Sour Soul – BADBADNOTGOOD x Ghostface Killah album review

Ghostface Killah has been on an unstoppable rampage as of late.  After dropping the critically acclaimed Twelve Reasons to Die in 2013, and the trip back to the 90’s with 36 Seasons in 2014, Ghost returns with Sour Soul. Backed by the incredible production group BadBadNotGood on all 12 tracks, Sour Soul is an album you wished Ghostface made in the prime of his career.

A bare instrumental kicks the album off, immediately filling your body with something that is almost rare in hip-hop music, live instruments on a track. “Six Degrees” feels like a movie as Ghost still has his legendary storytelling skills, but the lyrics feel stripped down. Stealing the track is Danny Brown as he gets tagged in weaves through the beat with lines like “Smoking on chronic/feeling like Nastrodomic/See dying in your future/N**** I promise.” Another guest steals the show on “Gunshowers,” as Elzhi claims to “Palm another phenomenon rhyme thesis.”

For those wondering about the change in Ghostface’s custom lyrical content, one doesn’t have to look any further than “Food,” one of the best tracks I’ve heard out of his entire catalog. Ghostface spits “I used to rob and steal now I make food for thought/fresh like the air you snort/ I drop jewels, little nuggets of wisdom seeds that keep growing/ paid my debts to society so no more owing.” A more mature Ghost leaves nothing in the chamber as a tear almost leaves my duct.

Never have I listened to a Hip-Hop album and just vibed out, that all changed on “Stark’s Reality.” BadBadNotGood took me on a joy ride through town, and for two minutes I didn’t look at the meter.

The one flaw I found on the album is “Tone’s Rap,” which is a dry storytelling scenario with Ghost as a pimp. The lyrics don’t towel snap and ends abruptly after one verse.

Sour Soul is a collaborative album that can definitely be held in the same hallway as Ghost and Raekwon projects with the two artists working as a well oiled machine. The production provided by BadBadNotGood serves as more than backdrop, the live instruments tell many tales, making you wonder why other artists don’t go this route. Many rappers claim that they are “making a movie,” no sir, THIS album is a movie. Ghostface becomes the great athlete that can no longer use his best attribute, the critics believe he is done, and learns a new move to school the hungry wolves wishing to pick him off. Gone are the unorthodox rhymes, now replaced by more vivid imagery (which I thought couldn’t be possible) and a more custom fitting beat selection.

A classic? We all know that word gets thrown around like frisbees before letting the album marinate for more than a month. What Sour Soul is, artists go their whole career trying to achieve. A complete body of work that isn’t spearheaded by a single song, like many other projects that leave the consumer disgusted that he/she spent their hard earned money only to get garbage in return.


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