Tracks

DangerDoom f/ Ghostface: "The Mask"

(2005)

By Clayton Purdom | 8 August 2005

Of course this song’s good. I’d listen to these guys order a pizza together. I’d listen to them yodel together. I’d listen to them take a nap as long as they’re in the same room.

What’s the Mouse bring to the table? Not much; just some record crackles, horn blasts and big drums. Despite a whole lot of the proper elements in place, this beat doesn’t achieve the epic, triumphant tone it’s striving for, even with carefully placed moments of quiet and cataclysmically positioned drop-ins from both emcees. I give Dangermouse a C.

But Doom and Ghostface are on fire. Ghostface’s manic lyrical hyperextensions are the perfect accompaniment to Doom’s lazy drawl. Aside from the baffling accordion intro and the ineffective interlude, the song consists basically of a verse from each rapper centered on their shared titular fixation. In other words: they’re talking about their masks. Doom drops some nonsense syllable practice (“Three or four? / Either, or / Mon cherie amor / Why you need your heater for?”), but, shit, he sounds good doing it, and I didn’t even realize that he wasn’t saying anything until, like, right now. And I’ve been listening to this track for two weeks. He gets a B+.

Ghostface is still on that Pretty Tony tip, dropping the scattershot imagery of Supreme Clientele almost completely at this point in lieu for more straightforward shit-talking: you know, his money’s green like his nickname was celery, shit like that. Still, the layout of this verse is incredible: he starts out with a brief history of his career (“...came back a year later / whole new identity / Tony Starks pedigree”) before dropping tantalizing third person hints like “He’ll be back summer 2005 / half his face iron / the other half lookin’ like alien science.” Then he claims he’s gonna terrorize the planet with a Bill Clinton mask on. Dude gets an A-.

I don’t know what that Bill Clinton shit means, but the bottom line is that if these two guys ever actually do put out an album together, it will be the most glorious music ever conceived by the human mind.

But, uh, hopefully the beats are a little better.