I’ll never fully come to terms with the fact that rappers actually age like mortals, but at least I can throw together a humble tribute to one of the greats in my humble corner of the Internet. Ghosty turns 40 today; here’s a dispatch from my emotional landscape:
• The Pill, too, was born on this day (in 1960). Without being too crass, let’s just say that the birth and subsequent music of Ghosty has given me sexual freedom in a way only equaled by oral contraceptives.
• The Taurean man is known to be affable and friendly, but in such need of stability that he can become possessive and stubborn. He’s also prone to brooding and dark moods. I think we all remember the “I’m just a lonely old man and people don’t know that” incident of 2007. I was a wreck for almost a week, you’ll recall, worrying and saving up money for a plane ticket to NY so I could hug him.
Bruno Spoerri – “Hymn of Taurus.”
• Sexually depraved lyrics. Having recorded with El-P, Mobb Deep, Doom, Styles P., Kool G Rap. Songs about white women in knee high boots and bracelets. The high-pitched, breathless flow. The way I feel totally out of the loop sometimes when I listen to the slang and can’t keep the fuck up, yet I just want more and more. Keeping it weird.
(just an unorganized collection of things I love about him)
• Back-in-time pretend time: on 9 May 1970, “American Woman” and “Turn Back the Hands of Time,” noted displays of bassline prowess, were riding high on the charts. Psychedelic Shack just came out (March), “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was on the radio. Funkadelic came out. Wilson Pickett, “Get Me Back on Time, Engine #9.”; The Spinners, “It’s a Shame”; Stevie’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” with that joyous collision of bassline and tambourine as an opener–all of ’em were new and were immediate classics. The Derek & the Dominoes album with “Layla” on it came out. Next month, in June 1970, Band of Gypsys will come out. In the fall, Paranoid by Black Sabbath will come out. Obviously baby Dennis Coles was destined for musical greatness, being born in this musical climate. Meanwhile, the only groundbreaking musical thing that happened in apartment 15 last week was Gucci leaving So Icey.
Just the sheer craftsmanship of this song. Grab your headphones and indulge me, please.
And with today being what it is, I’m pulling out the old “Ghostface and your mom have a lot in common” post from last year.
This tall, handsome man from New York who has the face of a ghost could absolutely come over to your house for some coffee and lovely conversation with your mom, over there in the breakfast nook. Ragu and nutmeg, Camay, scales of fish, Betty Crocker: mothers understand these references in Toney’s breathless high pitch. Plus you got all those mentions of actresses, American presidents, kings, emperors, French-Canadian chanteuses, a bunch of athletes (tennis, football, boxing, wrasslin’), Colombian businessmen, game show hosts, ’60 and ’70s soul singers, ’80s pop stars, messiahs, ex-“Today Show” hosts, Rat Pack-ers, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike (sorry)…it’s really so obvious that Toney and the moms of the world could chat about pop culture for an extended period of time. (Hi Ego Trip, it’s me again. I’m really disappointed in you for not seeing this first.)
It weakens my argument to have to omit certain lines because not everybody’s mom would catch the references that mine would, but there’s still enough convincing material here. For example, I feel that I can be honest and admit that I had to leave out that Sonny Carson mention from “Murda Goons”; as fresh as my own mom is, she is unfamiliar with Sonny. However, I’m proud to say that I could include any verses mentioning Slick Rick, since my mom is quite familiar and could even pick him out in some sort of group Def Jam photo if asked (you would too if you had me for a daughter). Similarly, I included the Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler stuff in case your mom watches football like mine. PS, the only Jaime Summers in a middle-aged mom’s world should be Lindsay Wagner, and my mom doesn’t understand the verb “to train” the way it’s used by Ghost* and I’m fine with that. Ssshhhh.
Puppy love, gorgeous face, amazed by lip gloss
Cherry scent, when the princess spoke yo it bounced off
Mole like Marilyn Monroe, threw a rose in her mouth
Wherever God go will be Mrs. Coke
– “Child’s Play”
Wu-Tang Clan spark the wicks and
However, I master the trick just like Nixon
– “Bring Da Ruckus”
I ran the Dark Ages, Constantine and great Henry the Eighth
Built with Genghis Khan, the red suede Wally Don
– “4th Chamber”
Blow backs in, flip raps like forty-eight bundles
Dinner plates, deadly front gates, celeb Bryant Gumbel
– “We Made It”
With starwriters like I fucked Celine Dion
Stuck everything that’s the god’s honest beyond
– “9 Milli Bros.”
Thanks to the revolver, Ramik had the leap from the heat
Like he was Frogger, bang monster King Arthur
Guns older than Bob Barker, graze comin out the nose barrel
Trouble maybe, then we from Harvard
– “Who Are We”
Sho nuff, hit the bank and thrust
Cool Nauticas, *Jamie Summers got trained on the tour bus
– “Iron Maiden”
I know this chick from the hood named Courtney Cox
And her brain is easy to pick like faulty locks
That’s how the God do, Motown twenty-five
My orals like Smokey’s voice, little moist, but choice
– “Stay True”
Kiss the pyramid experiment with high explosive
I slapbox with Jesus, lick shots at Joseph
– “Daytona 500”
Burgundy minks, whips with sinks in em
Broccoli blown, illa disease breath, elephant skin
Meet the black Boy George, dusted on my honeymoon
– “Stroke of Death”
That’s the same kid that cut his wrists, talkin bout the cuffs did it
He ran away, frontin majorly, eyes like Sammy Davis jr.
– “The Grain.” Pretty much his whole verse. (Queen Elizabeth, Vanna White, the Pope.)
Slinging the backs of five Cleopatras
A cocaine chef, I stretch money like elastic
My raps is bigger, dynamics with the muscle advantage
Jay Cutler on dust, when I blam shit
– “Rec-Room Therapy”
Fly shit like Curtis Mayfield and his intro
Throw this in your whip, convent, your tens blow
– “Ghost Showers”
As I stroll the globe and terrorize the planet
With a Bill Clinton mask and them Playskool hens
– “The Mask”
I give a order to my peeps across the water
To go and snatch up props all around the border
And get far like a shootin star
‘Cause who I are, is dim in the light of Pablo Escobar
– “Protect Ya Neck”
You two-faces, scum of the slum, I got your whole body numb
Blowin like Shalamar in eighty-one
Sound convincin, thousand dollar court by convention
Hands, like Sonny Liston, get fly permission
Laying n—as like ceramic tile
I’m like Urlacher, beasting at the top of the pile
– “New Wu”
Chop the O, sprinkle a lil’ snow inside a Optimo
Swing the John McEnroe, rap rock’n’roll.
Aiyyo spiced out Calvin Coolidge, loungin with 7 duelers
The Great Adventures of Slick, lickin with 6 rugers.
The Betty Crocker, marvel cake stakes admissor
wax janitor, black Jack Mulligan from Canada
– “Bells of War”