Apollo Kids - Ghostface Killah
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Dec 22, 2010
    80
    Apollo Kids feels just the slightest bit unfinished.
  2. If anything, Apollo Kids is the biggest reason to get excited about Ghost in years; putting out a seemingly rushed disc, he's outdone much of his recent work.
  3. 90
    They [Ghostface and Wu-Tang Clan] are truly a hip-hop enigma, and Apollo Kids is just another piece of proof.
  4. 91
    Many of these tunes sound like they could have been recorded at any point in his 17-year career - and that's great news for fans.
  5. Jan 13, 2011
    80
    When it's all said and done, Ghostface Killah treats Apollo Kids like a seasoned veteran would treat a game on the hardwood; he picks his spots, lets his teammates have their moments, and takes over when necessary. In that respect, Apollo Kids is another project we can tally up in Ghost's win column.
  6. Dec 21, 2010
    88
    Apollo Kids shows that one of rap's company drivers is still on the speedway--zooming slightly slower than before, but with better pacing and control of the wheel.
  7. Jan 7, 2011
    80
    If you still have a stomach for violent, vulgar content, this is recommended.
  8. Jan 14, 2011
    79
    It's a testament to Ghostface's MC bonafides and sheer force of personality that, while easily his weakest solo outing, Apollo Kids is far from a bad album. It just doesn't quite feel like a Ghostface Killah album.
  9. Jan 3, 2011
    73
    It's hard not to feel conflicted about Apollo Kids. Unlike Ghostface records that presumably get unfairly judged by the standards of his best work, it's tempting to overrate it due a general relief that he didn't try to make Ghostdini again.
  10. Jan 13, 2011
    70
    Apollo Kids definitely feels like a bit of an apology to his fans, and might be more accurately considered a stopgap, street album before Ghost's next labor of love.
  11. Jan 4, 2011
    85
    Ghostface can rest easy in the fact that Apollo Kids shows that the drop in quality on Wizard of Poetry was just temporary, and amongst rappers who are 40-years-old or older, he's the definite champ. There aren't even many graying rockers making art as vital as Apollo Kids, radio play or not.
  12. Dec 21, 2010
    70
    Ghostface Killah is so charismatic, he can brag about being an old coot and make it sound badass.
  13. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    Much like Raekwon on his 2009 landmark, Ghostface manages to steal the show despite the esteemed roll of guest spots. His rapid-fire delivery and blitz of sassy metaphors set a high-octane pace.
  14. Dec 21, 2010
    70
    Ghostface Killah's ninth album consoles his hardcore constituency: Forty-plus minutes of gritty, soul-sampling beats soundtracking bizarro street tales ("Starkology," "Ghetto"), with lyrical tough-guys Busta Rhymes, Redman, and more than half the Wu Tang Clan tagging along.
  15. Dec 21, 2010
    91
    Even without that tribute to the early days of hip-hop, Apollo Kids would still boast an ingratiatingly retro feel, as Ghostface returns to the soulful formula that served him so well on The Pretty Toney Album and Fishscale. Ghost never went anywhere, yet Kids feels like a comeback all the same.
  16. 88
    If Apollo Kids is a warm-up, we can expect monster things from Ghost in the New Year.
  17. Jan 3, 2011
    80
    Ghost has had his share of ups and downs, but Apollo Kids finds him back near the top.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jan 14, 2011
    10
    A seamless transition from his critically acclaimed R'n'B album, Ghostface firmly salutes the classical hip-hop style that is absent from today's mainstream market with intimidating lyrics and typical vocal authority. The beats are aggressive, compressed hard and reflect Ghostface's larger than life persona, the samples effective (though unoriginal) are used stylistically as a subtext to genre and the mastering develops these elements by slamming them against your eardrums. Don't expect anything and you will be wowed, expect too much and you will still be pleased! Never one to disrespect the art, Ghostface Killah proves again that he is the greatest rapper alive paving the way for fellow New York MCs Nas & Raekwon to defeat him for the title. Artistically he develops on the styles of Drake and Lil Wayne while still providing the cultural substance that makes him such a powerful speaker. 10/10 97/100 Full Review »
  2. Jan 3, 2011
    9
    overall strong return for Tony Starks after the last few okay efforts.
    rhymes: off the chain 9.5/10
    beats: mostly good yet some are weak
    7.5/10
    guests: some are just incredibly dope (black thought, wu tang) and some need work (joell ortiz, jim jones) 8/10
    Overall: 8.5/10
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 8, 2012
    8
    This rap album is a hidden gem from 2010. Only hip hop heads are going to have/know this album. Ghostface rarely disappoints on his solo outings and this is certainly no exception. Full Review »