Highlights from Ghostface Killah live at the Trocadero. October 3, 2009.
-Ghost could be 70 years old and still come off raw and vicious anytime he opens a show with “Criminology”. THEN I REACT LIKE A CONVICT AND START KILLING SHIT!
–Following up “Criminology” with “Metal Lungies” = severe neck breakage.
-Somehow Ghost still has the original version of “Ghostdini” laying around, the one with the same sample that popped up on The Swarm album by The Ruthless Bastards. It was one of the few songs performed in its entirety. Marvin, Marvin…you were a friend of miiiiine! You stood for something! Oooh!
–The dopest thing about being a diehard Ghostface fan is that he will always perform “The Forest” and “Child’s Play”* even though they aren’t songs that should work in a live setting. Yet his hand gestures and body movements completely sell you on a song about cartoon characters huffing glue and another about giving a little girl two fifty cent pieces for her birthday.
*Sidenote on “Child’s Play”: no other rapper, sans ODB, could ever get away with talking about how he used to “go home and hump the pillow or sumptin’ “. Imagine DMX or Busta or Rick Ross saying that on an album and being adored for it. Impossible.
-J-Love is the grumpiest looking DJ I’ve ever seen. He was wearing one of Biggie’s Coogi sweaters circa the “Player’s Anthem” video. So there’s that.
-Even though “Biscuits” was never performed, Trife Diesel got open on “Dogs of War” from Fishscale and “Pass the Mic” from the Theodore Unit album.
-I remember when Ghost dropped the single for “Run” back in ’04 for Pretty Toney. He said how he always wanted to do a song called “Run” inspired by Cappadonna, who had done a song for his album produced by RZA with the same title. Let’s just say that Cap’s version has gone the way of Turbo Grafx 16. Ghost’s “Run” performed live makes you feel like you are actually being chased with no shoes on, hopping fences, jump over benches. His performance literally forced me to get the fuck out the entrance.
-Earlier in the day, I met Ghost at an autograph signing with Dom P and Has-Lo. We stood in line for a half hour. It was all bueno. Right before I sat down next to Starks, my heart started pounding in my chest. He signed my copy of Ironman, my original CD from 1996 (complete with “Lifetime Guarantee” stick from The Wall), my favorite album ever recorded. Four hours later, he performed “Poisonous Darts”, “Wildflower”, and “Black Jesus”. My inner 14 year old had a Wu-Tang seizure.
-Ghostface on Michael Vick: “Mike need to turn it up, for real!”
-Ghostface on hip hop fans in Austraila: “Whenever we drop this shit over there, them motherfuckers heads hit the ceiling and shit.” Not to be outdone by international competition, us Philadelphians responded by almost starting a riot when “4th Chamber” hit.
-I’ve seen close to 500 rappers perform live in my lifetime, some local, some national, some mainstream. I’ve been awed by quite a few in terms of mastering the ceremony (just off the top: Kanye West, Black Thought, Redman, Andre 3000, Murs, Brother Ali, many many more). Ghostface is a motherfucking MASTER of the live performance. I’ve never seen someone who just raps on a microphone with 2 hypemen and a DJ absolutely entertain and control a crowd for an hour an a half. No crazy light set-ups or special guests. No dramatic costume changes. No live band to remix joints he’s performed six hundred times already. Just a microphone, a stage, and a crowd. That’s the penultimate definition of hip hop.
-Ghostface on the Philadelphia Eagles chant (E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!): “We need one of them shits, man. We ain’t got shit like that. The Giants need one. Fuck the Knicks!”
EDIT–Me and the Sky Blue Bally Kid at the Adidas Store. Photo by Big Salmon for Public Axis LLC