Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab
Official release date: December 4
We think: Def Jam started streaming the clean version on their official site Tuesday night, but we decided not to listen till we could hear it with swear words. An agonizing 24 hours later, it finally hit the file-sharing networks, and we're pleased to report it was worth the wait. Rehab delivers everything we've come to expect from hip-hop's most dependable absurdist — more psychedelic, coke-addled crime fiction spit relentlessly over horny rewired soul samples. Still hot from the (critical) success of last year's Fishscale and More Fish, Ghostface swings for the fences and scores on almost every track (so far we really like "Walk Around," "Yolanda's House," and "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita") with only corny lead single "Celebrate" proving the guy's still capable of a misfire. It's hard to imagine that any of the thousand rap records coming out next month will best this one.