Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids

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Ghost treats A.K. like a veteran would treat a game on the hardwood; he picks his spots, lets his teammates have their moments, and takes over when necessary.

Albeit the respectable effort of his last solo album Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, Apollo Kids is the return to normalcy that Ghostface Killah fans will be relieved to receive. Built on brute lyricism, much like this year’s Wu-Massacre, Ghost revels in his ability to be over the top and distinguishable.


It’s to be noted that this venerable effort from Tony Starks is strapped on time. Clocking in at a meager 41 minutes over 12 tracks, Apollo Kids may initially seem scarce in material considering the amount of features staggered throughout. However, Ghostface makes good use of this time with eccentric rhymes that we’ve come to love. No better example of this is the two and a half minute presentation on “Starkology.” Over frequency bleeps and aggressive horns, Ghost demands respect amongst his peers as he spits, “I’ll send a little lullaby / Who gonna testify / The way a gruesome murder been televised / Stupid, my name still ring in the streets though / In ’86 I used to slip crack through the peep hole.”

As mentioned before, a long list of guests pave their way on Apollo Kids, and Ghost stacks the deck is his favor. Teaming up with Joell Ortiz and Game on “Drama” , the trio waxes poetic tales of an earlier street life that sticks with them to this day. Becoming his go-to producers since RZA’s notable absence on The Big Doe Rehab, Sean C & LV lace the beat with a minimalistic drum line that gives the record a raw demeanor. The same can be said for “Troublemakers” , which includes Wu-Massacre brethren Method Man and Raekwon, plus the addition of the ever-provoking Redman. The results are exemplary, with Jake One’s funky drum sampling allowing each rapper to paint their own lyrical picture. Interestingly enough, those collaborations don’t even covet as the album’s highlight; that goes to the nostalgic performance of “In The Park” Pitting Ghostface together with The Roots’ Black Thought, the two veteran emcees deliver an homage that would make KRS-One shed tears of joy.  

With such outstanding performances, it’s also easy to pinpoint the mistakes on Apollo Kids. Such is the case with “Handcuffin Them Hoes” featuring Jim Jones. True, we’ve heard Ghost make his claim as the world’s most eccentric womanizer, but this time around the effort is at best a throwaway verse of sexual advances. As Jim Jones closes the track out with lackluster lyricism, “Handcuffin Them Hoes” comes and goes without little notice. Then on “Street Bullies,” Ghost opts out of delivering a verse and instead limits himself to a weak hook. This leaves the realization that a second string squad of Sheek Louch, Wiggs and Sun God can’t hold up the iron flag when the time comes calling.   

When it’s all said and done, Ghostface Killah treats Apollo Kids like a seasoned veteran would treat a game on the hardwood; he picks his spots, lets his teammates have their moments, and takes over when necessary. In that respect, Apollo Kids is another project we can tally up in Ghost’s win column.

115 Comments

  • Anonymous

    review didnt even mention black tequilla and having cappa donna back in top form

  • raz

    really enjoyed this album, ghost sounds as hungry as ever and the beats are nice

  • killa bee

    THE GAME VERSE WAS SO WACK AGAIN HE PROVES HE DOESNT BELONG IN THIS GAME

  • lambo

    this album is hip hop in its purest form

  • subz

    another good album from ghostface, but no way near a classic. His best albums is supreme clientele and fishscale. period! The crap tune is the one with jim jones. That doesn't suit ghostface. I feel ghostface has more to come with his projects. even the tune with buster rhymes was average. To be honest bsuter needs to come back. His rhymes are rubbish nowadays. Always about the same subject. He's a vey creative artist. Good album but not a classic

  • The-Influence

    Just copped this.. SOLID album all the way thru. Straight Hip-Hop.. Rugged beats.. Fav track is "In The Park" with Black Thought. Classic. Love how the album is limited to just 12 tracks and no skits.. Makes it a great listen. Not a fan of "Handcuffin' Them Ho's" with wack ass Jim Jones. Game really came thru on "Drama" though. I've been bangin' this album for days now. If you are or ever were a Wu or Ghostface fan, definitely cop this. Raw Hip-Hop. Solid 4 mics.

  • Steven Ireland

    lriycs sound hard but damn these beats are wack as fuck!!

  • Anonymous

    one of the most consistent of wu tang clan

  • hiphopjunkie

    best hip hop album ive heard in a minute . BUYING THIS

  • Alain Rangel

    Short but sweet.

  • Edi Kajmolli

    handcuffin em hoes is a great track. Im not a dipset or a jim jones fan but his humour really adds to the song. He bites Cam'rons style of adlibs but its entertaining example. where she went, and PRISONA!

  • mobb deep

    been a fan since day one and 15 years ghost still killin it WU TANG WU TANG!! WU TANG TRULY IS FOREVER. WU TANG GNA KILL IT IN 2011

  • jskeeeeeeellloo

    ALbum of the year!!!

  • beezy

    you des shit albhum rock and got xtremely beat man des is a real hiphop

  • James Killedadonkey Taylor

    motherfucker this is GFK! he got rhymes 4 days, weeks, month, years, decades!! still hardcore since day one...wu forever!

  • BK's Finest

    Album is ok... first and last tracks are the best...

  • Timmy Althaus

    I think it's funny that he mentioned Sean C & LV, but didn't even give the time of day to mention Frank Dukes; this is dude's first big break and he gets like 4 beats on Ghost's new album? That's an epic win.

  • Anonymous

    Still had a couple of shit songs, but great album overall! Loved the tracks with Black Thought and Busta. And Jake One had the best beat by far! Not bad, Ghost! Keep killin' 'em!

    • acc04

      clicked reply on the wrong shit... \/\/\/\/

    • acc04

      The Jim Jones track was chill, but shouldn't have featured Jim Jones. Shit coulda been hotter. Jim Jones is a sucker. Game did kill that shit though, although dude is more irrelevant than ever right now.

  • Beezlebud

    should of replace Game with Inspectah Deck should of replaced Jim Jones with a 2nd Redman feature should of replaced the sheek track with a Meth Deck Rae n Ghost track BEEZLEBUD hit me on TWITTER

    • G

      I agree Game was wack, but Jim Jones is the worst rapper alive, soulja boy lyrics nd garbage flow, simple minded fake. I would beat da shit outta him. He doesnt represent nothin. Handcuffin Dem Hoes wasnt exactly a disaster but it was easily the worst track on the lbum, nd I was also upset about drama, i expected more from joell nd game sucks. Documentary nd LAX were good but hes collapsed, phantom is gay.

    • Beezlebud

      Kool check your attitude lil man put ya pom poms down n clean your fuckin ears out

    • Kool

      fuck outta here@ Beezlebud.. Game murdered tht shit... and the joint with Jim is mad chill

    • Anonymous

      Games WACK!!!

    • How I Got Over

      Game killed that shit. I'd replace Joell, he didn't suit the beat IMO.

  • micah dancy

    Classic Album WU-TANG FOREVER!!!!!!

  • srob

    Pure"FIRE" Ghost takes it bake to the basic's.

  • Drake Dilla

    ''Wu Massacre part two...the saga continues, honestly rae, meth, and Ghostface especially are continuing the wu tradition...Yeah this GF album sounds real good..production bangs hard, and Ghost still spittin fire..What more could u want in an album? 4, 4.5...short n sweet...Ghost doin his thang...One of the illest emcees in the game today bar none...he did it, in the 90's and still doin the 2000s, that says alot...Hip Hop Lives.."

  • Drake Dilla

    Wu Masscre part two...the saga continues, honestly rae, meth, and Ghostface especially are continuing the wu tradition...Yeah this GF album sounds real good..production bangs hard, and Ghost still spittin fire..What more could u want in an album? 4, 4.5...Wu still one of the greatest in the game..legendary

  • G

    Sick album, 5/5, besides Big Boi this was the best album of the year, production and lyrics are fire, classic wu tang. If it's true that he's puttin out something even bigger than this, I will go crazy--def buy this thing, he deserves more than 13000. Thats bullshit, pisses me off. He should be at a million by the 3rd week. smh

  • Dylann17

    An excellent and solid album from the Wu-Tang vet. 5 stars.

  • Fuck y'all

    What the fuck is wrong with Ghost's fans? This sold just 13000 first week and its an excellent album. This dude used to be platinum and gold. Why is no one buying it anymore, especially when he puts out a hot album like this?

  • zodiackiller

    im buying this album for sure this is dope GFK bringing some heat to this dried up rap game again .

  • Ghost is the greatest

    This is a great collection of tracks, even though it doesn't feel like a complete album. It's still one of the best albums put out this year. The best Ghost albums in order in my opinion. 1. Ironman 2. Fishscale 3. Supreme Clientele 4. Apollo Kids 5. Big Doe Rehab 6. Ghostdini 7. Pretty Toney Still haven't got Bulletproof Wallets or More Fish, but I'll get around to it.

  • How I Got Over

    Ghost said a couple of months back that this is just a warm-up for "something bigger", and even this is dope as fuck.

  • GFK

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR GHOSTFACE G.O.A.T WU TANG FOREVER

  • Patrick@TheRapSpot

    I review this a while ago. But I Started a hip hop website. And I'm looking for some followers/commenters. Its called TheRapSpot. We have a few things that are different. Any mixtape that comes out, we have a section called Worth the Download? where we review it and let you know if its worth checking out. We also have Sample Saturdays. This is a little game where we stream a sample and you have to be the first to send in an email telling us the sample and who used it. We are more personal. My email is available for any questions (patrick@therapspot.com) Thanks if you check it out. (sorry for spamming) -Patrick (Owner/Creator/Writer) www.TheRapSpot.com

  • harshstyle

    I am telling you all right now after this album i feel that the return of the MC will come back to hip hop! Buy this album !!!!

  • Charles ExSavior

    Ghost is officially back on this. I'll admit I was lost on Ghostdini ("Baby" was my shit tho) but this album got some really good tracks.

  • JtR

    The album is so fucking dope. Starkology is CRAZY

  • black gretzky

    The album is solid, but it's not as cohesive as his previous efforts. It sounds rushed and thrown together. Just like Wu Massacre. No classic Ghost skits or interludes, only twelve tracks long. The Pete Rock joint is at least two years old, no Rza or True Master production.Timing of the album is suspect as Ghost just announced barely a month ago that he was dropping. Like Red, he needs to get off Def Jam too. The full effort is not there. A few bangers, but a weaker album by Ghosts standards.

  • kps

    One of the best albums this year

  • devistaytor

    REAL HIP-HOP IS BACK! NEWYORK SUPPORT THIS ARTIST!! FOR THOSE THAT DONT KNO HERE IS SO HOT SHIT THAT OUT....... David Banner & 9th Wonder : Death Of A Pop Star Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No): Gutter Water & GHOSTFACE : Apollo Kids (album) NY STAND UP!

  • ignition

    On the cool...Ghost went innnn on this joint. Hip Hop lives!!

  • Marc

    This album was fire except for one track... I needed this fix. I was getting to used to bulShit rap. Ghost never lost. Please support the artist and cop this shit

  • FourTrackFiasco

    Ghost is the Tim Duncan of the rap game. He's got his championships... He's proven himself as one of the best to do it, yet is still underrated... He's past his prime but is still putting up all star numbers.

    • popazit

      damn crazy comparison. he like ray allen. he been the superstar. hes still here, breaking records, winning games. he got the hardware. keeps himself in incredible shape. everybody else fallin off, gettin hurt, ridin the bench, playin overseas. hes still setting up, pickin his shots, icing niggas when the lights on. no 40 year old is spittin on ghost level. hes surpassed g rap, as the gulliest nigga, rawest emcee, at 40.

  • Pain77OCE

    Classic GFK!!! This is What Hip Hop Needs Right Now!!!

  • junMaf*ckn

    Ahhh.... Niice to see Ghost Deini get that 4!! LOVE the beat to that first track. Coppin this...

  • Ironman

    Just got this in physical today go cop it its a must have album of the year !! Ghost soundin as hungry as ever wu tang forever who thought wen 36 chambers came out ghost would be the most consistent rapper of all time REAL HIP HOP no homo gay wayne drizzy or feminem! Tight ass jeans makes my blood curdle fo real fuck these bitch ass rappers for ruining hip hop!!

  • I'm At Work And Bored

    picked this up today. My favorite album this year

  • JBoogie Matthews

    Hot Fire Like always From Tony Starks!!

  • Bvbvbvbv

    I have nothing to say, except that I give this a 5.

  • SROB

    APOLLO KIDS IS WHAT PURE HIP HOP IS ABOUT. ALL THE FEATURES (EXCEPT JIM JONES)FIT PERFECTLY.GHOSTFACE HAS DONE IT AGAIN,TO BAD HE WONT GET THE PROPS HE DESERVES.

  • KLAP215

    GhostFace Killah just gave us real HipHop heads another epic classic!!!!

  • Francisco J. Puente

    Sick album. Idk why people hate on Ghostdini. probably dont got a chick to smoke an L with in bed while listening to Ghost's poetry. Anyway every Ghost album is better than the last!

  • MP

    Damn, Ghost Did It again!!!!!! This is HIP HOP excellence!!!!

  • DNO

    ghost always delivers. if "handcuffin' them hoes" and "street bullies" had better features and rae jumped on at least 1 more track....classic!

  • Soulja

    Worst album of the year. Soulja Boy is album is much better.

  • Edi Kajmolli

    yo its fuckin amazing how this man has gone through so much shit and is still the one of the most consistent rappers to ever do it... when WU came out, ghost was just another member but he elevated himself to the most notable (arguably with Rae). His style used to be more obscure and very difficult for alot of people to understand, so he simplified his diction but maintains the rawness and that same youthful voice that puts you on the edge of your seat... So much respect for GFK your the most slept on rapper of all fuckin time man Top Five Dead Or Alive 100%

  • macvaca

    damn this is out already ? buying this all day GHOST IS THET ILLEST EVER !! BOMB ALBUM OOOH WEEEE

  • ts5000

    this album kinda sounds the same as his other ones but its dope its easily a top 10 album of 2010 anything ghostface puts out is gonna be decent

  • rain

    Album pretty good,better than Wu Massacre in fact. This by no means is Solo Ghostface album,it's more of a posse album. Can't wait to see what Ghost has in store for us next. I give it 4 star rating

  • Wu tang forever

    This album is ill ghost is one of the greatest ever the most consistent rapper of all time, this album is a classic should have got a 4.5 though for me!

  • arty hang

    ghost is the most consistent emcee ever. no other 20 year vet is bangin on niggas like this. this is just his compilation warm up record, but it shits on just about every other album dropping this year. hot beats, hot flows, visual bars, press play and enjoy. never rhymes to wack beats, always kills it. ghost put it to every artist featured too, he had black thought burning his hottest rhymes to keep up. ghost is immortal, while a lot of other legends stuck back in the day, or sounding dusty on the mic, ghost still killin. legend.

  • Anonymous

    deserved a 4 1/2 easily imo. ill ass album, GO OUT AND BUY THIS SHIT.

  • Normont Terrorist

    GFK never disapoints even his worst tracks (which are not bad) shit on everyone elses Magnum Opus. He seems to do it with little effort, signs of a natural.

  • Charles ExSavior

    Wow. If you were disappointed with Ghostdini, THIS album bangs people. Pretty tough for me to decide at the moment if it's better than Big Doe Rehab or Pretty Toney album but the quality is up there. 5 stars on general principle, but personally I give this album a 7.75/10.

  • Anonymous

    Just as a I thought, another Pretty Toney like album. Very good but not great. I just had a feeling listening to it Ghost was getting rid of some “extra tracks” and the real heat is gonna be saved for SC 2. Troublemakers is probably my favorite track of the year. Why does Method Man always sound better on his features?

  • 718rob

    This is third best GFK album ever. That track with Jim Jones and track with Sheek sucks though, and Fishscale ain't have nothin' that sucked that bad. Buyin' after work today. Best Buy, lookout.

  • frank da tank

    This dude delivers album after album but get bum sales. People don't respect good music anymore. It's gonna be hard for the purest to remain faithful. The label don't even try to help out. Why ghost gotta come out in the fourth quarter ever year? Show that man some respect and push the album like it was Kanye, Drake or Lil Wayne! Anyway, I'm coppin it today. Wu-tang!

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    It would be even greater to see Rza return to his producin roots.

    • balls

      AIN'T THAT THE FUCKIN' TRUTH!!!!! ALL YOU DUDES ARE SAYIN THIS ALBUM IS BANANAS....I CAN'T RELY ON YALL, CAUSE HALF THE TIME YOU SAY THAT, SHIT SUCKS. IM GONNA GO COP THIS RIGHT NOW, AND I HOPE YALL ARE RIGHT...

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    Hard body ! Ghost is one off the illest!! Thanks 4 another classic! Wu Tang world wide baby

  • WUUUTANNNG

    Wuuuuu Taaaaaaaaaaaaaang For Life!

  • http://www.myspace.com/natwalkerbeats

    http://www.myspace.com/natwalkerbeats

  • Sean Michael Patrick Murphy

    Ghostface is the most consistent member of the Wu you can count on every time out..Meth, Chef, even my 2nd favorite GZA have let me down from time to time...

    • Charles ExSavior

      @Sean: Co-sign.

    • Jason Walker

      I haven't heard it yet,b.u.t. it'll be a banger like ALL his albums. Sometimes a meal(cd) can be small,yet full of flavor(beats) and nutrition(rhymes). It's a lotta junk food(too many to mention)on the market that consumers digest(listen to and buy) daily and it's causing health problems(negative influence. He's one on the greatest that did it! Peace Ghost!!!

  • Special Ed

    Reminds me of that Supreme Clientele, just better (I dare say that).. However, RZA's mastery of arranging tracks is missing... Meaning there is no flow. Another thing is the length of the album... It is sooo short, it leaves the listener wanting more... It's like stopping your favorite meal 3/4 way... Other than that... Ghost is back!!! Apollo Kids...

  • Ernes Salic

    this album is only the begining. supreme clientele 2!

  • FATSCAR

    i LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!!!!! ONE OK TRACK BUT THE REST OF THE ALBUM IS CRAZY!!!!!!!!!

  • Clarence Rogers

    about time he got back to tha real...not like his last 2 releases..this is dat fiyah!

    • Clarence Rogers

      Big Doe got minimal rotations...Ghostdeini got zero...this ain't as tough as Supreme Clientele or Ironman, but it's waaay better than the first two I mentioned. Personally, I Prefer GFK when he's on some super-lyrical,street shit. Ghostdeini n Big Doe was just him doing his thing over not so hot beats most of the time. I'm just happy he got back to a more hardcore sound..."Yolanda's House", was one of the FEW standouts on that album, where this joint is stripped down, lean, back to basics Ghost like I like it. Yeah, he always had songs that were about relationships, but Ghostdeini imo was too top heavy with 'em...this shit goes hard.

    • Edi Kajmolli

      whoa whoa... "the real?" ghost ALWAYS kept it real. He was never on that lovey dovey gay shit even when he did tracks bout relationships and things of that nature. In Ghost's own words Wizard of Poetry was about "grown man shit." And Big Doe Rehab was as real as it gets. Listen to "Yolanda's House" and tell me thats not real..

  • Anonymous

    Dope album, only one weak track. Rest is banging.

  • howulikeitbaby

    Yes Ghost. If this is the warm up, what the fuck is the heat ?!

  • AMAru

    very dope album, definitely a must have