In September, members of VMP Hip-Hop will receive the first vinyl reissue of Ghostface Killah’s Fishscale. The album comes on gold and black vinyl, and comes with an exclusive stencil. Read below for why we picked this album for this month.
Andrew Winistorfer: This felt like Ghostface’s Rap Internet moment: He was always a popular rapper, but it took the internet for Ghostface fans to find each other, or something. I remember being a teenager in the early ’00s and being like, “Ghostface is the best member of Wu-Tang,” and people being like “No way. You don’t know what you’re fucking talking about.” And then when the Rap Internet came around, you could acknowledge that Ghostface was this incredible rapper. It was this weird era where he finally puts this Fishscale record out in 2006, and it was this huge moment: Finally, Ghostface fans were OK to say “Ghostface is the best” in public.
This record is so fucking good. The storytelling on “Shakey Dog” is insane. He got some of the final beats Dilla sold when he was alive, and he made “Whip You with a Strap!” It’s an amazing, incredible thing! And I don’t think Ghostface gets enough credit for his ear for beats: you go back to Supreme Clientele and Ironman, he was getting a lot of left-field weird shit out of RZA and other Wu-Tang affiliates. And then, when he’s outside the Wu-Tang womb, he gets Dilla beats. In 2020, there’s nobody that’s like “It’s very weird for a mainstream rapper to get Dilla beats.” But in 2006, it was like this monumental thing that this weird rap producer Dilla was on this mainstream thing from a Wu-Tang member. There are DOOM beats on this. There’s also some amazing Just Blaze beats on this; “The Champ” is fun.
This was a chance for me to do a record from my favorite Wu-Tang member, and to do this record that needed a vinyl reissue, so it was a no-brainer from my perspective, and luckily, the rest of the music team agreed.
It’s a golden-black A side/B side; if you flip it over it looks different on each side. We have the Ghostface stencil, and this record has an exclusive bonus track: There’s an alternate version of “Be Easy” with Ice Cube that’s never been on vinyl, so we have the world premiere of that on vinyl with this package.