Friday, 26 April 2013

Twelve Reasons To Die, GhostFace Killah & Adrian Younge - The Review

The DeLucas pressed Tony's remains, into twelve vinyl records,
One for each member of the  family, but little did they know ...,
He will return.


A vicious and angry Tony Starks returns  from the dead as Ghostface Killah to 
take revenge on all his enemies - the DeLucas and Carmella Logan.

The Concept
Do a mafia style remake of the famous Julius Caesar play, incorporating into it 
the story of the comic book superhero, Ironman.

Have it written entirely in rhyme and verse, cast a number of skilled late nineties
hip-hop emcees (largely drawn from the Wutang family), and have them deliver 
a performance to die for.

The Cast, Crew And Their Craft
Ghostface Killah gives off a near flawless performance as the main character, 
Tony Starks and his 'ghost', making us feel his rage, his ambition, his conflict in 
having to choose the love of his life over the warning's of his crew, his fear, his fall, 
his return and his gleeful joy in his bloody revenge.

Adrian Younge directs the play, bringing the set to life with his hard, heavy, slow, 
fast, or thumping beats as the scene demands. Our narrator Rza fills the empty holes 
in the story with his haunting, inflectionless voice.

Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Killa Sin, Cappadonna, U-Don, and William 
Hart all deliver incredible beat riding performances laced with fluid-like flow. 
Special mention to Killa Sin for a memorable in jail spitting on Revenge is sweet.

The Story
The curtain rises to reveal an angry Ghostface Killah, warning us to beware of 
his stare, lest he turns us into stone. He proceeds to give us a preview of the play,
invoking our curiosity through mentions of Medusa, DeLucas, Tony Starks and 
generally promises us of blood and gore.

In the next few tracks, we get introduced to the story of Tony Starks, an ambitious 
young man born into the life of crime, well spotted by the DeLuca mafia family and 
put with the family to grow. He is however despised despite the quick rise of his power, 
for what seems to him to be his dark skin and not given the opportunity to be a made 
man. Resenful, he leaves the family to set up his own crew which quickly gains influence 
with connections in Rome, Sicily and Colombia. The rise of the black suits or the Black 
Gambino, naturally brings him into conflict with the DeLucas and it isn't long before
he has to declare war on the DeLucas familia.

In the throes of the war, some of his crew raise questions about the loyalties of the 
love of his life, and he dismisses these accusations and begins to wonder who his real
enemies really are. As it turns out Logan was indeed a set-up, and she leads him 
straight into the arms of the DeLucas, who kill? him and press his remains into twelve 
vinyls, one for each member of the family. 

Whether he discovers powers in the vinyls, i.e, his music, or if it is just his strong desire for 
revenge that empowers his ghost is unclear, but what is certain is that Tony Starks returns 
as an invincible superhero, a la, Ironman, going by the name of Ghostface Killah to take 
his sweet revenge.

The Stand-Outs
Even though U-God delivers a less than stellar verse, the stand out track sees GFK and 
Inspectah Deck ride the beat superbly on Blood On The Cobblestones.

Killah Sin delivers the standout verse on Revenge Is Sweet.

The Resolution
It is a little unusual for a stand out album in a woman disparaging genre like hip hop to 
reserve the last show for the main female character. 

The Verdict
Recommended for all true hip hop heads, particularly fans of nineties hip hop, or 
storytelling hip hop.

Anybody else with a love for rhyme and reason and without a serious aversion to 
crime, blood and gore might find it an interesting listen.

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