A young Lester Kane returns home to find his family slaughtered by the DeLuca clan. In brutal retaliation, he storms a DeLuca social club to discover 12 vinyl records which, when played, bring him face to face with the spirit of the deceased Ghostface Killah. Thus begins the saga of Twelve Reasons To Die II, the latest in Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge’s mafia concept albums.
Younge’s brooding guitars and snares are the backdrop to an anxiety-ridden narrative, in which Ghostface’s fictional doppelgänger watches over the struggles of the up-and-coming Kane. Filled with psychedelia-infused soul, Younge takes the tropes of schlocky gangster movies and makes those instrumentals just as interesting as the story. Meanwhile, Ghostface’s taste is impeccable, and it’s never clearer as in ‘Death’s Invitation’. Joining the rapid-fire raps of underground champions like Lyrics Born, Scarub and Chino XL, the track epitomises Ghostface’s ability to riff off other verbal styles.
Acutely aware of his status as an ageing gangsta rapper, Twelve Reason To Die II is the perfect vehicle for Ghostface to assert his primacy. He does so with expertise and enough humility for it to work. The Ghostface Killah has undoubtedly risen again.
Twelve Reasons To Die II by Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge is available now through Sony.