Review: Ghostface Wears A Different Hat

Wrong In So Many Ways
Wrong In So Many Ways

Baseball season is over.  For the Red Sox, it was over one month ago today, the Red Sox were exposed as the subpar franchise that they are in a season-ending sweep by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Although largely unchanged from championship teams of years past, this Red Sox team lost the talent and the spark of other years- while gaining a steroids scandal (in David Ortiz) and a washed up relief man (in Billy Wagner).  So, while Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester munched Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, watched The Notebook, and cried themselves to sleep, the New York Yankees of New York, New York rampaged their way through the World Series.  They finished off the defending World-Series Champion Phillies in six games, never really giving them any hope.

So, I ask, why was Ghostface Killah sporting a green and red Boston Red Sox New Era cap at his Blind Pig performance on Monday night?  Ghostface Killah, man of the Stapleton housing projects of Staten Island, NY.  Take the Staten Island Ferry to the 4 train to Yankee Stadium.   Or, if you have to, even take the Staten Island Ferry to the 1 train to the 7 train to Shea Stadium (or the new Citi Field).  But, come on Ghost, you have to paddle across the river Styx to get to Fenway Park.

Although my barber, Bob, has explained to me on multiple occasions that the handshake and first 20 seconds of meeting someone new is the most important part of a good relationship, Ghostface quickly redeemed his horrendous first impression.  At 39 years old and over 15 years after the Wu-Tang Clan debut, Ghostface still has an intense and demanding stage presence.  Perhaps he is no longer the perpetually high, in your face, attention grabber of the 90’s, but as hip hop has grown, so has Ghost.  He still coaxed the audience to scream in support of their love of weed and conducted a vote of the crowd’s alcohol preference: Hennessey vs. Grey Goose.  But that doesn’t seem to be Ghostface’s gimmick anymore.  He still holds the crowd with his intricate word plays and boasting banter but he no longer seems to need to hold a blunt to connect with his audience.  With the tracks from the new album, he has also let some catchy hooks grab the audience as well.

Despite a bit of a persona change from Ghostface, the crowd remembered exactly who he is.  He could (and on a few occasions did) let the beat drop and let the sweat-soaked, cigarette-drenched crowd do his bidding, reciting every line to his fast paced stories.  He commanded an even greater response for the Wu-Tang hits (including “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing To Fuck With” and “C.R.E.A.M.”.

Not that Ghostface has never been sentimental – because he has- but it marks a different path when his best-known song is a track about his love for his pregnant girlfriend, complete with a light-hearted R&B loop.  As was apparent by his on-stage demeanor and set choice, Ghostface is content with the maturing of hip hop, the development of the Wu-Tang Clan, and his own, highly regarded status.

(Also, in my concert-going experience openers are generally not worth mentioning.  However, worth mentioning is local local, DJ Chill Will was on the ones and twos in between sets.  Chill Will has a show called The Prop Shop every Saturday night from 9pm-midnight on 88.3 WCBN– a show that I would very highly recommend to any dabbler in the art of hip hop)