Tony Starks sluggish and twisted in the Couples Therapy-era teams up with the Canadian jazz fusion cream team. The beat, a Vitamin B shot, courtesy of the always good BadBaddingtons. It hits that Adrian Younge/RZA/Moricone murders-at-Lake Como vibe that Ghostface should be able to use to walk on water. The results are more mixed. The great Dennis Coles seems trapped in popular expectations. He’s rapping how we are supposed to want him to rap, but I don’t want him to tell me about his terrific vocabulary and facility with gats. I want him to innovate. I would take 10 Wizards of Poetry that get weird over the courtesy calls you expect. Raekwon on the other hand would’ve fricasseed this.

Thankfully, Elzhi comes in and steals with the show, flexing in Europass-era form. My hopes are modest for the BBNG and Ghostface full collabo. His last few shots have been more duds than darts, but he’s still one of the 10 Greatest Ever and the backing band dropped one of the years 10 best albums. If we can get something better than the 85 percenters, I’ll take it.

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