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Thread: Ghost interview from Ironman sessions

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    Groovallegiance 5hundred&one's Avatar
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    Default Ghost interview from Ironman sessions

    http://www.egotripland.com/the-iron-...llah-unmasked/

    The Iron Man Cometh: Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah Unmasked


    Words: Chairman Mao | Photos: Christian Lantry
    Originally published in ego trip #8, 1996


    It’s easy to forget that back in 1993 Ghostface Killah’s was the first voice to beckon us into the 36 Chambers. His identity shrouded in mystery behind a generic stocking mask, his hungry vocal tone and hyped-up delivery distinguished him as something of a sharp-tongued oddity amongst the chaotic charisma held down by some of his fellow killer bees. Nearly three years down-the-road-and-to-the-bank later, the line-up of America’s C.R.E.A.M. Team remains largely the same, but the names have been changed in order to preserve the originality. Reinvented as “Iron Man,” a/k/a “Tony Stark(s)” (the Marvel Comics character’s civilian identity) on Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, Ghost has within the past twelve months at last solidified his own number one super-guy role through extraordinary appearances on Jodeci’s “Freek N You” remix, GZA’s “4th Chamber” and “Investigative Reports,” as well as his solo single, “Motherless Child.” In his rhymes one hears the bizarre, the comical, the autobiographical, the hostile, and the mundane Cuisinarted into a creatively nutritious concoction that does the ears wonders, yet somehow leaves no artificial after-effects.

    You see, like that kid from Talking Heads, Big Ghost ain’t afraid to stop making sense. On “4th Chamber,” a labyrinth of surreal imagery climaxes with “Stand up/ You’re out of luck like two dogs stuck/ Iron Man be sippin’ rum out of Stanley Cups.” On “Freek N You,” he taxes that wisdom booty with, “I like my power U warm/ Study Islam/ If my wife calls, play it off/ You’re my cousin Dawn.” On “Investigative Reports,” he even non-sequiturs his own creative process with, “Yo, I grab the pen for revenge and let loose, see/ Like Muslims standing on the corner rockin’ a kufi.” But can such exercises in verbal intercourse really be so simple?

    “I don’t plan nothin’ when I write,” remarks the iconoclast of his wordsmith ways. “I just write. I take my time. Like Raekwon can write a joint in twenty minutes. It would take me a couple of hours. Sometimes more than that since I might put the paper down and come back to it. See, anybody know how to rap, but to be an artist at it and have your uniqueness is a different thing. Like I don’t gotta be sayin’ nothing, but you swear I be sayin’ something because of the way I got my words together and what type of words I’m using.”



    Ultimately, it’s led to a new legion of devotees, going so far as to include big-time rock stars like Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea – who unabashedly swung from Anthony Starks’ iron nuts when he gushed, “Ghostface Killah is one of our most gifted poets,” on a recent Boxtalk. Whilst the imminent release of Iron Man positions him as the next Wu-son to brighten hip-hop’s turbulent skies, today’s Tony Starks views yesterday’s Ghostface Killah through the crystal clear 3-D goggles of experience.

    “I didn’t really get to shine on 36 Chambers like I shoulda shined,” he recalls candidly. “For the simple fact that I was being too selfish with my raps. I thought my solo album woulda been one of the first to come out, so I tried to save it when I shoulda just gone ahead and thrown bombs up on there. But I learned from that – patience, a lot of discipline. Don’t ever be selfish because whatever’s natural is gonna come to you regardless.”

    =

    It’s that late afternoon hour we’re conditioned as children to forever associate with naptime. Ghostface reclines his bulky six-foot-plus frame on a sofa in the Mansion’s living room as his two-year-old son, Infinite, shifts in mid-slumber beside him.

    “You gotta pee?” father asks son quietly.
    “Nuh-uh,” musters the sleepy child. Infinite rolls over and back into la-la land, apparently content to let his dreams safely guide him through the rest of the day.

    “He had a twin, that’s my daughter Destiny,” Ghost says, calmly recalling the tragic turn of events that forever changed his life. “She had to return back to the essence five days after she was born. That’s his sister, right there. When things like that happen it usually be on what things you did in your life – like what bad things I ever did for something like that to happen. The things you do that’s real bad don’t necessarily come back to you. Sometimes they come back to someone you love.”

    As sobering recollections go, Ghost has had more than his share. The circumstances of his own upbringing lacked what most people would call fundamental comforts and necessities. As the oldest of eight children living in Staten Island’s Stapleton Housing Projects, the responsibilities that came with growing up fatherless took their toll. With his mother alcohol-dependent and two brothers stricken with muscular dystrophy and confined to wheelchairs, Ghost’s childhood remains littered with unsettling memories:

    “Fifteen people in a three bedroom apartment,” he says deliberately, “goin’ through hell. It was deep. I only had two pair of pants and shit. The father plays an important role and he wasn’t there to sit down with me with my homework or whatever. So it was like times I ran away from too much pressure from me being the oldest – runnin’ back and forth to the store. Two brothers in a wheelchair and I’m takin’ ’em and forth to the bathroom, pickin’ ’em up. It was a lot of pressure. At the same time my moms never had it for Christmas and certain holidays [when] you might want a gift or something.”

    His home-life struggles showing no signs of relief, Ghost turned to the streets for economic fortification, inevitably only to be faced with further harsh lessons.

    “[Since everybody’s out there] tryin’ to get that money at the same time, that’s where beef comes in with other motherfuckers. You start losing your homeboys – your man you used to play moosetag and cocolevio and all that shit when y’all was growin’ up. All that shit just goes to waste and now since the drug was put out there, you goin’ to war.”

    Forced out of his projects due to the ongoing drug war, Ghost dropped out of school and spent a few years prolonging his unsavory career path in the hustler’s purgatory known simply as “outta state.” Along the way he became a first-time father, survived multiple gunshot wounds (“Twice in the arm, once in my neck”) and abused the substances of his chosen trade. Perhaps salvaging this chapter in his life was one notable development: Ghost cementing his longtime friendship with one of his most coveted cohorts, and one of the key individuals he credits with enlightening him with a foundation of Islamic knowledge – the RZA.

    “Me and the god [RZA] was always together and shit,” Ghost remembers, “like mostly through that whole struggle [out of state]. It’s like I always been the enforcer, he been the brains, so we worked together. He gave me the answers to a lot of questions that I was seeking for. At the time I was smokin’ a lot of dust, but my ears was always open for knowledge. He helped me. That’s my brother right there, and I love the shit out of him. I don’t give a fuck if I know nobody in my life. Me just being around him is just a jewel and a blessing in itself. God is a scientist. That’s how come we chose him to be president of the Wu-Tang.”

    Ghost, RZA, and the remaining members of the Clan had been rhyming and cutting demos for years even while engaged in various extra-curricular activities. And when the time came for them to pool their currency to finance the “Protect Ya Neck” single, the choice of which lifestyle to choose became clear: “You can’t mix pork with beef and good with bad,” Ghost reasons. “Something gotta go. So it was either leave them drugs alone and leave the block alone, or do this here. We just got a certain dog we gotta walk and once we walk that dog, we on that straight path. These songs is like drugs because if your product is good, it’s gonna speak for itself.”

    With one foot in hip-hop and one still immersed in his hazardous day job, Ghost embraced anonymity (via the trademark stocking mask) and a new M.O. to face the future: Problems with the law? Don’t discuss ’em. The Ghosface Killah was born.

    Check out the rap kingpin/ The Black Jesus

    - Tony Starks from Raekwon’s “Ice Water”

    The Marvel Comics’ Tony Stark was a well-to-do industrialist who made his living designing weaponry for the government. After a landmine accident left his heart damaged by shrapnel, he created his own armor suit to shelter his vulnerability and fought injustices under his new persona, Iron Man. While the lives of Ghostface Killah and Tony Stark share an eerily similar series of tragic scenarios – the unexpected death of a loved one (in Stark’s case, his wife), substance abuse, both victims of serious acts of violence etc. – Ghostface dispels the notion that they consciously played any part in his own reinvention for the masses.

    “I always been in that field where I stood out in a crowd, regardless of what it was,” he explains. “And being inside this rap shit, there comes a time that everybody gets this feeling that ain’t nobody could fuck with you – like you the best at what you do, even though there’s a lot of great minds out there that do good lyrics. But I just felt like I was the Iron Man of this right here. Not sayin’ that I’m the best rapper, but I know how to maintain and hold my own fort down – not just to be on some wise cartoon shit or some Marvel shit. I don’t get trapped up in all that Marvel Comics stuff like that. I just be myself. I don’t worship none of that.”

    “But what about the parallels between your personal lives?” I ask. “Like Tony Stark, he was an alcoholic…”

    “ – I’m an alcoholic too, you know what I’m sayin’?” Ghost volunteers unexpectedly.

    “You consider yourself an alcoholic?”

    “Yeah, whatever you do every day, you addicted to it,” he philosophizes. “I don’t care what it is. You smoke weed every day, you a weed-head. You drink every day, you an alcoholic. I don’t give a fuck if you gotta fuck every day, you a sexaholic. Whatever you want, you’re a fiend. Whatever you do every day, you gotta have it.”

    “You think it’s a problem?” I ask.

    “Yeah, it’s a problem,” he concedes. “But at the same time I know it’s a problem and recognize that and [am] able to admit up to it. I’m not following [the fictional Tony Stark’s] footsteps. I been drinkin’ for years straight – like six, seven years. Just drinkin’, writin’, drinkin’, write, drink. Sometimes that just bring it out in me.”

    This year, Iron Man strikes back. Gone is the Mafioso worship of last year’s Wu-Gambinos, its rotting concept-carcass left to hip-hop vultures that fervently guzzle Cristal like the fiends Ghostface used to service during his tenure on the block. In its place is the world according to Tony Starks; a world without pork; a world in which kids don’t celebrate Christmas, but get gifts on whatever day big poppa deems; a world in which the good, the bad, and ugly collide within the verses drawn from one man’s troubled, but eventually triumphant lifetime of experiences.

    “This album you might just catch more jewls being dropped – mathematical jewels basically puttin’ you on point on some wake-the-fuck-up type shit,” he reiterates. “[The Clan] ain’t gettin’ caught up in all that Cristal shit. ’Cause we was the first ones to go ’head and say stuff like that. [Raekwon’s] album was just a chamber – something we was goin’ through that year. But you got all these other guys that just keep on. I understand they love Wu, but some time let that shit breathe. It’s good to have them times – you pop a bottle of Cristal, you lookin’ good and all that, but don’t fall into that illusion of luxury.”

    No illusions exist within the RZA’s basement-lab, just the sound of hip-hop conventions being crushed like pesky cockroaches. That evening, in the sound-board-illuminated control room, Ghostface and RZA oversee the completion of a composition entitled “Soul Controller.” As a characteristically Wu construction site of sound encompasses us, the echoing voices of Force MD’s TCD and Jesse (just in on the midnight express from Shao-lin to lend vocals to the song) experiment with tried and true soul harmonies over the down-tempo beat; a little Sam Cooke, a taste of Stylistics, and finally, the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” melody.

    “Niggas is nice,” RZA says, grinning maniacally. Ghostface answers with a gratified head-nod. Here within the isolation of the lab, the excess bullshit of life is rendered meaningless. Standing on the verge of getting his due, the denim-clad, chain-rocking figure in the shadows resembles neither Ghosface Killah, nor Tony Starks – only an individual pushing the Landcruiser of his own destiny, with a full tank of fuel and open road ahead:

    “The more I be in tune with myself, the more I’m in tune with life,” he summarizes. “And through my music, it gets me to see things for what they really are and not what they appear to be. I can take the knowledge of what I’m doing and what I analyze everyday – which is life – and put that through my music. I know what time it is with this already, so it’s like I can just take you on regular raw raps. I don’t have to talk about shootin’ nobody – just hip-hop. I know the basics. I know the foundation. This is the foundation of all, right here.”
    don't remember ever seein this. good shit, except the writer's corny ass tryin to be clever n shit. my bad if it's been posted already

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  2. #2
    crushed out heavenly Ghost In The 'Lac's Avatar
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    neither do i, this is damn impressive

    never even seen the photos

    big rep


  3. #3
    king disguised as beggar. the silencer's Avatar
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    superdope

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    king disguised as beggar. the silencer's Avatar
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    15 fuckin years ago!!!

  5. #5
    SUN*KID ON THE ONE LoTec's Avatar
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    props
    Impermanence on this plane of reality/where criminality, brutality freely dwell/ Truth is a casualty in this hell/ Karma reins with divine causality, then its swell--StrangeLoveSurreal


  6. #6
    Hungry Hyena From Medina SL33's Avatar
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    repped




  7. #7
    36 chambers dafran's Avatar
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    repped!!


    OL'DIRTY BASTARD (R.I.P.)

  8. #8

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    It’s easy to forget that back in 1993 Ghostface Killah’s was the first voice to beckon us into the 36 Chambers.
    is it?..

    anyway.. good interesting read..

    ..

  9. #9
    Hungry Hyena From Medina SL33's Avatar
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    Infinite = Sun God, right?????




  10. #10
    Killer Bob claaa7's Avatar
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    ^ yeah, he was the first voice with the "GHOSTFACE; catch the blast of a verse, my glock burst..." verse on "Bring Da Ruckus" (although RZA's voice with the chorus comes first).

    anybody with rep power rep this guy cuz this is one hell of a interesting interview. i love to read these old informative interviews with Wu members; especially those who centers around a member who is just about to drop a debut album.



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  11. #11

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    It’s easy to forget that back in 1993 Ghostface Killah’s was the first voice to beckon us into the 36 Chambers.
    Quote Originally Posted by issues View Post
    is it?..

    anyway.. good interesting read..

    ..
    Quote Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
    ^ yeah, he was the first voice with the "GHOSTFACE; catch the blast of a verse, my glock burst..." verse on "Bring Da Ruckus" (although RZA's voice with the chorus comes first).
    i didnt mean was it him..

    i meant was it easy to forget it was?..

    haha..

    ..

  12. #12
    36 chambers dafran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SL33 View Post
    Infinite = Sun God, right?????
    i was thinking the same shit but the strange thing is that Ghost is Dennis Coles but Sun God is credited as D. Ames but i read the first wife of GFK was RZA's sister so if the kid doesn't have the Coles surname he should have the Diggs but is has the Ames so this post is for freaks Lol who gives a fuck?? LOL


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  13. #13
    CORNED BEEF SAMMICH
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    rza and rza sister could have different last names bruh

  14. #14
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    good find and good read
    WU-TANG FOREVER.
    GHANA REPRESENTING

  15. #15
    aka Dun Jones BGS's Avatar
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    repped

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