This horn and distortion filled production is downright beautiful and I suspect that adding a vinyl copy of ‘Apollo Kids’ to a DJ’s arsenal would be a winning shot indeed.
WU TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN!!!
Reading up on the new Ghostface Killah album, ‘Apollo Kids’, I keep seeing terms like “nostalgia” and “raw” amongst the critics cipher. I have no disagreement with the mass critical appeal. ‘Apollo Kids’ has well-deserved props, it is a dope album with some of the best storytelling you’ll ever come across. You’ve absolutely got to purchase ‘Apollo Kids’, but allow me to digress before explaining why. In order to shorten this rant I’ll quote directly from one of my favorite critique sites.
‘The Needle Drop’ says-
“Screw the r&b hooks, auto-tune . . . all the BS that I think was weighing Ghostface down”
“There was even a spot where I heard the song ‘shout’ sampled.”
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Seriously? Sampling ‘shout’ is indicative of being old-school and raw? What critics these day define as gangster is truly the definition of borderline-of-overproduced ala Eminem’s ‘What is Love’.
Which comes to the heart of my issue, which is that rather than commenting on ‘Apollo Kids’ I’m finding myself defending Ghostface’s ‘Ghostdini & The Wizard of Floetry.’ I often feel like I live in a different listening reality than most folks… Wherein they can’t seem to hear the difference between:
Kanye West using electronic pitch correction and distortion techniques to enhance chord progressions and dope lyrics
Soulja Boy using fruity loops and a monotone robot voice (in full disclosure I don’t have a dog-gone-clue what Soulja Boy sounds like or his production techniques but I’m guessing he’s the type of musician your hate stems from).
Don’t-write-down-a-word and do-one-take and let-the-producer-deal-with-it Sean Carter may have requested (on the Kanye West produced track) ‘Death to Auto-tune’, but, let us be frank, all auto-tune is NOT created equal. Autotune is a music-making tool, folks, and saying that anyone using auto-tune is simple is just about as dumb as saying that anyone using a sample on a record is simple.
Anybody lightly dismissing Ghostface Killah’s quiet-storm classic ‘Ghostdini & The Wizard of Floetry’, heavily featuring neo-soul master Raheem Devaughn as well as masters such as Stevie Wonder, is as ignorant as Sarah Palin discussing Eastern Asian politics. If you haven’t copped it already, be sure to buy the ‘Wizard of Floetry’ album while you are grabbing ‘Apollo Kids’ because they are both must owns in your Wu-Tang library.
What ‘Wizard of Floetry’ was for sex-infused neo-soul, ‘Apollo Kids’ is for heroine-infused funk-70′s-soul, featuring treasure chest samples by Marlena Shaw, Roy Ayers and Them Two. Suffice to say that you will get more storyline of crimes, guilty pleasures and intense visuals out of this album than a season of ‘The Sopranos’.
Fan favorite ‘Drama’ features The Game and Slaughterhouse star Joell Ortiz. In addition to ‘dramatic’ floes (indeed) by the always solid Ghostface and Ortiz this is, IMO, the best Game rap I’ve heard in years and a hopeful sign of things to come in the much anticipated upcoming Game-Interscope project the ‘R.E.D.’ album.
Despite the nostalgic hoopla surrounding this album, RZA is AWOL, but, putting the misleading critiques aside, this horn and distortion filled production is downright beautiful and I suspect that adding a vinyl copy of ‘Apollo Kids’ to a DJ’s arsenal would be a winning shot indeed.
Buy this album, pour a chilled glass of your favorite drink or roll your favorite smoke, lay back, and enjoy. Like any great piece of art, you’ll find yourself fiendish for more. Like I told you at the top, this album is dope.