The Pretty Toney Album is the fourth studio album by American hip hop artist Ghostface, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The album was released on April 20, 2004, by Def Jam Recordings. It is the only album from the artist to be released solely under the title of “Ghostface” (“Killah” is entirely omitted in any reference to his name on the packaging), but it is otherwise a normal Ghostface Killah release in line with the rest of his catalogue.
The album cover is a photograph taken from his performance of the song “Summertime” with Beyoncé at Jay-Z’s farewell concert at Madison Square Garden in November 2003. It is an interpolation of the cover of Doug E. Fresh‘s album The World’s Greatest Entertainer. The oversized jewelry he is seen wearing in the photograph was given to him prior to his performance by rapper Slick Rick, as seen in the film “Fade to Black.”
The Pretty Toney Album received critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 84, which indicates “universal acclaim”, based on 14 reviews. David Jeffries of AllMusic said, “The Pretty Toney Album has a lack of Wu-related references on it. It’s Ghostface’s album entirely and all the better for it.” Tiny Mix Tapes said, “It exemplifies all of the elements that Ghostface has been successful with in the past. Unfortunately, The Pretty Toney Album falls short in replacing what Raekwon had contributed to Ghost’s previous album releases, causing the album to feel essentially incomplete.”
Rollie Pemberton of Pitchfork said, “Expectedly, minor shortcomings hold the record back from classic status. The lack of his usual obligatory Raekwon collaboration hurts Pretty Toney’s variety, and the skits, despite featuring topics and idiosyncratic raps far above the standards of his contemporaries, tend to bog down the album’s progress. But all things considered, Pretty Toney far surpasses 2001’s Bulletproof Wallets, finally finding the missing link between street cred and commercial respect.”
Chart (2004) Peak position