Ghostface

The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam/Universal)

Since 1995's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and 1996's Ironman, Ghostface Killah has been the most consistent rapper of the Wu-Tang collective. While the rest of the clan continues to churn out average projects every couple of years, Ghostface has proudly carried the Wu-Tang torch on each release. However, The Pretty Toney Album finds Ghost stumbling a bit himself. Could this be the end of Wu-Tang as we know it? Even with the production of RZA, True Master and others, the disc suggests that the Wu brethren are close to passing their prime.

Pretty Toney starts off strong, with the traditional Wu-Tang sound on "Biscuits," "Kunta Fly Sh**" and "Metal Lungies," featuring Sheek Louch and Styles P. But shortly thereafter it starts to slip, with an annoying bathtub skit, the out-of-character "Save Me Dear" and the horrendous first single, "Tush," featuring Missy Elliott. More skits follow, breaking up any momentum the album might have had. And even though Ghost attempts to save things near the end with the instant classic "Run," featuring Jadakiss, and the introspective "Be This Way," the record gets weighed down by songs like "Tooken Back" and the pseudo-club joint "Ghostface." All things considered, Pretty Toney just might end up being a career killah.

 
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