Classic Day – Staten Island Labels


“The game got real,” describes Ghostface Killah in a mock press interview taking on hundreds of cameras and reporters all within the grasp of two-and-a-half minutes. Before the sunshine and glory of Wu-Tang Clan, The Pretty Toney Album is a mix of tough street knowledge rhymes and a real ear to the ground of instrumentation.

Based almost entirely on the facets of soul records being chopped and reworked, The Pretty Toney Album makes a lane in being tucked away as a classic record by name alone. The context makes for a piece of hip-hop history that with each second of time passing, becomes illustrative of New York pride within a lane.

Opening with “Biscuits” as the first track to feature rhymes, Ghostface Killah is as influential as ever. In the same time frame where Ye dropped The College Dropout. Madvillainy dropped, and a time where Jadakiss dropped Kiss Of Death, hip-hop at this time was at a golden age revival of sounds.

Where The Pretty Toney Album differs comes in the form of having a heavyweight vocalist rhyming as if he was covering a James Brown record. Especially when taking a look at “Beat The Clock” where the instrumental comes from a Laura Lee sample. The sample of “Since I Fell For You” makes for one of hip-hops greatest chops where the rampaging blitz of horns and strings create a flash of gold chains, traffic jams, oversized white clothes, and a sunny day in upper Manhattan.

When the vocals come in, Ghostface is ecstatic and as sporadic in topics as a fiend on the corner spot. He illustrates in the second verse, “I work magic out of the liquor store, give me a dollar and I turn that bitch into five. And all I need is one more, to get things started. Get retarded, a one-two – I’mma fix these artist.”

While rugged and a speed demon on “Beat The Clock,” Ghostface Killah is truly a maestro that quickly uses this Fastbreak as a dash to the rims of rap. He continues, “Hold your breath, say my name five times. It takes practice, decap’ him with saying my name, it’s like matches. It’s time to fuck up on account on a house or blow.”

Later pieces like “Save Me Dear” are less of a lightning press through the walls and more of a soulful illustration of profound love as told through the guise of Ghostface. The outrageous beauty of Freddie Scott’s “(You) Got What I Need” becomes the basis for Ghostface Killah’s “Save Me, Dear. Through around the midpoint of the record, “Save Me Dear” gives The Pretty Toney Album enormous momentum.

Beginning a heart sunken display, Ghostface says, “Her name was Kim, this light-skinned girl from Shaolin. Stood by my side when my world was caved in. She cooked for me, fix me up, plus made me happy. Every time she told me she loved me, I said, ‘no backsies.’” As the instrumentation introduces booming percussion, Ghostface uses this poetry to introduce a grader idea of stepping into the arms of love instead of rhyming.

He says before reaching a final end, “Think that’s the reason why, can’t leave, can’t lie. Look you dead in the eye, word to fuck up, like Ralph, baby you’re the greatest. I’mma sell my guns and with the cash, I’mma bring you to Vegas.”

Some of the real beauty of The Pretty Toney Album comes from Ghostface Killah’s obsessive confessions through sound over some of his most interesting and engaging production pieces. Like one final play of the story, Ghostface Killah takes less of the knife on The Pretty Toney Album and is instead opting for a more gorgeous and guarding narrator.

Listen To The Pretty Toney Album Here!!! – Spotify/iTunes

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