Team)
#9 - 7.5
#10 - 7 (only 16 bars)
#11 - 8 (f/ Shawn Wigs, J-Love, Trife da God)
#12 - 8.5 (f/ Wu-Tang Clan (all memebrs)
#13 - 7.5 (f/ Raekwon, Slick Rick, RZA)
#14 - 8 (f/ Keyshia Cole)
#15 - 6.5 (f/ Shawn Wigs)
#16 - 7.5
#17 - 7.5
#18 - 8
#19 - 8.5 (f/ Method Man, Street Life, Trife da God)
#20 - 9 (f/ Shawn Wigs, Solomon Childs, Trife da God)
#21 - 8 (f/ Trife da God)
#22 - 8.5
Dennis Coles -- b. 5/9/around 70 -- Stapleton, Staten Island, NY
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