Ghostface Killah: Apollo Kids

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What could Ghostface do for an encore with his 9th album? One would think the man has tapped out all his resources by now, but Ghostface is no ordinary member of the Wu. Every new album feels like Ghostface has reinvented himself and his enthusiasm is unmatched by most everyone in his genre. Also, the Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothin' to fuck with.

What the critics are saying:

Sputnik Music: As we run around like headless chickens throwing together our "albums of the year" compendiums and tuck our thumbs into our belt loops with something resembling smug satisfaction at our "supposed" superior music tastes, along comes Apollo Kids just to throw a spanner in the works.

Slant Magazine: In many ways, then, Apollo Kids can be considered the antithesis to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Where Kanye's effort was a grand exercise in pomp and delivered a slice of ultramodern hip-hop with all the indulgent trappings and trimmings, this is a compact release that celebrates the staples of vintage rap music and, more specifically, vintage Wu.

Billboard: Ghostface's first solo track on Apollo Kids ["2getha Baby"] is simple and head-knocking, with a buttery sample breaking up the rapper's boasts and sexual innuendos. Once again, the MC's loose, uncluttered rhymes shine through,

Express Night Out: But can a record be carried by Wu-Tang guest stars alone? With "Apollo Kids," not so much. Instead, the 12 tracks -- none of which were created by RZA, undoubtedly the group's most successful producer -- rely too heavily on samples and offer weak choruses. With so many guest players and a lot of predictable production, the album barely feels like a Ghostface record.

Apollo Kids is out now via Def Jam.

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