Ghostface Killah’s “36 Seasons” just dropped and it’s 100% dope.
I know we raved about “12 Reasons to Die” last year, and with good reason, but “36 Seasons” is in a class of its own. Dig the album sampler mixed by 7L:
Following up on the format of “12 Reasons”, Ghostface (@ghostfacekillah) plays the protagonist in a violent struggle against the bad guys, overcoming near-defeat and ultimately crushing the forces aligned against him. And in the style of “12 Reasons”, there is a single producer, in this case Brooklyn’s The Revelations (@the_revelations) who, according to their Facebook page:
…embody the raw essence of classic southern soul, with a sharp modern edge.
And we must agree. The beats (and instrumentals included with the album) are insane, and two of The Revelations’ purely Soul tracks on the line-up, “It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate” and “I Love You for All Seasons” are just the funkiest, fitting in with Ghostface like a puzzle piece.
Dig the preview:
As on “12 Reasons”, the album follows a chronological order that presents the story alongside a mental picture to match the graphic illustrations that come with the album, and the creativity of the project places it in a class of its own among modern albums, and might even warrant its own sub-genre.
With thematic and storyline-based albums a rarity in modern Hip-Hop, “36 Seasons” is another gem in the crown of Ghostface Killah, a personal favorite of mine from the legendary WTC.
Honestly, we’re hoping to one day see a modern ballet based on Ghostface’s latest albums, with Bboys and Bgirls replacing traditional dancers and of course, the full line-up of legendary MCs providing the vocals from the stage, with the DJ in the conductor’s spot.
In the meantime, for the Bboys, Bgirls, and Hip-Hop fanatics, “Emergency Procedure” is a beat to put your feet on the street, with none other than Pharoahe Monch himself playing the mysterious Dr. X, who saves Ghost’s life by creating a mask that allows him to breathe.
And that’s one of the reasons this album, as well as “12 Reasons”, is just so dope: Ghostface’s new concepts have allowed some of the dopest lyricists, i.e. AZ (@quietazmoney), Kool G Rap (@therealkoolgrap), and the all-stars of Wu-Tang Clan, to take on characters, in some cases appearing on multiple tracks, as if you’re listening to the recording of a modern opera featuring your favorite MCs.
At every moment, the music is driven by straight-up-and-down Bboy breaks, in the usual style of Ghostface’s music, with a perfect example in “Blood in the Streets” with AZ:
And with no less than 20 years on the clock, Ghostface (and the whole Wu-Tang Clan) have been dropping Hip-Hop essentials for the universe, a tradition that Ghostface has mastered and through which he continues to surprise.
In case you missed “12 Reasons to Die”, check out our review from last year and dig the exceptional reinterpretation of the album by Detroit’s Apollo Brown (@apollobrown):
Thanks to the mighty Ghostface for another dope album and hope for the future of Hip-Hop!