Ghostface Killah: The Sun
Deleted from Bulletproof Wallets (Epic, 2001). Also on Put It On the Line

Ghostface Killah: The Champ (original version)
Revised version on Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006)

Forget Nas – Ghostface has enough “lost tapes” songs to fill a box-set. You got to give him and his producers credit for favoring tasty loops and samples but negatory on his label’s ability to shell out the money to actually license the loops. That’s left dozens of tracks by the wayside, only to end up on things like J-Love’s excellent Hidden Darts CD series or pseudo-mixCD/albums like Put It On The Line. In honor of Fishscale, aka the first great album of 2006, I’m plucking out two examples.

Strangely enough, I blogged about “The Sun” almost two years ago to the week. I’ll just repeat what I had to say last time: “this song was supposed to kick off the Bulletproof Wallets album. Simply put: one of the greatest rap songs ever recorded, so good that even the comic strip The Boondocks quote it in one Sunday panel. Honestly, when’s the last time you heard a song about how great the sun is? Exactly.” By the way, I got the full story about why this song couldn’t get cleared but you’ll have to read Scratch Magazine in about two months to find out. Just to plug…

As for “The Champ,” this song has gone through at least three permutations. There’s the original version, posted above, which features a sample from a cover of “Fever” (I’m still trying to find out which one), plus some dialogue from the Rocky movies. However, they couldn’t afford the licensing so then they flipped it into a second version (which can be heard on J-Love’s Hidden Darts 2) but for the album version, they hired a band to interpolate the original version (and I think they do a pretty good job).

And here, have a good argument over this question: Is this album as good as or better than Supreme Clientele?