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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

RZA - "Ghost Dog" [Japanese Import]

Jim Jarmusch, the brilliant American director behind trademark flicks like "Dead Man", "Coffe & Cigarrettes" and "Broken Flowers", made one of his most interesting movies in 1999 with "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". The film is about a contract killer (excellently played by Forest Whitalker) living by the ancient Samurai code and studying Hagakure: The Book Of The Smaurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. At the same time he's living a very lonely life only accompanied by his pigeons and building an unusual French speaking ice cream man despite they have no clue what they are saying to eachother. There's also a little girl who he meets early in the morning that he's becoming very fond of in his own twisted way. Jarmusch, who's a huge Wu-Tang Clan fan, wrote the script quickly realizing that he needed the Wu's master producer The RZA to score the film to give it the right mood.  The RZA''s music always had a cinematic quality to it and "Ghost Dog" was the perfect introduction for him as his scoring debut because of of the Samurai aspect of the script that Jarmusch had written. This lead to Jarmus presenting the idea to The Abbot in '98 or early '99 and they just clicked and RZA said yes.

Today, RZA has scored and acted as a music supervisor in plenty of movies, including "Kill Bill Vol. 1 / 2", Blade Trinity, "The Protector", "Soul Plane" and many more. But for "Ghost Dog" this was something completely new for The Abbot and once he took up the offer it would be the beginning of a totally new career that would change his career forever. The score for his first foray into the film world might just be his finest however;; an atmospheric soundtrack, often with hardhitting beats, that "underscores both the hitman's Zen-like qualities and the lurking menace of his enviroment". If I remember correctly, RZA originally brought Jarmusch a batch of music of stuff he thought would please rhe director alás more traditional film music. The director told him something a long the lines of: "I wanted you to score this flick because you are The RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan; I want you to create atmospheric but Wu sounding beats for the score and it'll be perfect". Said and done; the final movie bears plenty of music that has all the trademarks of classic Wu-Tang beats and perfectly embodies the actions, thoughts and overall character of Whitaker's  different but outstanding portrayal of the engima that is Ghost Dog.
One of the most intersting thing about the soundtrack was that it was released in two completely different, but both superb, versions fully produced by The RZA. In late 1999, the original score featuring all the instrumental passages created for the actual film (fleshed out with a couple of bonus tracks) released as a Japan exclusive only on both CD and LP. Clocking in at forty monutes, this edition of "Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai" is a great listen front-to-back and will be even iller if you have seen the actual movie. In the USA and Europe, a completely different soundtrack was released in the early 2000 under the same name but with the added extra title "...The Album". This bore very little resemblance to the Japanese LP. Instead it featured twelve RZA produced vocal tracks, rounded out by clips from the movie set over the "Ghost Dog Theme". Very few of the songs were featured in any way in either the film or the released score. Instead it played more like a fully RZA produced The Swarm" / "The Sting" album(s) with a host of guest apperances from Wu-Tang Clan, Wu members, Wu affilliates like 12 O'Clock, Sunz Of Man, Blue Raspberry and Black Knights Of Teh Noth Star. One very interesting track rhere is "East New York Stomp" which features the reunion of Jeru the Damaja and Afu-Ra oover a gritty reversed version of "Shadowboxin'". Overall this was a great album but it had very little to do with the actual movie, despite some references to the storyline..

But this post is of course about the Japanese import, if you haven't heard this before and you're a fan of instrumental hip-hop and RZA this is a must hear to say the least. Most downloads you'll find of this album has the fourteen first songs but in fact the album actually had sixteen songs, featuring an additional instrumental called "Free Jazz" as well as the classic "Wu World Order"with RZA and LA The Darkman dropping a couple of hot sixteens. The Lost Tapes of course don't do anything half assed so of course I'm bringing you the full 16 tracks version and as if that wasn't enough, I'm adding a rare instrumental that appeared on the vinyl version at the end of US version - "Ninjastep". Enjoy this shit and TURN IT UP!!

 01.  "Ghost Dog Theme (w/ Dogs & FX)"
02. "Opening Theme (Raise Your Swords)"
03. "Flying Birds"
04. "Samurai Theme"
05. "Gangster's Theme"
06. "Dead Birds"
07. "Fast Shadow #1" (w. Wu-Tang Clan)
08. "RZA #7"
09. "Funky Theme"
10. "RZA's Theme"
11. "Samurai Showdown (Raise Your Sword)
12. "Ghost Dog Theme #2"
13. "Fast Shadow #2" (w. Wu-Tang Clan)
14. "Untitled #8"
15. "Free Jazz (Untitled #12)"
16. "Wu-World Order" (w. Wu-Tang Clan)
c7 bonus track:
17. "Ninjastep" [*]



  1. Thanks again, I already have the Jap import but not that bonus track.

  2. This is very awesome my dude!

  3. Thanks Claaa7, my vinyl bootleg of this is unlistenable. Appreciated!

  4. no problems guy, i live for music and especially hip-hop and love writing plus got a huge collection of both digital and physical music so i'm just glad to share stuff like this with fellow fanatics... i always appreciate when ya'll take the time out to comment too, so i know my work is appreciated so peace. enjoy the music and look forward to more great stuff coming soon!

    btw, i have had some troubles responding to comments lately. don't know why, so if i haven't responded to a comment recently you now know why!


  5. btw, if you missed it - click on the link that says "Blade Trinity" in this post and it takes you to a post i made some 6 months ago. it's a little article about RZA's work on the soundtrack and a link to the RZA produced "Blade Trinity" "EP" alás the 5 songs he did for the OST. that plays out really good and has at least 3 modern Wu classics imo ("Thirsty", "Fatal", "I Gotta Get Paid").

  6. I got DVD (movie), cd, poster ... and still know a guy that has the movie symbol tattooed on his arm and the "W" in the other arm.
    to me is one of the best RZA works, amazing.

    Wu-Tang Forever.
    props from Brazil.

  7. The link is off, have some other that I can download? Thanx man.

  8. new link is up now!

    i'm also re-upping the "Blade Trinity" EP produced by RZA, which is a fantastic listen that I strongly recommend.

  9. thanks! this is one of my favorites

  10. Thanks so much Claaa7. I've been looking to get this for years. Classic!! Couldn't even get it on iTunes

  11. Thanx Man! Somehow, I lost my copy and was looking for this forever


    Shit this is one of the sickest movies ever I love it the Soundtrack got me hooked RZA an WuTang got this down so well...Jim awesome director Just shows if you have an idea get it down Collaborate an Create

    Way too much shit goin on in the world too many creatin Hate n Wars Politicians and Religions
    Sheep People trying to justify Killing absolute Garbage one way is

    CREATE PEOPLE no matter What Create as long as it doesnt harm others or promote hate Create Something Good

    Develop a Skill work it Learn it Develop it PEACE all :)

    Thanks for the posting of this awesome

  13. Can you reupload pretty pretty please

  14. Yeah just watched GD yesterday and would like to enjoy this fine OST. Cheers!

  15. peace guys,
    i'd be happy to re-up this, but i've lost a lot of music including this 1and i never grabbed a physical copy of it... i'll re-up it when i get my hands on it again

    1. thank you very much man, just stumbled on the movie and the RZA (as always) delivers. So thanks for the effort and if it happens, many thanks.

  16. Please re-upload if you're still alive and possess the files.

  17. Could you please re-upload if possible? Thank you.

  18. Dude could we get a re up if this is still active, or if anyone has the files could you post em somewhere, I've been looking all over for this. Thanks.