One week after releasing A Better Tomorrow with the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah returned with another addition to his solo discography. 36 Seasons is another concept album similar to 2013’s Twelve Reasons To Die, as it sounds like a screenplay/musical in album format (and it also comes with a comic book). This could possibly be a prequel (?) to Twelve Reasons To Die, as Ghostface plays yet another character named Tony Starks who returns home after nine years (or 36 seasons), and finds his hood corrupted by drug dealers and crooked police. Ghost (Starks) decides he has to put an end to it, and so we have our adventure in this superhero tale. AZ co-stars as Starks’ former friend-turned-police officer, Kool G Rap co-stars as the city’s drug kingpin, and Pharoahe Monch guest stars as the doctor who gives Starks his Darth Vader-like mask to breathe after he’s betrayed and injured.
It should be noted that The Revelations handle all of the production on this album, with various co-producers on certain tracks. They give the album a similar vibe to Twelve Reasons To Die, but (in my opinion) it’s less cinematic. The album is a little slow to start, as the three main characters have to introduce themselves, and Ghostface has to establish his character as the main star. We spend time following Ghost as his character learns his girlfriend has moved on since he’s been away for so long, and he reunites with old friends. Things pick up quickly as Ghost tries to take down the drug lords in his city and gets betrayed. I won’t spoil the story, but the final act is action packed as Ghost goes to war and comes out a hero.
This is another brilliant album by Ghostface, as he proves yet again that he’s the king of storytelling raps. It’s also awesome to see AZ, Kool G Rap and Pharoahe Monch collaborate with Ghostface, let alone see them all buy into the story and play their roles beautifully. However, there are a few songs I end up skipping, even though I know they’re necessary to the plot. I’m not feeling the songs that are only by The Revelations without any rapping on them, but I understand these songs are meant to separate the three acts. There’s also the single “Love Don’t Live Here No More” that’s just too slow for my liking, but Ghost needs it to establish his character at the beginning. Other than that, it’s an excellent album that should be played all in one sitting.
My Grade: A-
My Joint (without spoiling the ending):
Remember to check back here tomorrow to see which album came in at #8 on the countdown!