One major way that hip-hop is different from all other types of music is that a single verse can turn a track from good to “holy shit”. Case in point: Ghostface Killah’s absolutely bonkers verse on De La Soul’s 2004 album cut “He Comes”. Trugoy and Pos are great rappers; by 2004 they’d come a long way from the rudimentary sing-song rhymes of “Me, Myself and I”. However, Ghostface exists on a different plane than most emcees. His track closing 16 bars rebukes “fake” rappers, hands out props to his De La brethren, and somehow crams in a reference to Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show”. Oh, did I mentions that he drops in a line about his foes being buried next to Saddam Hussein’s two sons Uday and Qusay?
Ghost has been one of the most dependably entertaining emcees in hip-hop for a quarter century now (and De La Soul has been one of the most dependably entertaining groups in the genre for even longer). They may not seem like obvious collaborators, but “He Comes” brings out the best in all three artists.