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Twelve Reasons to Die

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 16, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

2013 release, the 10th studio album from the iconic rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Twelve Reasons To Die is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name. The album was entirely produced and composed by Adrian Younge, and executive produced by RZA.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Soul Temple Entertainment
  • ASIN: B00BMEF7GK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe Pierre on April 16, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Ghostface Killah (of Wu Tang Clan fame) gets the starring role here, but this album is really the brainchild of musician and composer (and according to Wikipedia, entertainment law professor) Adrian Younge. Check out the interview with him on NPR's Fresh Air earlier this year, but the story goes like this...

"Twelve Reasons to Die" is actually the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't (yet) exist. In it, Tony Starks (Ghostface Killah's stage alter-ego) is a black man working for the DeLuca's, an Italian mob family. Starks aspires to criminal greatness, but is held back because of his race and decides to take over the mafia clan. Unfortunately, he falls for a femme fatale who ends up betraying him by arrangement of the DeLucas and he's murdered, melted in acetone, and pressed into 12 different vinyl records which are doled out to each member of the DeLuca clan. But each time one of the records is played, Starks rises from the dead, resurrected as Ghostface Killah, and exacts bloody revenge down to the last man.

So, the rap lyrics throughout the album -- written by Ghostface, with all of the mafia references and tales of gun-fueled betrayal and revenge -- are really telling the story of Younge's screenplay, which is kind of a tongue-in-cheek tribute to and parody of old Italian horror films.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album goes hard. It's classic Ghost, yet it's also something very different. Basically, it's a concept album with a plot that is equal parts the Crow, the Godfather trilogy, Italian giallo horror film, and Black Dynamite. Tone-wise, the vibe is a weird mash-up of classic Wu, classic Ghost, plus weird organs, operatic sounds, and a 70's soul-sploitation thing. And, miraculously, it all meshes together perfectly and the overall album has that cinematic, Cuban Linx I feel to it. Favorite cuts so far are "I Declare War" and "Beware of the Stare," but it's all fire.

Between this and Czarface (not to mention a solid, if-less-superlative Cappadonna album), Wu is showing up in 2013. Honestly, I'd rather keep seeing this kind of inspired concept album stuff (thinking this and Czarface)than I would see a forced, rushed, underwhelming new full Wu-Tang Clan album. I'd love a new Wu album that lives up to the legacy, but I also like the new direction they're taking, and there have been plenty of solid Wu collaboration tracks over the last four years (including some good ones on this album).
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Format: Audio CD
Out of everything that I've reviewed so far for 2013 this is perhaps my second most anticipated album of the year. I was expecting this album to reach extreme levels of greatness and part of me expected this to be the best Wu related album since Only Built For Cuban Linx... Pt. II. While it may not have lived up to my personal hype, it would be wrong of me to deny that Twelve Reasons To Die is an extremely solid effort from Ghostface.

Twelve Reasons To Die is the tenth studio album from Ghostface Killah and his first since 2010's Apollo Kids. It's a concept album following the story of Ghostface Killah (aka Tony Starks), an ex-enforcer of the DeLuca family who gets set up by the kingpin's daughter. His remains are then pressed into 12 vinyl records that, when played, bring Ghostface back from the grave to seek revenge on the DeLuca family.

While it may not be the most complex or creative story ever written, it's enjoyable enough. It does a nice job of creating a mob story while mixing in that Hip Hop element (12 vinyl records). My biggest problem with this release is Ghostface Killah's delivery. It's no secret that Ghostface Killah has a very smooth delivery and that he's no stranger to complex rhyme schemes, but none of that is present on here. His rhyme schemes are very basic (a, a, b, b, c, c, d, d, etc.) and his delivery is occasionally cringe worthy. At times it didn't even feel like I was listening to a 20 year vet rhyming over these beats. It doesn't kill the experience, but it does bring it down a bit.

It's no surprise that almost every guest on here is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan or someone who's affiliated with them in some way, with William Hart being the only exception.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
For me, even the most successful Wu-Tang members haven't been worth listening to for years. Even GZA hasn't been interesting. This album completely revived my interest. It's a very cool, different, weird, interesting album, like nothing I've ever heard before. And at the same time it has that Wu-Tang goodness that was present in 36 Chambers and Supreme Clientele. Some of my friends who think rap is terrible heard this in my car and said that they didn't know hip hop could be so poetic yet raw. Really good stuff, I look forward to a new wave of quality releases like this.
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