Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City [13 Tracks]

by: Ghostface Killah

Take that word "Poetry" with a grain of salt and then check your expectations at the door, because Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry is a significant departure for Ghostface Killah, at least when it comes to the album format. This oversexed, always fun, and occasionally hilarious effort was inspired by the rapper's previous work with R&B artists, although the production -- from Scram Jones, Skymark, the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and others -- goes way back, sampling smooth soul folks like Marvin Gaye, Joe Simon, and Love, Peace & Happiness. Unlike his GhostDeini guise, this new Ghostdini character is a lover plus a pimp more than a player, hanging in the "Guest House" with "Glass pianos and Portuguese drapes hangin' from the ceiling/Persian rugs, Moroccan sofas/I walk through the house in paisley robes and Ferragamo loafers." Things don't always go right for this cool customer, as both "Guest House" and "Lonely" are bitter, brokenhearted highlights, and being suave isn't always the rule as "Stapleton Sex" gets the seven dirty words off within the first ten seconds and then proceeds to describe a Hustler cartoon. The cause and effect of sex are covered on the great slow jam "Baby" ("I'm all right, it's just that the baby's kickin'/And I want some Popeye's chicken, and my back kinda hurts from the way I was sittin'/Hurry home so you can rub my big belly and kiss it"), and after the slick "Goner" pleases with some George Benson-like guitar, the album goes modern with two great "bonus tracks," "She's a Killah" and the Kanye West plus Ne-Yo showcase "Back Like That." Nasty as he wants to be, Ghostdini is nothing more than the Face and friends having a good time. The results are as improper as they are infectious. ~ David Jeffries

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