Ghost at the Finish Line
Mello Music Group
Hot on the heels off of giving Boldy James’ October 15th release, My 1st Chemistry Set, a hard listen, another Motor City rapper, Quelle Chris dropped a nugget for our perusal, October 29th’s Ghost at the Finish Line. The rapper’s third full length album further perpetuates the much beleaguered bankrupt city’s hypnotic hold on the craft.
Ghost at the Finish Line’s haunting opener, “You’ll Be Your Star,” featuring Jimetta Rose, serves as a fine spoken word wind up to the album, in addition to exposing Jimetta Rose’s artistry, which is absolutely worth a separate exploration of its own.
“Loop Dreams” has an eerie trippiness that gives it a modern feel, though its rhyming style is slightly reminiscent of a 1990s Dr. Dre joint. “What Up,” with its catchy refrain, conjures another Detroit native with an Eminem-esque cadence to it.
“Wait a Minute,” featuring Denmark Vessey), is masterful in its familiar feel. You’ll swear you’ve heard it before. You haven’t. Coercive in its reassuring lyrics (“Just do it. Don’t worry. It’s just music.”), the song’s catchy backing sampled guitar track takes it firmly out of the realm of the traditional.
“Super F*ck” is properly cited as perhaps the most hilarious Hip-Hop song of the year. The acapella tribute to Mary J Blige with a “real butt” twist is priceless. It should be no surprise based off of its illustrious cameos that “Prx,” featuring Guilty Simpson & Alchemist, turned out strong. Electric guitar intro, stutter stop beat and incorporation of instrumentation make this song sound like it’s sneaking up on you.
“King Is Dead” and its precise strings leave a chill in your bone. before “Undying” mixes it up with aggressive, tribal percussion, and smirkworthy wordplay (“anchor for the grievning news”).
Look to “Coke Rap War Game,” featuring Black Milk and Denmark Vessey, for great rhymes end to end. “Look At Shorty” is dreamy, sweet in a totally obscene way, a night and day difference from the pleasant, upbeat and gratitude rich “Life Beyond,” featuring Mosel.
The album’s namesake, “Ghost at the Finish Line,” is like a punch to the heart. Lyrics such as, “Don’t nobody love me, don’t nobody really love me,” dive to the depths of our deepest insecurities, only to be followed by the same hollow reassurances we give ourselves, “When i make money, everything will be okay.”
For those of the LP persuasion, get your hands on the the gorgeous tri-color vinyl. This edition is a perfect complement to the album’s artwork and handdrawn typography. Though good on the first spin, Ghost at the Finish Line benefits from repeated listens. Quelle Chris stands out as yet another excellent Midwest master, giving credence to his home as the emerging heartbeat of Hip-Hop.