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Call it the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup plan: two great tastes that taste great together. It’s worked out pretty well in the past for pairings like Buckshot and 9th Wonder, so the combination of mixtape ace/producer DJ Green Lantern and respected New York rapper Styles P would seem like a no-brainer.

The fruit of that collaboration is The Green Ghost Project, a collection of tracks that falls into the gray area between mixtape and full-fledged album, though leaning more toward the latter. Foregoing today’s usual blueprint of attempting to appeal to every different hip hop constituency, the project is 52 minutes of no-frills East Coast rap.

On the boards, Green Lantern takes an aggressive approach that results in a sound that’s probably even a little darker than the usual D-Block fare. When P rips through street life tales like “Nothin To Lose” and “Double Trouble” (with Sheek Louch), you don’t just hear his lines, you feel them too.

Unfortunately, the songs on the first half of the album tend to sound enough alike that they run one into the other without much to distinguish them. That’s true even of the Alchemist-produced “Make Millions From Entertainment” and Buckwild’s contribution “Time Will Tell,” where a guest spot from Raekwon doesn’t come off quite as exciting as one might expect.

Things come to life on the more varied second half, with “Pretty Little Thing” sounding more radio friendly but still dope, and Statik Selektah providing a throwback feel with the piano loops and scratches on “Shadows.” Two of the final three tracks are in-your-face winners: “Bang Time” with M.O.P. and “Pablo Doe,” a.k.a. the best thing Noreaga has been on in a while.

With Styles on every track, you don’t have to worry much about the lyrical side of the package. It may not be his finest hour on the mic, but he can literally take any beat, any tempo or any topic and make it work, and he’s consistent the whole way through.

The Green Ghost Project didn’t arrive with a whole lot of hype, but it’s the kind of music that speaks for itself. It may not be gold from beginning to end, but there are enough tasty moments that you can be glad The Ghost and GL put their heads together, Reese’s style.


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