“Six Degrees” ft. Danny Brown- Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD
Finding the common thread through “Six Degrees”, Ghostface Killah’s collaboration with Toronto jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD and madcap MC Danny Brown, is near impossible. It’s akin to performing alchemy or decrypting James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Sure you can try, but your attempt is going to end in embarrassment. Ghost is arguably the greatest to ever do “stream of consciousness” rap. He blends painstaking descriptions about the “tartar sauce on my S Dot Kicks” with head scratchers like “fly like Egyptian musk,” delivering each with a similar command. In that sense, Danny Brown is a direct descendant of Ghost. Making the most out of his pinched-off, nervy flow he talks about “b**** p**** smell like Penguin’s” and avoiding crack fiends on the way to the store with equal urgency. Both of their brains leak like a sieve and every thought flows out with the same pressure.
Emboldened by BADBADNOTGOOD’s minimalist noir-slink, Ghost and Brown fill in the blanks with a deluge of details. While delivering bodies to Staten Island landfills, Ghost “creeps like a caterpillar.” To keep his evil third eye functioning, he pours “bottles of the 150 over twisters” and blows “on the green deadly.” As drums pan back and forth, Ghost spotlights a fiend “with a needle left stuck in his arm, died of bad fix” and doesn’t even blink. Like any “good” narrator he’s careful not to romanticize any one character. Guys from the block “stashing guns in shrimp bags” aren’t a tragedy, but a matter of fact. If Ghost opts for the ego-route with his verse, Danny Brown nears full-blown id. He’ll scratch you without thinking twice if you dare stand in his way while watching Juice. Rappers will be devoured “like butternut squash” if Brown feels his tummy rumbling. Even the decision to go “drunk drivin’ in a Charger” doesn’t scan as ill-advised. It’s just something to do. When you’re as unfiltered as these two, there’s no telling what thought might come out.