Tax write-off season has begun

I was all psyched when I heard, a few weeks ago, that there was gonna be a new Ghostface album out before the end of the year. Ghostface himself announced it, on Twitter, which he’s apparently on, and we can be reasonably confident that that was Ghostface himself, and not some middle aged Jewish woman from Def Jam toying with our emotions, because this is motherfucking Ghostface we’re talking about here, and this is 2010. If Ghost himself didn’t announce via Twitter that Apollo Kids is set to drop December 14th, there’s a distinct possibility that no one would have. It would have just shown up in stores that day, all of a sudden. Who else here is old enough and sorry enough to remember that day back in the late ’90s when you went to the mall(!) to cop (the mad underrated) The Pillage by Cappadonna, and there were like three other random Wu-related albums that came out either that day or within weeks of one another? The sad thing is, some of that shit probably still sold better than half of the rap albums out right now.

A few weeks went by, then the album cover and the tracklisting for Apollo Kids hit the Internets, and it finally occurred to me what’s going on here: tax write-off season is upon us. Def Jam needs to drop some albums that aren’t gonna sell very well, to make it seem, through accounting trickery, as if they didn’t make any money in 2K10, and therefore they shouldn’t have to pay anything in taxes, thus shifting the tax burden onto brothers such as myself, who don’t make enough money to buy very many CDs, even if we wanted to. (Perhaps if we didn’t have to pay so much, relatively speaking, in taxes.) The reason Apollo Kids seemed to appear all of a sudden, as if it was some shit they just threw together at the last minute, is because it probably is some shit they just threw together at the last minute. It’s not because prayer actually works.

Those fucks in the Def Jam building didn’t even bother to release the artwork for Apollo Kids on a separate day from the release of the artwork for the new albums by Sheek Larouche a/k/a the Birthday Boy, and Redman, the would-be 11th member of the Wu-Tang Clan. As if. They all seemed to pop up at once, as if they were attachments to the same email – and who knows, maybe they were. They all have the world’s shittiest design and graphics, as if Def Jam let go of whoever normally does their artwork, after that Wu Massacre album (to use but one example) caught a brick, and found someone on Craigslist who’d work for half as much money, if that. They may have outsourced that work to India, the same people who handle customer service calls for billing concerns with pr0n websites, I’m assuming. The Ghostface one looks like the world’s most half-assed knockoff version of Oh Word’s classic parody version of Cam’ron’s rhyme book, which was all over the Internets a few years ago.

I scroll down to the tracklisting, and I’m not sure what to think. It’s hard to tell what an album’s gonna be like just from the names of the songs and the artists featured. The most we can do is try to find examples of songs that looked like the artist didn’t put much time and energy into coming up with an original, creative title for them. Real generic-sounding shit like “Superstar” and “Drama” and “Ghetto” and “Troublemakers.” Those really are all names of songs from this new Ghostface album, btw, not names I just made up in an effort to come up with really generic titles for rap songs. Another one that stuck out to me is a song called “Handcuffin’ Them Hoes” featuring Jim Jones. Without knowing anything else about it, I’m gonna assume that it’s a Jim Jones song that Ghostface added verses to, rather than vice versa. Def Jam may have bought it for him, for $200 and six pre-rolled joints in a baggie, in hopes that it might become a hit on a par with “We Fly High.” Fat chance! Jim Jones can’t even come up with another “We Fly High” for himself.

The fact that it’s only 13 tracks long could be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, there’s no reason any album, let alone a solid 95% of rap albums, should be longer than 13 songs. But on the other hand, it’s de rigeur in rap music to follow the ol’ Master P approach of packing as many songs as you can possibly fit onto a 74 minute disc, to appeal to people (southerners) who can’t fathom the idea of smaller being better. The fact that an artist decided to release an album that’s only 13 tracks long doesn’t necessarily mean they opted to err on the side of brevity. It could mean they just didn’t want to put in as much work.

  • JP

    Pretty psyched for this. Can anyone tell me the meaning behind “Birthday Boy Larouche?” Shit is funny

    • Ebeneezer

      Sheek got arrested on his 43rd birthday like ten years ago. Moreover, I think transforming Sheek Louch to Sheek Larouche is just poking fun of the LOX’s Marxist socioeconomic philosophies. The specter of communism haunts Yonkers…

  • Worley

    This blog is all the promotion Def Jam was willing to buy for Ghost. It’s a damn shame considering all the bullsh!t I’m seeing about Detox. Universal show Ghost the respect he deserves.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USnvVJThdk0 these posts are racist

    TPAR is runnin’ this rap ish. Byron, support real rap, and stop the hate.

  • John Cochran

    Why did Sheek need to sign to Def Jam at all? Im pretty sure his sales will be no better than the last two albums he dropped on koch. Jada’s on Def Jam and his albums arent even half as good as his mixtapes.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Pierzy Pierzy

    Hahaha I bought The Pillage the day it dropped. I still listen to it.

    I absolutely love The LOX but we all know that Sheek doesn’t sell to warrant a 4th Quarter release on Def Jam so if it “fails,” (whatever that means these days), will it really be a surprise?

    And the news I’m hearing about Redman’s album doesn’t have me excited for that…

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USnvVJThdk0 these posts are racist

      Pierzy,

      What’s good fam-o? Peep my freestyles. I only have a few up, more to come…how you livin Mr. MBA?

      • http://www.twitter.com/Pierzy Pierzy

        What’s good, sir?

        I am sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting to fly back to the 2-1-5 but when I get home and get a chance, I definitely will check your work out.

        Things are good…busy but good. I was down here for a few days for a conference.

        What’s new with you?

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USnvVJThdk0 these posts are racist

          Good lookin and safe flight. Good to see you and D. McCain putting in work again…ya’ll are the site.

          I’m well…law game is treating me OK, but looking at getting in the Agent/representation side of things…we’ll see.

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  • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

    yeah P,

    sadly I’m not interested in Red’s project, unless I see it for markdown money.

    I ain’t mad @ Sheek getting major label budget $, but that album cover is epic fail status.

    And it’s sad about Ghost, yet at the same time, Jeezy comes out the same day, and that promo machine has literally been unplugged.

    p.s. Killah Priest is the 11th Wu member

    • http://www.twitter.com/Pierzy Pierzy

      Good call on Killah Priest. Maybe Red is 12, but then there are a ton of cats vying for 13 and beyond.

      I haven’t heard anything about Jeezy…good call.

      I’m happy for Sheek, I just know what’s going to happen when it doesn’t sell. People are going to blame him and it may end up even worse.

  • charlie “afro” sheen

    “Handcuffin these h*es” roffle

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

    Rza
    Gza
    ODB (rip)
    Ghostface
    Raekwon
    U-God
    Masta Killa
    Method Man
    Inspectah Deck
    Cappadonna
    Killa Priest
    True Master
    Mathematics
    Power

    ^ this is Wu

    Redman tore up ‘Buck 50′, but to me, he’s a Killer Bee..

    • oskamadison

      And that joint off “The W”, Redbull. “…Bomb inside the palm/Doc rock a wife beater with me beating my wife’s ass ironed on/the front, my pump built like the Klumps/To carry it, I take the spare out the trunk…” Coppin’ “Reggie” on the 7th.

  • PZ

    ey I’ll go on record sayin this right here…the LOX will never sell independent..honeslty yall…tell the truth..they got some fire lyrics…but I honestly don’t like to hear a whole album from NONE of them dudes individually. Been disappointed on ALL of them when it comes down to the totality of wanting to listen to their albums as a whole or not.

    BUT…add a verse of any of the three to ANY song as a feature…and they are gonna MURDER it and make it a HOT HOT track.

    WITH THAT SAID…they DO have their own independent fan bases…so they are guaranteed to be consistent no matter WHAT label they are on. So they should just be signed whoever will put it out and give them the biggest advance (pocket money) to use for promo as they see fit..and call it a day..put it out and let it be consistent.

    No disrespect intended to none of them cats but I’m tellin the truth.

  • Q461

    I always thought Cappadonna was the 10th member and thus Redman would be 11th…Didn’t know Killah Priest was an official Wutang member, thought he was just an affiliate.Hes done solo shit, was in Sunz of man and the Horsemen too. In any case…I agree with Bol….Cats like Sheek, Ghost and Redman aint ever gonna sell big again. Cats in their late 20s and 30s only ones who give a fuck about Wutang and Redman…With D-block quckly entering that realm, although not quite there yet. Makes sense they would throw these joints iut at the end of the year for a tax break.

    Word is Wu and D Block going to do an album together called Wu-Block…..Now that shit would be bananas!!!

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

      yeah Q…

      that’s why I put that out there about Priest. he was on Gravediggaz, ODB & Gza’s 1st albums.

      Priest was building with the lyricists.

      Cappadonna was building with the fly guys.

      And I agree they ain’t gonna do super numbers…but at least spend the promo money.

  • kali

    Sheek put out a classic with After Taxes. every track was fire…..even if you dont like sheek you will be surprised by this album. After that album it went down hill.

  • Mpho

    hahahah jus @ da title.

    But foreal, u crazy Bol. Sheek Louch is Nice. After Taxes was a banger foool

  • goatmouth

    Wu-Tang is for the children! RIP ODB

  • hip hop god

    SHEIK IS NICE, GHOST IS NICE AND SO IS RED MAN. BUT FRANKLY IT IS TIME TO LET THE NEW GENERATION OF MCS ON DEF JAM GET THERE THING GOING. THEY HAVE THIS KID FRESH SIGN TO THERE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION LABEL UNDER THESE BOOM-TOWN PHAM THESE CATS ARE NICEEEEE. REAL TALK I HAVE NOT HEARD A GROUP OF STREET ARTIST THIS NICE SINSE THE EARLY WU AND LOX.

  • LADY J

    I heard of those dudes BOOM-TOWN PHAM its like 5 of them and they put on a good show, they are some real dudes to i see how they move through ny silently. That boy FRESH CAN GET IT ANY DAY WITH HIS SEXY BODY

  • realtalknyc

    besides what this chick is talking bout the Boom-town Pham is some nice niccaz. the dude fresh aint mad lyrical but is sht is hard he a real dude i know cause i was locked up with the cat a few years ago. Son held it down in the yard real talk i fuckz with him and the pham

  • SMOKE THAT GOOD

    yeah Boom-town pham is nice i like the dude Shoun DA LOOT son got flow , HE REMINDS ME OF A CROSS BETWEEN MAX B, NAS, AND PUN HOW THE HELL DO YOU FIND THERE MUSIC I JUST BE CATHING OLD SHIT I WANT TO GET THE NEW boom-town pham joint, now that i think they singed to DEF JAM

  • SLIM bozz

    the boom-town pham is SHOUN DA LOOT, MACCLAIM, FRESH, KING TUSSAIN, AND SHIEST DIMOND AND I THINK SOME DUDE YOUNG DAME , IS THAT WHO YOU MEAN. I GOT A MIX TAPE SHIT IS FIRE BUT IM STILL WAITING FOR THAT DEF JAM REALSE THAT IS GOING BE CRACK

  • basedROBOT

    wuddup, bol? we super compatible on last.fm, lol. “Music you have in common includes Beach House, Sleigh Bells, Curren$y, El-P and Ghostface Killah.”

    and lol, i said the same thing about ghost’s album cover lookin’ like cam’s rhymebook over in this forum.

    ps, cap is mad underrated in general, even though his last album, slang prostitution, was worse than flockaveli and isouljaboytellem.com combined.

  • bolbol

    Cappadona is driving taxis out in maryland,

  • mav

    i dont see why sheek gets an album b4 that jada joint drops what ever happened to that top 5 dead or alive joint kiss last
    sold pretty well i think he went gold wit no big singles so why not let him drop again? and i think styles p gangsta and a gentlemen is a classic u can listen to that whole album nonstop