Styles P and DJ Green Lantern hook up for The Green Ghost Project,
officially released on February 2nd
With the dawn of the MP3 in the late 1990’s, music formatting experienced a drastic left turn. In an industry where the mediums hadn’t changed too drastically since the 50’s, (vinyl to A-Trak, A-Trak to cassette, cassette to CD) the birth of the MP3 file format shook up the music industry in a way it could not have imagined possible. Suddenly music was available for free online, sharing music was easier than ever, and all this change was costing record companies millions upon millions of dollars. And with the change from CD to MP3 came the change from album-oriented music, to single oriented music. It seemed like every week there was some new one-hit wonder out with a dance move and a catchy hook. So, with this new single oriented market, replacing albums as hip-hops principle method of musical exchange was the mixtape. It was easy to share, there were no creative limitations, (some musicians, i.e. Lil Wayne and Wale, practically made their careers on mixtapes) and mixtapes seemed to be having a renaissance. And now, with the new collaboration between rapper Styles P, and DJ Green Lantern, a new format is trying to emerge, (granted, on a much smaller scale) what Styles and Green Lantern collectively call, “The Project.”
The concept, as the two of them explained, is very simple. “The Project” is meant to be an intermediary format between the mixtape and the album, with the creative freedom of the mixtape, but with the financial freedom of the album. Although despite the fact that Styles P and Green Lantern think this is an original format and concept, it has been done many times over, under similar name. The duos new release, The Green Ghost Project is not only “A Project” as they say, but a “Vanity Project.”
While this term may have some negative connotation attached to it, I don’t think that’s just. A vanity project is simply a release that indulges every whim and fancy of the artists involved. That’s exactly the case with The Green Ghost Project. It has its good moments, and bad moments, but overall it’s more indulgent than anything. Some tracks, like the wonderfully grimy Double Trouble featuring Sheek Louch, and the faux dub of Invasion featuring Jadakiss, scream originality and artistry unavailable on major labels. But others, like the bland opener Nothing To Lose, scream “press the skip button.” And though it is a collaboration between Styles P and DJ Green Lantern, Green did not produce all the tracks, which after listening to the record all the way through, proved to be mistake. Because, no offense to Styles, the real musical originality here was in Greens production, who provided beat after beat of soulful, yet eerie backing music, that unfortunately, the MC’s couldn’t totally keep up with. In fact, the only non Green Lantern produced track that really shone and held up was Shadows, produced by Statik Selektah, with its in and out pianos and cough syrup addled string arrangements.
So while Styles P and Green Lantern may not have created their own musical format as they strove to, they still managed to make a thought provoking, sonically intriguing, albeit self-indulgent vanity record. And lord knows, with Lil Wayne heading to jail, we could use a few more of those.
The Green Ghost Project receives a PAR