While the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan now seems a faint memory from hip-hop's '90s era, Ghostface has become a one-man force in maintaining the vitality of the Clan. The way he opens Fishscale with the frantic, hyperactive "Shakey Dog," is all the evidence you'd need to see how Ghost is that rare MC who's gotten better with age. His jumble of colorful wordplay is now honed into a sharp edge of drug-game narratives ("R.A.G.U."), neighborhood stories ("Barbershop"), honeyed pimp talk ("Big Girl") and braggadocio raw enough to melt minds ("Be Easy"). Backing him up are both familiar partners-in-rhyme like Raekwon (who sounds his best in years), Cappadonna, and Trife and also a surprising squad of underground producers that includes Just Blaze, Pete Rock, MF Doom, and the late J-Dilla. One of the skit quips that Ghost hasn't been this focused since Supreme Clientele, his 2000 classic; that's no joke--this is his best since then. --Oliver Wang
Fishscale features the single 'Back Like That' which features Ne-Yo. Other guest appearances include Wu-Tang Clan and Keyshia Cole and production by he late J. Dilla, Just Blaze, MF DOOM, Pete Rock, Madlib, and many others. Universal. 2006.