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Supreme Clientele

by Ghostface Killah

Released February 8, 2000 via Epic Records

Originally reviewed on February 13, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
One (40%), Nutmeg (27%), Apollo Kids (21%)

The duality of Supreme Clientele comes in many forms. For one, it’s cutthroat and glamorous. Ghostface’s already-established persona is sliced open further on this record, contrasted by a smoothness that only the “Rap Derek Jeter'' could put forth. The microphone is a Hattori Hanzo sword in the hands of Ghost, while his composure and confidence are reminiscent of a seasoned veteran. And while Ghost’s thesaurus-on-shuffle vocabulary is unleashed, RZA’s production latches onto the words perfectly. Not only are the preconceived notions about Ghostface Killah smashed, but so are the expectations of what a Wu-Tang album could be. Supreme Clientele is nonsense presented in the most sensible way possible. – Ben (Synth) (10/10)

Relentless, provocative, visionary, and razor-sharp are all words to describe Supreme Clientele that come to mind nearly as fast as they fly from Ghostface Killah's lips. By 2000, Wu Tang Clan was already a well-established force but their blueprint was on its way out. Fortunately, the group’s caped crusader was there to save the day. With the help of RZA's unparalleled thematic directing, Ghostface managed to pen a one-of-one rap album. His approach to lyricism on this record was unlike any prior and likely any we've heard since. Every track sports a newly imagined cadence that breaks all "rules" of how to align standard rhyme, and the diction is beyond unique. The result is a whirlwind of New York-twisted English that an untrained ear may mistake for a different language entirely. Supreme Clientele pushes the art of rapping to its absolute extremes yet never sounds like more than everyday conversation for the star of the show. As a piece of music, it is extraordinary, and as a cultural experience, it will be forever mystifying. – Enth (9.5/10)

On what is perhaps the best solo Wu-Tang release of all time, Supreme Clientele, Ghostface Killah unleashes a barrage of unpredictable words and phrases amongst heavy hitting horns and strings overseen by Bobby Digital himself. This album touches producers hands like a mid-2000’s Phoenix Suns team touches the rock, no wasted movement. Overseen by the RZA with help from Inspectah Deck, JuJu, and Mathematics (amongst others), every key, chime, string arrangement, base tone, and blaring horn is perfectly placed to accentuate the ferocity of Ghost’s bars. Ghostface seems primed when the faucet of his consciousness is left on until the whole apartment is flooded. What’s even more extraordinary than the unwavering handle he has when swerving through lanes of immaculately chopped keys and strings, is that at no point does the absurdity of what he’s rapping sound absurd. – Pax (9.5/10)

Ben (Synth): 10/10 | Cam: 10/10 | DeVán: 9.5/10 | Enth: 9.5/10
Hadley: 9.5/10 | Pax: 9.5/10 | Dominick: 9/10 | Peter: 8.5/10


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