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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Fishscale

Ghostface Killah

2006

Fishscale
Album Summary

Fishscale is the fifth studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, released March 28, 2006, on Def Jam in the United States. The album features guest appearances from every member of the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as Ghostface Killah's Theodore Unit. It also features production from several acclaimed producers, such as MF DOOM, Pete Rock, J Dilla, and Just Blaze, among others. The album follows an organized crime theme, and is named after a term for uncut cocaine. Fishscale sold nearly 110,000 units in its first week of release, and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it the highest charting Ghostface Killah album since his 1996 debut, Ironman. The singles "Back Like That," and "Be Easy" entered the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, with the former peaking at the 14th position. Upon its release, Fishscale received universal acclaim, with critics praising the album's cohesiveness, lyricism, and production. As of November 2009, the album had sold 332,000 copies.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.06

Votes

11009

Genres

  • Hip Hop

Reviews

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Loved this album, great assorted group of producers and Killah's rhymes are something else. Also, I learned how to cut a brick of cocaine, so it was also instructional.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
4

As someone without a lot of experience with hiphop, but no particular disdain for it, I liked this album. It's an actual album. Each song is distinct, it's not a mushy bleed-together of left-overs to pad the length. But the production is consistent and each song obviously belongs on this album. Each track has interesting things that separate them from the rest, and the production is really top notch. Production is so good it probably makes it swing above its weight class. There's nothing irritating on the album, it's all consistently good. Solid album I probably wouldn't choose to listen to again, but if it came on I wouldn't be compelled to turn off either.

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Tue May 04 2021
5

We have an APB on an MC Killer Looks like the work of a Master Evidence indicates that his stature Merciless like a terrorist hard to capture The flow, changes like a chameleon Plays like a friend, and stabs you like a dagger This technique attacks the immune system Disguised like a lie paralyzing the victim You scream, as it enters your bloodstream Erupts your brain from the pain these thoughts contain Moving on a nigga with the speed of a centipede And injure any motherfucking contender!

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did considering other Wu Tang projects I've heard, but man, Ghosty just has a way with words that can drag me in to a story. The narrative-based rapping is definitely the strongest draw here, with a strong second going to the excellent production (I mean, come on, DOOM and Dilla? Spoiled!). There are too many skits IMO, and not every song is a banger, but this was definitely a good project.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

5/10. He immediately tells us to fasten our seatbelts, which I appreciate because I am tired of listening to rap albums that don't care about the listener's personal safety. Also listening to this for the first time after the MCU made Tony Stark a household name, but knowing that this is older than that made the constant references to Tony Starks and Ironman a bit surprising. I liked that the skits transitioned very smoothly into the following songs in this album. I kinda liked Back Like That, I suppose because it just sounds like a pop song. I also like how when he boasts about women, these women are often intelligent in addition to having great asses etc, which is pretty fun.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Listening again today; great production and incredibly cinematic album. Def up there with my fav hip hop albums of all time. “RAGU” and “Back Like That (feat. Ne-Yo)” have got to be some of my fav tracks of all time.

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Wed Feb 01 2023
4

Happy I finally have a reason to listen to this album. The production on this album was quite 50/50 but the better fifty was some of the best production on any of Ghostfaces work. Suprised that this album is on this list instead of Ironman and Supreme Clientele which are two clearly superior albums, this is still good though and Ghostface is one of the best rappers of all time. 4.2/5

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Tue May 25 2021
3

Een soort rap dat op clipping lijkt. Ambitieus maar ik weet niet of het wat voor mij is.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
2

Another random hip hop record in the 1001 list. It is almost a joke, thinking about all masterpieces left out of the list to make some room for boring random releases like this one. An exWu Tang Klan member trying to vindicate himself. That's ok, even a few good tracks like 'Whip You With a Strap' and hilarious skits like 'Bad Mouth Kid'... but come on...

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

This fucks and this Aussie gives it five pairs of Blundstones out of five.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

Strangely, despite loving Bulletproof wallets when I was a teenager, I hadn't listened to this much before. That has changed now, I've listened to it 4 times today! Super album, I love Ghostface's voice and delivery, and there's some really great tracks on here.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
4

This was great but suffered from the skits and stuff.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

I still don't understand skits on rap albums, but the tunes were bangers

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Sun Nov 05 2023
4

The gangster thing has kind of lost its shine for me. But the art and wit of the vocal flow is impossible to deny.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
4

East coast hardcore hip hop. I'm pretty mixed on this album. Like I love the energy and aggressiveness but sometimes I kinda find that the beats take a backseat, which was a big reason I liked the Wu-tang album. Ghostface's lyrics and flow were all really good most of the time, and I actually enjoyed a lot of the features. The album itself is quite long and bloated with skits and other stuff that just makes it feel so incohesive. The first half was really good but it really runs out of steam. I like variety usually but the album was mostly just all over the place which made for a big clash in sounds sometimes. That being said, I did have fun listening to it and enjoyed every song to some extent. A solid album. Probably won't revisit save for a few tracks. 3.5/5

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Wed Aug 04 2021
3

I'm not really into rap, but I did enjoy this with some standout tracks

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Wed Mar 13 2024
3

Wow!! It is hard to listen to this album. I’m not sure why the black community thinks this is a tribute to them. It certainly describes the plight that they are in. But the way that they refer to themselves and their women, their kids, their mommas…..How can that be empowering? I can hear some of the musicality and how clever some of the lyrics are. I also love the continuity of the album and how they tie each song to the next. I just can’t how the lyrics are tolerated.

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Thu Mar 21 2024
3

As I often say with rap albums, if the skit does not serve a purpose for the next song or have some comedic effect that makes it listenable, then leave the skit off the album. Another day, another rap album I had not heard before. So, this isn't a bad album at all. I just don't know why it is in the book, as it doesn't exactly redefine the rap genre and I can think of quite a few rap albums I prefer more. This was a better album than I had expected, yet I can't help but think there isn't much going on here that is revolutionary. Would I listen to this album again? Not sure why I would.

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Thu Mar 28 2024
3

I thought this was a good album overall with some great producers. On the flip side, I don’t think this one belongs on the list. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just an average middle of the road hip hop album of its time.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
3

Another rap album, let me just go over my list: Over long - check. Skits I just don't get - check. A bit of a grind to listen to - che... wait, no, this is OK actually. Rap is never going to be my thing but I can recognise really good rap, and for me this is it. I'm not going to seek it out, but it passed the (still overly long) time.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
3

You know, I'm kind of surprised it took this long to get an album from a Wu-Tang Clan member given that there are five albums from the Wu-Tang Clan and its members on this list. Oh well, it's time to talk about Fishscale. This is a solid album. I like the variety in the songs. I think a big reason for this is because of how many producers are on here. There's quite a few of them on here, perhaps the most notable of which is MF DOOM. Given that he doesn't have any of his own albums on here, I'm happy to see that he has some representation on this list, even if this album did get removed from later versions of the book. I'm not a fan of skits in hip-hop albums as a whole, but the ones on this album aren't too egregious. Ghostface Killah's rapping is alright. I can definitely hear how he and other East-Coast rappers like Nas are cut from the same cloth. The album is a bit long, but I didn't really feel like it dragged too much. The writing is pretty good for the most part. Overall, while this is not my favorite hip-hop album I've gotten, it's still pretty decent. High 3/5.

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Thu May 02 2024
3

I'm not a rap guy, but this is pretty good.

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Fri May 10 2024
3

Rap isn’t my genre and this is harder-core than I usually would listen to, but it was more listenable than I thought it would be. Some interesting stories on here and good performances and samples. Went on a bit too long for me but I can see why this is album is well-regarded.

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Tue May 28 2024
3

Lyrically, this album is incredibly stereotypical, and perhaps one of the last instancies of an album I would describe as vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. It feels stuck in the 90s, berating women, slinging drugs, murdering fools, all with the same guests seemingly on all the Wu-Tang albums. I know they were all in a group together, but jeez, find new people. However, the production on this album is fantastic, with appearances from some of the greats like J Dilla and MF DOOM (unfortunately, only producing, no raps from the mad villain here) and it really sells the entire album. I mean, there are whole songs here that purely live off their beats, and it really elevates the whole experience into something pretty enjoyable. It's too long, not a single joke hits, and it's just relatively icky, but if you wanted to show the powerhouse of production going around in the mid-2000s, this album exemplifies that fantastically. That being said, it's a sick joke that this the closest the 1001 Albums gets to, again, MF DOOM or J Dilla. That's an entire sin of its own, albeit not one that is this album's fault.

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Fri May 10 2024
2

It took me three days to get through this album. Now I'm behind and resentful. On the bright side, I can say that it didn't glamorize the drug trade for me whatsoever.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Loved it, I didn't think I would, But every track was strong and it worked together so well.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

I love this album. Surprised to see it on this list, but it's fantastic.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Sweet, hard-hitting rhymes with a lot of energy and genuine fun. And awesome beats!

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

This album doesn't miss; not even mad about the massive runtime.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Massive energy. The backing is so full of hooks and great grooves, could listen to it spinning all day long. Lyrics are fast and furious with passion and feeling. Loved this album

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

LOVE me some Wu-Tang, and Ghostface might just be my favorite member. In a group with no lack of hip-hop titans, Ghostface still manages to grab the spotlight and throttle it like it stole something from him. The man's a poet, plain and simple. "Supreme Clientele" gets a lot of attention (and rightfully so--it doesn't get much better than "Apollo Kids" and "Cher Chez La Ghost"), but "Fishscale" is my favorite Ghostface album. The skits are utterly skippable (ranging from the mildly amusing "Bad Mouth Kid" to the cringey "Heart Street Directions"), but basically every track is worthy of a place in my regular playlist rotation. And it's no wonder. Not only is he a master storyteller, but his fellow Clan members back him up regularly on this album (most notably on "9 Milli Bros."), and the tracks are produced by hip-hop greats like Pete Rock, J Dilla, and MF DOOM. I could list my favorite tracks, but it'd basically just be two-thirds of the track list, minus the skits. That's how solid this album is. Casual hip-hop fans might find this album a little inaccessible, but for those who appreciate the Wu-Tang style "Fishcale" is solid gold.

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Sun Aug 28 2022
5

Some of the best rap I've heard in a long time. Loved all of it. The flow, the samples (these guys love their comic books), the collaborations. All of it!

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Perhaps the craziest thing about Wu-Tang was the number of incredible rappers and producers who were part of the crew from it's outset. Ghostface is a great example of that. He's one of the greatest rappers of all time, and yet when you list of the members of Wu-Tang who were most important to rap history, Ghostface barely sneaks into the top 5 (I'd put Rza, Method Man, ODB, and perhaps Gza in over him). Despite that, Ghostface clearly shows how well his style ages here. More than 10 years after 36 chambers, Ghostface comes in hot with Fishscale. It helps a lot that this album features some of the greatest producers of all time at the height of their careers. One of the coolest things about this album is getting to hear some of my favorite songs off of Donuts by J Dilla employed by a rapper whose style meshes well with Dilla's. I can't think of another rapper who can tell a story in verse the way that Ghostface can. His flow is incredible, but the way that he paints a picture while he does it is his true skill. I can't believe that I'm going to give another Wu-Tang rapper a 5/5 album, but here we are. This album is undeniable 5/5

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Wed Feb 22 2023
5

This is the album that kept me from listening to the last 10+ days of 1001 assigned albums. This album absolutely floored me. I’ve listened to it countless times. The storytelling is so vivid, the wordplay so nuanced, and the production and sampling is just some of the best ever. I could go on…but it’s just all-time hip-hop album.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
5

Loved this. It wasn't on my radar when it came out but this is absolutely what I loved in like 2003

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Sun May 07 2023
5

The Wu-Tang Clan is one of my favorite rap groups, and Ghostface is one of its most talented rappers; his flow is impeccable, and his lyrics are often great to match. While this isn’t as good as, say, Supreme Clientele, it all comes through on this album. Just take ‘The Champ’, which is such an enjoyable song just because of how he raps. Definitely viable for inclusion, though it’s reasonable that they cut it in other editions.

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Man this was so good. Very well put together

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Wed Jun 21 2023
5

top notch. cohesive record that tells a story. i loved the skits, especially heart st directions and bad mouth kid. not a bad track, features were fire, production was beautiful. rhymes and stuff all very great!!

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Fri Jul 07 2023
5

Another solo wu tang album that is magnificently produced and has excellent flows. I still think I like liquid swords more but the first like 5 songs on this are all bangers especially shaken dog, the champ, and back like that. The sheer star power of both the features and the production are also insane and works as a great bridge between old school 90s rap and more melodic 00s stuff, back like that and it’s remix with Kanye come to mind the most. Idk if I’m getting softer with my 5s or getting a chance to listen to the album more and thus appreciate it more but after listening to this album multiple times throughout the day it’s pretty great all the way through and doesn’t really drag at all.

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

Kilo is a thousand grammes, easy to remember! I wasn't expecting to see a Ghostface Killah album come up, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. I would be hard pressed to pick just one of his albums to put in this list, but I guess if I had to choose, then this would be the one. Even though there's so many guest artists and producers, this is always a Ghostface album, and all the better for it. It was always a bit of a disappointment for me that some of the members of the Wu-Tang Clan went on to pretty dull solo work, but there was still plenty of good stuff that came of the project, Raekwon and GZA spring to mind, but Ghostface was probably the most prolific and also the best for consistent quality. Easy 5 star album that was a delight to listen to again after not hearing it in a year or three. I still sing "whips me with a strap" on a weekly basis.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Awesome album from beginning to end.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

I was legit sad when this album ended, it was so well produced and fit the vibe of the day perfectly. Will definitely return to this one!

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Ghostface might be my favourite rapper of all time. Also great to see Americans embracing the metric system.

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Sun Dec 03 2023
5

Just brilliant. Kilo should have a single, it would have been one of the best of the aughts.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

This album is sweeping in its scope and cinematic in its storytelling. Ghostface Killah is one of raps greatest lyricists and this album puts that on full display. The narrative about cocaine running is compelling and is so detailed that it’s going to take a few listens to get all the details. The music itself spans several decades and includes doo woo, lounge music, up through funk and R&B. Overall, a fantastic album.

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Sun Jan 21 2024
5

This was a surprise. Really good!

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Sun Feb 04 2024
5

Best old school hip hop I’ve ever hear makes biggie sound like a first grader who just learned how to rhyme

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Thu Feb 08 2024
5

can't believe i've never listened to this before. compare yourself to david koresh and spongebob squarepants and sing about getting rid of posers by selling them on ebay and baby you got a stew going

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

Rating: 9.5/10 Amazing album, my favorite album by Ghostface Killah. This album takes you on a journey and to me embodies all of Ghost's best characteristics and content matter: vivid storytelling, drug dealing stories, family issues/relationships, insane street slang, and all of this with clever wordplay, expansive vocabulary, great rhyming, and of course his iconic voice and delivery. There is an introspective and emotional aspect that this album does better than Ghost's others I think while still being amazing lyrically. The production is also great throughout, every song feels unique. Even though this album is over 25 tracks long it always passes by so quickly whenever I listen to it; a sign of a truly great album. Favorite songs: Shakey Dog, Kilo, The Champ, 9 Milli Bros, Beauty Jackson, Crack Spot, R.A.G.U., Whip You With A Strap, Back Like That, Be Easy, Jellyfish, Dogs Of War, Big Girl, Underwater, Momma, Three Bricks. Worst song: Clipse of Doom.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
5

This album is phenomenal, I was never a GFK fan growing up and I feel like I missed out. Everything song is unique and tells a great story, there are too many skits as always but some are pretty funny and The Champ is a certified banger and goes in the general playlist.

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

How do you choose a single member of Wu-Tang to highlight and not then highlight every other one of them? In my opinion they’re the best collective in hip-hop. Every single rapper is a genius who helped craft the sound of 90s rap. And then how do you choose a single album in Ghostface’s enormous catalogue? He is so prolific, and really hasn’t taken a wrong turn. This album is excellent. Bring the ruckus.

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

I’m not much of a rap fan, but this was awesome! There’s clear talent here, and this stuff is always elevated by using real instruments.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

Loved this album in 06 and still love it now. The sampling is on point! It’ll make you get up and do the Damon Dash

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Sun May 12 2024
5

Best Wu album this side of 2000. Getting Dilla and DOOM is was absolute genius and Ghost face sails round the beats like the prizefighter he pretends to be early on on the album.

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Mon May 13 2024
5

GHOSTFACE KILLAHHH 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 one of the best to ever do it absolute classic 5/5

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

Like most hip hop albums... it’s a tad long. But pretty pretty good 👌

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Tue Dec 08 2020
4

2006. Key Songs: R.A.G.U, 9 Milli Bros, Shakey Dog

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Wed Oct 07 2020
4

Cocaine rap isn't my favorite thing, but the lyricism is on point. Best track: The Champ.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Surprisingly good, and all-star guest appearances

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

This is probably tied with Inspectah Deck's Resident Patient as my fav Wu Tang solo record out there.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

This was super great and a pretty vicious album! I feel like this is an album that if I listened to it when I was younger it'd have an even bigger impact. As it stands though, a really great reason why Wu-Tang ain't nothing to fuck with.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Great solo album from the clan man

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

One of my favourite unheard hip hop albums so far. Doesn't sound like he takes himself too seriously but hits hard all the same. Lots of solid features but surprisingly the Ne Yo hook was my favourite - especially loved Kanye's verse on the remix. Can definitely hear where Action Bronson gets his style from. The Bad Mouth Kid skit was hilarious.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Cinematic and dense. I need to listen to this again, I feel like I missed so much. The beats just felt so groovy and vital as well.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

i don't really think i understand how to appreciate hiphop but this has an energy....a lifeblood running through it.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

good album, can’t go wrong with wu tang

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Tue May 04 2021
4

I like the style and flow. Enjoyable hip-hop/r&b variant of rap, with creativity, color and an attitude.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Miles better than the Raekwon album, IMO. I don’t know what makes “9 Milli Bros.” anything other than just a Wu Tang song, but I ain’t complaining. I would absolutely listen to this again.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

This is a great album from start to finish. Ghostface is always great, and this is hands-down his best album.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Great production, overall a great listen and def up there with one of my fav hip hop albums of all time. RAGU slaps.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Mucho flow, más de lo que puedo procesar... por ahí caché letras bastante buenas, creo que el disco suena bien en conjunto y las colaboraciones son muy chidas. Especialmente me gustaron "The Champ", "Three Bricks" y el remix (con la familiar voz de Kanye) de "Back Like That". 8/10

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Wasn't familiar with this (so much wu tang catalogue), but loved it.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Pretty good, I like the beats but it was long and had a bunch of boring skits. 8

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

This is real good. Three Bricks is an awesome closing track

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Every rap album on here seems to be by a member of the Wu Tang Clan and takes about a day to listen to. This one, though, is the best. Great use of smoky soul samples, skits that actually add to the proceedings, and a genuinely brilliant couple of tracks in The Champ and Back Like That. Gonna use The Champ to get myself psyched into a killer mentality before playing badminton with my work colleagues

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

This album is completely out of my normal wheelhouse of rock/punk/emo, but I loved it. I wish there were less skits, but they come with the territory I guess.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Es que siento que no tengo las suficientes herramientas para la apreciación de este género. Diría que pasó sin pena ni gloria. Está okay para un ratito, pero sí me pesó una hora. Me gustaron Kilo, The Champ, y Underwater que tiene un instrumentación chidilla. Heart Street Directions es muy cagada. Mood: "it's kinda wet down there" lol

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Love this album. Could still do with trimming down a bit

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Not normally my thing but enjoyed that added couple of songs to my favourites.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

8/10 a lot of good tracks on here, great beats and samples. i think it's a little overly long.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Shite at the beginning Good decent Got slower Got bored

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Disco desigual, las canciones más populares creo que son las más culeras. Es mejor The Supreme Clientele. ¿Cuál es el criterio para elegir los discos? En fin. Aún así, como es tan largo, tiene chingos de rolas chidas.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

great production, good flow but iffy lyrics in places... would rather mr killah spat rhymes about the benefits of recycling so knocking it down a star until he makes that change

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