Who's gonna take the weight? In these days and times--the last days--for a multitude of reasons, this is the question at hand. And, if ever there was any doubt, the answer is, of course, none other than Ghostface (the artist formerly known as Ghostface Killah, or GFK, to friends). Armed with his latest heat rock of an album, Fish Scale, which boasts production from MF DOOM, Pete Rock, J.Dilla, MadLib, and many others, the broad shouldered Ghost stands ready and willing to carry the Wu Tang's burden and return rap to it's proper course. "You know, n----s try to come on that other sh--," he says of hip hop's growing ranks of imposters, "So I just had come back to raw drugs, sex, money, and murder sh-- real quick to show these young n----s how it's s'possed to be done."
And who better to kick the truth to the young black youth, than Ghost, an artist more universally accepted than American Express. "I know that n----s got love for me," he says. "Where ever I go, up north, down south, out west, n----s show me love, because they respect me as a true artist." In an industry of swagger jackers and copy cats Ghost has always stood for integrity and innovation and his unique wordplay and unparalleled taste in beats has been demonstrated on each of his four solo albums (Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Bulletproof Wallets, The Pretty Toney LP), as well as his contributions to the four Wu Tang Clan albums, and perhaps most notably Raekwon's lauded classic, Only Built For Cuban Linx. "It used to be all about originality and flipping new words," he says. "Now you got n----s all using the same words, but I come from that Slick Rick era, that Biz Markie era when everybody had to sound different, so my sound ain't like anybody else."
Indeed, born and raised in Staten Island's infamous Stapleton project, Ghost, born Dennis Coles 34 years ago, has always been a pioneer, even within his own crew. Though it's said that when Wu Tang Clan formed like Voltron in 1992 that RZA was the head, undoubtedly Ghostface was the body. "When RZA decided to form the Wu Tang I was the one that knew everyone," he says, "So I was the link that brought everyone together and that's why I was an executive producer on 36 Chambers." That album would go on to go 3 times platinum and change the face of rap music.
Though most rappers would be content with one earth-shattering release, Ghost followed-up 36 Chambers with Cuban Linx a short two years later and introduced the rap game to crack game. "With the purple tape me and Rae brought all that silk shirt, Cristal, wallabee sh-- to the game," he says. "We showed everyone how to do that drug dealer, live n---a rap, you know what I mean." Hailed an unquestionable classic Cuban Linx set the tone of rap for nearly a decade, and established the duo of Rae and Ghost as hip hop's most vivid, most visceral storytellers. The next year GFK made his solo debut with Ironman, and proved that, though he and Rae were an excellent team, he could excel alone as well.
However, it was Supreme Clientele, Ghost's sophomore effort released in the wake of the Wu's receding relevance, which earned him his most accolades as a soloist and set him apart from his Clan brethren. Judged to be one to the top 10 albums of all time by VIBE magazine, Ghost's '99 effort also yielded him his most successful radio record, "Chercez La Ghost." Over the next five years Ghost would go on to drop 2 more critically acclaimed albums, as well as appearing prominently on the later Wu Tang Clan records.
While hip hop stays an ever changing creative environment, over 10 years deep in the game Ghost remains one of the genre's few immovable, revered creators. "Fish Scale is just me showing that I can still ball with the best of them," he says. "With each album I learn so this album has the most knowledge of all of them." Songs like "Kilo" and "Be Easy" demonstrate this with their effortless brilliance. Free of intoxicants ("I haven't smoked in over 2 years," says the one time psychedelic fanatic.), Ghost's flow is focused and free. "This album is gonna put me back on top of everyone's list," he says. "Ain't nobody approaching they music with the care that I do--down to the sequencing."
As it always has, it's this attention to detail which will set Ghostface apart as he puts rap on his back and, true to his superhero moniker, saves the day.
--- from the official Ghostface Killah website