GHOSTFACE KILLAH & r & & r & The Big Doe Rehab & r & & r & FOUR STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & G & lt;/span & hostface Killah has yet to release a bad album, and The Big Doe Rehab is no exception.
Over the album's 16 tracks, the 37-year-old MC narrates complicated heists, murders and sex-capades in shout-y, breathless anxiety attacks. He makes a good case for trashing your TV: listening to Ghost rap is an endlessly entertaining, truly visual experience. Where did the blown-up bits of brains land? What did the girl smell like? The roses this guy stops and smells must be heard to be believed.
Beat-wise, the lush Mafioso style of Jay-Z's recent American Gangster looms large. That's fine, but TBDR is best when Ghost pulls elder-statesman rank and jacks classic cuts from Redman and EPMD, a trend he began last year when he lifted an Eric B. & amp; Rakim backdrop on More Fish.
-- ANDREW MATSON
Download: "Supa GFK"
Dwight Sings Buck
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & M & lt;/span & ost people remember Buck Owens for hosting Hee Haw with Roy Clark, but he was a great musician with a vast musical legacy. Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley are a couple of the country musicians who keep his "Bakersfield Sound" alive -- a task even more important since Owens passed away in 2006.
I wouldn't normally lay five stars on a tribute record, but this is different. Yoakam recorded the duet "Streets of Bakersfield" with Owens in 1988, and ever since, Yoakam's entire career has been a kind of tribute to Buck Owens.
On "Act Naturally," you can see what the Beatles liked about it (they covered it on Help!), and "Close Up the Honky Tonks" is a perfect country concoction. Owens was famous for his big-hearted ballads, too, and "Only You (Can Break My Heart)" is a standard of the form.
If you want to go back to the original, check out The Carnegie Hall Concert, the high point of Owens' career fronting the Buckaroos.
-- TED S. McGREGOR JR.
DOWNLOAD: "Act Naturally"