#14 Album of The Year: Ghostface Killah- Twelve Reasons To Die

Posted: December 26, 2013 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music
Tags: , , , , ,

One member of the Wu Tang Clan who has certainly not fallen off in terms of work ethic in recent year is Ghostface Killah, as year after year he seems to be involved in multiple projects. However, Twelve Reasons to Die is one that is especially worthy of praise as it is one of the best concept albums to come out in 2013. While the crime-twisted plot of the project is short in duration, it is heavy in intricately woven mob-boss  lyrics and well crafted with producers Adrian Younge and RZA at the helm.

The conceptual framework behind the album (based off the comic book of the same name) plays off Ghostface Killah’s known persona Tony Starks. He acts as an enforcer for the DeLuca crime family, but is later murdered by his former employees for striking out on his own. Tony Starks is eventually revived as Ghostface Killah and is thirsty for revenge. Ghostface Killah is famous for being one of the most colorful storytellers rap has ever seen, and his presence as the main character in what could be a Quentin Taratino script is fitting.

Adrian Younge’s live band creates the backdrop for Ghostface Killah’s crime-infused tales and they do a good job of setting the scene without overpowering his vocals. The tag team between Younge and executive producer RZA made a great match as the experimental psychedelic soul production with gospel overtones still manages to be grounded in a Wu Gambino influenced sound filled with plenty of grimy bass lines. In terms of other Wu Tang Clan appearances, group members Masta Killa, U-God, Cappadonna, and Inspectah Deck all lend a hand. Although none of them stand out in particular, their roles can be best described as narrators commenting on the progression of the plot of Tony Starks and his wild chase for revenge.

Twelve Reasons To Die is also a slave to its greatest strength as there is not one song on here that stands out on its own. The entertaining and blood-filled story is intricately woven to the point that you need to listen to album as a whole in order to fully appreciate it.  Nevertheless, once the last song ends the listener is left wondering if Ghostface and Younge fulfilled the lofty potential of such an ambitious undertaking. At this stage of his career, I would say Ghostface certainly succeeded in his part of this fine release, and for someone not familiar working within the rap genre, Adrian Younge and his band sounded right at home. The confidence between the duo comes together to provide a satisfying result and an album in which all Wu Tang fans can relish in.

Listen to Twelve Reasons To Die below and let us know what you think of the review/rating!


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