(Produced by Lowkey unless noted)
1. To Be In Love (Featuring AG Lyonz) [Intro] | 2:51 | 3.5 - 3.75 (Produced by Rem)
The really overproduced version of Lust For Life. Singing isn’t really necessary, in my opinion, I would’ve preferred the beat to just ride on, and let the vocal sample expose. The song has grown on me though.
2. Larger Than Lyfe | 3:26 | 3.5 - 3.75
Sounds more important than it actually is, and it’s not as bad as you think when I typed it.
3. Crazy | 3:29 | 3.75 - 4 (Produced by Don Cannon)
Though a little generic, the production does fit what Ghostwridah says rather nicely.
4. Red Bottoms | 3:46 | 4 - 4.25 (Produced by Don Cannon)
Reminds me of Christian Rich’s production. Sample was so obvious.
5. Look At Me Now (Featuring Kirby) | 3:25 | 3.75
Absolutely love the moment where the beat drops to a minimalist (phoned in sounding) heartbeat. But why does every single production sounds like it’s using the same synths?
6. Release Therapy [Futurelude] | 2:36 | 4.25 - 4.5 (Produced by Mr. Familiar)
Ghostwridah truly sounds like he’s on the edge of paranoia, which works very well with the production front.
7. Still Not Famous (Featuring Mayday) | 3:44 | 3 (Produced by Miami Beat Wave)
8. Ridin (Featuring Bun B) | 2:58 | 4.5 - 4.75 (Produced by DJ Ideal)
An relatively perfect representation of the marriage of elements of electronica and the Texas screw. Absolutely love the moment where the drums come in when the production is truly chopped & screwed, I really wish this was like 20 seconds longer.
9. Bright Summer Lights (Featuring Summer J.A.E) | 4:25 | 3.5 - 3.75
10. Celebrate Lyfe | 4:10 | 4 - 4.25
Very artfully produced.
11. Welcome To Goodbye (Featuring AG Lyonz) | 4:05 | 4.25 - 4.5 (Produced by Rem)
The drums really stick out in this sound, which ultimately helps it in the long run. His verses are striking here, and the singing actually works. “The word families overrated, so I trust few”
Overall Rating: 42 - 44.25 | 3.9 / 5 | 76 - 80% | Solid; few major reservations; repeated listens suggested: TRY IT
Although it may not look apparent at a first glance, this is just the start of the mixtapes and rappers that will allude to Drake’s So Far Gone, and in a broad spectrum, Kanye West’s 808’s & Heartbreak.
Ghostwridah, much like many new rappers are part of the new generation of rappers that many eyes will be observing, and this is one of the early decades offerings of the new standard. Ghostwridah is a rapper who I would put into this “heartbreak rapper” category, rappers who specifically talk about the struggles, heartbreak, woman, and topics that is sensitive to them and the viewer, and someone who feels directly influenced from 808’s & Heartbreak. (This is even more apparent from Ghostwridah, considering his last mixtape was directly influenced from Kanye West, 305’s & Heartbreak) Ghostwridah, on this mixtape doesn’t necessarily talk about woman, he wants to get his artistic integrity across, through the trials, struggles, aspirations, events through this pursuit and journey to the controversial subject of, fame.
Partly because it’s a mixtape, the quality of this is somewhat lesser than the “heartbreak” album compatriots, but regardless of the engineering / overall feel, this is a very offical project regardless.
There are aspects of this endless journey that Ghostwridah specifically speaks about, which is all under the subject staying true to the idea of fame. This includes the idea of being larger than life, feeling insane, celebrating this short life, the simple ideas, such as just riding around in the hood, or the deeply personal, such as the confession of your troubles, your sins, and a lot more. Ghostwridah, while being very personal much like Drake, he gives this album a more, “hip hop flair” than Drake did on Thank Me Later. Sure, Ghostwridah can’t sing, but Ghostwridah just gives us the straight rapping about the issues that truly concern him.
The strongest aspect of the album is definitely the production from the relatively unknown producers. While Don Cannon is expected to do well (And he does) with the seemingly soothing synths of Crazy, or the clunking cowbell, serenading, nightlife track, Red Bottoms, Don Cannon doesn’t give the best preformance here. It’s when Ghostwridah truly dives into the concept of the whole song, and gives us masterpieces such as the Mr. Familiar produced, brooding, very paranoid track, Release Therapy, or mabye the electronica, chopped & screwed combined trunk rattler, Ridin from DJ Ideal. The common in-house producers in Ghostwridah’s team also have their moments, with the (previously, but still good) wailing electric guitar-fest Celebrate Lyfe, or the final, drum-slamming, synth-riding, conclusion, Welcome To Goodbye. When the moments work, they really do make Ghostwridah part of this “heartbreak rapper” category seem truly genuine.
Of course, that’s not to say that doesn’t have it’s flaws. Drake on TML gave us the concept, and the seemingly backdrop story, the music, all packaged in to the pop moment, Ghostwridah, while delivering it well, simply gives us the songs, without any real sequencing, or true feel to them. The main gripe is the song, Still Not Famous with features generic production from the lone production spot of Miami Beat Wave. While, this is a song that continues the flow, it’s the song that I hoped that Ghostwridah wouldn’t mistakenly make. Generic guitar sounds, typical chorus, it doesn’t work unlike the rest of this album. I’m not saying this to insult him, I feel that he gave this album quite admirably, but when you’re trying to do emulate styles like Drake or Kanye West, it’s a lot more personal, indepth, and also makes the most sense, to yourself, not to the fans itself. I can easily discuss about the lyricism, but it’s definitely heartfelt from Ghostwridah, so I would prefer that you just listen.
This album is an unexpected gem of 2010, because initally I didn’t except too much from this emcee, who I originally downloaded, just to give him another chance. Don’t let my rating influence you, while this review gives a respectable 78 average for this album, the real rating is however you interpret it as you listen to this album. If you can relate to Drake, Kanye West, or other unnamed similar contemporaries, much like myself, then you’ll find this a compelling, and another reason for anticipating the rest of this year. This is the new standard of a mixtape, so all you rappers listen in.