A would-be R&B chart topper, "Never Be the Same Again" becomes a ghetto-fabulous anthem the second Ghostface hits the mic. Imagine Mr. T doing Isaac Hayes karaoke. Against a smooved-out instrumental, complete with crooned chorus from Carl Thomas, Ghost reminisces about the days when his girl used to smell his boxers. On the Alchemist-produced "The Forest," Ghost gives us an updated (but not really) version of Ice Cube's "Gangsta Fairytale," recounting an almost psychedelic tale of the sex-, drug- and violence-infused adventures of Heckle and Jeckle, Bugs Bunny and Humpty Dumpty. The surreal storytelling continues on "Maxine," in which the coked-up title character does an assailant up Al Green-style with a potful of grits, and on "Strawberry," a soulful track depicting Ghostface's crew plotting to Swiss-cheese up some buster (they have to wait for Ghost to finish graphically describing the fellatio he's receiving).
Unfortunately, Bulletproof Wallets has its share of duds. A few of the songs' beats are too overpolished, especially for an artist who sounds most comfortable rhyming over a simple, unfettered Barry White loop. Other songs, such as the one-minute-long "Jealousy," sound more like unfinished pages from Ghostface's scrapbook. All in all, this is a strong effort from one of the Wu-Tang's last hopes, and if the next Clan album is anything as unappealing as their last one, you're better off sticking with Ghost to quench your Wu-thirst.
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