The Wraith: Shangri-La, the sixth and final joker's card, the supposed end of it all. The last album to drop in the series of the six faces of the dark carnival. The Wraith guides you on your journey after death, be it good or evil. Shangri-La is the Juggalo Heaven...the good side of death. Hell's Pit is yet to come...That's the story line behind this album. Its a little dramatic, but thats the gimmick.
Violent J - vocals
Shaggy 2 Dope - vocals, turntables
Mike Puwal - production, guitars
Additional vocals by:
Blaze Ya Dead Homie
...and featuring Zug Izland on Walk Into Thy Light, Cotton Candy & Popsicles, and Thy Unveiling.
ICP's style seems to lean more towards the rock side of the genre with every release, and this album is no exception. Their earlier albums are heavily rap influenced, with minimal rock riffs, but The Wraith showcases the opposite. The rap is still there, but the rock is much more apparent than before. This sixth joker's card is ICP at their best.
Walk Into Thy Light - 3/5
This track starts off as all the other joker cards do, narrating the story of The Wraith. After the story comes the high pitched, helium induced commentary from The Ringmaster. The song itself begins with Shaggy's verse basically saying, "We told you it would come." J comes in sounding very raspy, singing about juggalos, faygo, the usual. The highpoint of the song is definitely the chorus, which is repeated for last half of the song, and features the band Zug Izland on instruments and vocals. They could have done more with the verses, but the rest was done nicely.
Welcome To Thy Show - 4/5
This is probably the song that best represents this album. Excellent rapping from both J and Shaggy, a nice blend of wicked lyrics and juggalo chants. Nice use of the call and answer format for the two rappers. The end drags on a bit, but for the most part its a great song.
Thy Staleness - 3/5
Thy Staleness kicks off with what I believe is dialogue from the movie "Killer Clowns From Outer Space"...but dont quote me on it. The verses in this really are nothing special, but the end it works up to is worth all three points Ive given it. Another chant from J and the crew, "Im so sorry Im stale, but still I gotta murder your face." The chant itself sounds very happy, and is insanely catchy. It offsets the lyrics quite nicely.
Juggalo Homies - 5/5
Who can you relax around and scratch your balls? Homies. This is easily one of my favorite songs of all time, and it relates almost exactly to my friends and I. It starts with an awesome little guitar riff, J raps the verses, Shaggy raps the bridges, and the whole psychopathic family sings the chorus. The guys from Twiztid make appearances with verses of their own (Madrox's is the high point of the song for me) and ABK yells throughout. If you download one ICP song, let this be the one.
Ain't Yo Bidness - 3/5
Back to rapping. This is the most rap influenced song on the album. They do a great job of separating themselves from all the mainstream gangsta rappers, and make fun of a few of them. Decent song to an awesome beat.
We Belong - 4/5
I gave this one a 4, because some of the rapping J does in the second verse is just plain cool. "Some of us own drug paraphernalia materials and some of us have incurable sexual venerials"