Phantasmic Voyage: GhostDeini offers an uneven ride through Ghostface?s catalog.

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If anyone deserves a greatest hits album, it’s Ghostface Killah. Although he has gone from lesser-heralded Wu-Tang Clan member to platinum solo artist to, most recently, a commercially stagnant artist who has broken with Wu leadership, the Staten Island rapper’s catalog is remarkably consistent. Early albums such as 1996’s Ironman and 2000’s Supreme Clientele are undeniable classics filled with meaty, atmospheric tracks. His last two discs of original material, Fishscale and The Big Doe Rehab, meanwhile, received enough praise from critics to make Ghost, with the possible exceptions of Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne, the most heralded MC working. Though lacking the clean flow of rappers like Rakim or Nas, Ghostface’s gruff, slightly labored rhymes add texture to his oft-surreal tales. Packing all of that genius into one decent compilation album, however, has proved difficult. Ghostface’s imaginative, humor-filled verses and complex stories of the criminal underworld have spawned collections both bootlegged and official, yet none adequately corral his career highlights. Perhaps the existing sea of Ghostface comps explain why GhostDeini the Great was barely promoted. Or maybe Def Jam was worried the collection would be another More Fish, the pointless rarities album Ghost released nine months after dropping Fishscale. While GhostDeini is yet another hodgepodge of remixes and b-sides, it still holds some jewels. Many of the tracks have been slightly altered from their original versions, and the emphasis is on recent material. “Walk Around” still packs heat, as does “Toney Sigel (a.k.a. Barrel Bros.),” which features a bonus verse from LOX veteran Styles P. Though “Run,” Ghostface’s epic tale of police escape, may well go down as one of his most beloved songs, the remixed version here feels a little bloated, thanks to guest verses from Jadakiss, Lil’ Wayne, Raekwon, and Freeway. More successful are “9 Milli Bros,” which features the Wu-Tang Clan, and a remix of “Be Easy” featuring a rollicking Pete Rock beat and a somewhat silly Ice Cube verse. As for the new material, the disco-flavored “Slept On Tony” has a movie-soundtrack feel that does little more than make one hope Ghostface is given a substantial role in the next Iron Man installment: Although the name Tony Starks is probably associated with the rapper almost as often as the comic book character, Ghostface’s small part in the first film was cut. “Ghostface X-Mas” is a lot more fun, delightfully invoking beverages like eggnog splashed with Hennessy and whipped-cream topped Quik. Still, the limited number of fresh tracks means longtime fans will find GhostDeini fails as both a retrospective and a source of new material. Not only will they have heard most of these tracks before, but songs like “Back Like That” and “Kilo” weren’t particularly memorable the first time around. Nevertheless, those who have never heard “Apollo Kids” or “All That I Got Is You” before will likely be as excited as a ’60s teenager discovering Bob Dylan, which, at the end of the day, is probably the best indicator of this pseudo-greatest hits album’s success.