Ghostface Killah Gives a Star-Studded Mass Appeal Records Debut in “Set the Tone (Guns & Roses)” [Album Review]

This is the 16th full-length solo LP from New York veteran Ghostface Killah of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan. One of hip hop’s most prolific storytellers & easily the most consistent member of the Clan exemplified by IronmanSupreme Clientele, FishScaleApollo Kids12 Reasons to Die & Sour Soul just to name a few. Ghost’s last album Ghostface Killahs in the fall of 2019 stands as one of the only few duds in his discography along with More Fish & went into his Mass Appeal Records debut Set the Tone (Guns & Roses) here hoping he would make up for that.

Wu-Block links up for the opener “6 Minutes” featuring Jim Jones jumping over a lavish instrumental giving competitors that exact amount of time whereas “Pair of Hammers” featuring Method Man works in some horns cautioning that they throw people in comas & make vegetables in the process. “Skate Odyssey” featuring Raekwon takes a smoother route overall talking about no one comparing to them, but then “Scar Tissue” featuring Nas ruggedly talks the about sun rising to break the day & lifts for a while to give us warmth.

“Kilo in the Safe” chaotically gets in his hustler bag & after the first skit, “No Face” featuring Ye formerly known as Kanye West returns to the boom bap so both of them can talk about having the ability to take down your whole entire squadron. “Champion Sound” featuring Beniton picks up from there with a decent reggae fusion being able to tell by one’s persona that their mommas used to keep them in the house a lot when they were growing up just before “Cape Fear” featuring Fat Joe brings back the keys, kicks & snares calling themselves the finest in New York.

After the 2nd skit, “Plan B” comes with more of an atmospheric vibe instrumentally to pretty much say on wax that Ghost is done having kids at this point in his life while “Bad Bitch” featuring Ja Rule might be my least favorite song on the album coming off as a tacky pop rap ballad. “Locked In” featuring AZ gets the ball rolling once again smoothly talking about being connected for life & after the final skit, “Touch You” featuring Shaun Wiah fusees pop rap with R&B showing a romantic side to Starks once more.

“Shots” featuring Busta Rhymes & Serani mixes hip hop with dancehall resulting in an average club banger while another weak song “Trap Phone” featuring Chucky Hollywood goes for a cloudier trap atmosphere asking their significant others who else loves them the way they do. After the outro skit, the bonus track “Yupp!” featuring Remy Ma was a lead single that I had mixed feelings over from the mediocre beat to the hardcore lyricism.

Wu-Tang is my favorite group of all-time & anyone who’s been following my platform long enough can back me up on it. That said, Set the Tone (Guns & Roses) is only a couple steps above the previous LP we got from him 5 years ago. There are moments where the production can be commercial, but there are others where it’s sticking to the signature hardcore vibes the Wu is known for. Ghost noticeably sounds more focused than he did last time & the guests perform on his level although a couple of them are lackluster.

Score: 6/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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