As fans of both artists anyway, my interest heightened when I first heard Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD’s next projects would be a collaborative studio album. With Ghostface Killah being one of the most recognisable, consistent and acclaimed faces of the Wu-Tang Clan, and with BADBADNOTGOOD’s experimental style of jazz continuing to be on the up, a blend of both the notorious MC’s experience combined with the productional trio’s contemporary injection paved the way for a match made in heaven.
Sour Soul is clever little project. While elements of the production intentionally echo RZA and effortlessly conform to Killah’s delivery, BADBADNOTGOOD definitely don’t have something of a backseat on the project- this is 100% a joint collaborative effort. Sometimes almost unnoticeably in the background the trio will inject their intuitive elements of jazz more prominently, such as towards the latter of Gunshowers, while in other occasions BADBADNOTGOOD are given vast amounts of space to play about and bring their own game.
In a few occasions- (Tone’s Rap) Ghostface Killah’s unforgiving vocals rub off as brash and abrasive, leaving the beautiful productional values clouded and often veiled, but on the whole the combination and chemistry of the two artists is executed well. The Wu-Tang icon’s rhymes are also just as reportable as ever, with typically memorable lines like ‘Bitches is actresses, just screw ’em and leave // They fuck up your whole operation like Adam and Eve’.
Being a big fan of Wu-Tang and Ghostface himself already, and having kept a close eye on BADBADNOTGOOD’s career since they first started appearing donning the pig mask alongside Tyler, The Creator, Sour Soul was a much anticipated project for me- a project that made sense on paper, and continued into reality. The contemporary twist on jazz sewn together with Ghostface Killah’s undeniable OG approach is just as well executed as I’m sure many already anticipated. At times the gruffness and grittiness of Ghostface may cloud the unobviously delicate nature to the production, but on the whole, Sour Soul is an accomplished LP.
Verdict – WWWV