Label: Soul Temple Records/RED Distribution

When it was announced that Ghostface would be teaming with Adrian Younge, the man behind the Black Dynamite soundtrack, to release an album, hip-hop fans fell into two camps. Those familiar with Younge's instrumental résumé were intrigued by the prospect of his pairing with Wu-Tang's most consistent and creative member; those who weren't familiar with his resume said, "Who dat?"

The end result, Twelve Reasons To Die, exceeded the expectations of pretty much everybody. Playing a tormented gangster to perfection, Ghostface's quirky narration sounds right at home over cinematic production from Younge, who adds a Western twist to the beats while retaining the same gritty feel that has always marked the Wu-Tang Clan sound. This may not be a revolutionary project, but Younge manages to take Ghostface out of his comfort zone without compromising quality. It's one of the best projects in the Wu-Tang catalog of the last decade. —Dharmic X