Ghostface Killah may have just created the script for the first Quentin Tarantino musical.
Review by David Feltman
While fellow Wu-Tang clansman the RZA has been pursuing filmmaking aspirations with the kung fu flick “The Man with the Iron Fists,” Ghostface Killah may have just created the script for the first Quentin Tarantino musical. Blending Motown beats with hiphop, Ghostface Killah spins a grindhouse yarn about a betrayed mafia don that returns from the grave to seek vengeance. The premise sounds like “The Crow,” but plays like “Superfly.”
Both the sound and the concept of the album are perfectly married and brilliantly executed in the hands of Adrian Younge. Younge, the man behind the music of “Black Dynamite,” is more composer than producer. Rather than relying on canned beats and samples, Younge brings in a real drummer and a range of horns and spaghetti western strings to score Ghostface Killah’s revenge fantasy. Younge populates the record with a wide range of vibrant hybrid jazz and soul cues and builds a strong motif that is called back consistently throughout the album. It’s the sort of ingenuity you might expect from the likes of Madlib or Dangermouse.
Considering the album comes outfitted with an overture and an instrumental coda, it’s clear the duo had a cinematic experience in mind. And Twelve Reasons to Die succeeds in conjuring a movie with music. Every detail, down to the sound effects of rain falling and a drumbeat mimicking a heartbeat, has been thought out. There’s really not another album out there like this and it is Ghostface Killah’s best work since Fishscale. It’s early yet, but Twelve Reasons may easily be one of the best albums of the year.