Ghostface Killah: The Abstract

Just when a Wu-Tang verse seems battered and bruised from eight other swarming MCs, it is never been uncommon for Ghostface Killah to stomp the beat out with a surly sixteen. The Staten Island 36-year-old MC clearly represents the era when rap was not so formulaic. From his unique brand of ice-cream cone eating swagger to the ‘70s sports references, “Tony Starks” is the CEO of his own enterprise.

Here, the man who described his journey since “’86, rhymin’ at the center,” revisits his roots. Ghost breaks down why Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh are forever in his heart, why he doesn’t care about the Patriot Act, and just how exactly his ill brand of emotional love raps may’ve started. It’s AllHipHop, and this week, all that we’ve got is Wu! Ghost, what was the first lesson you learned as a child?

Ghostface: I don’t know, man. You gotta have manners! I know there was a lot more other s**t too, like, “Yo, don’t do that,” or “Nah!” I was young. I can’t say what’s the first. I’d be lying to you if I said what’s the first, because that was 35 years, s**t like that. Respect was definitely in the s**t. Who was the first person to inspire and motivate your passion?

Ghostface: The first person was a lot of old-school MCs, man. Slick Rick and all them n***as. All the ‘80s dudes inspired this s**t, man. That’s what it was and s**t. When was the first time you realized you wanted to be an artist?

Ghostface: Around ’86 and ’87. I was getting my rhyme on since like ’85 – writing and s**t. When I started, hearing the Fat Boys, and Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick and them, it really opened my mind like, “Yo, f**k that. F**k that other s**t. Start going hard.” What’s the first experience that comes to mind in terms of despair or pain?

Ghostface: When my f**kin’ girl cheated on me and s**t. [chuckles] I was like 16, 17 – probably before that. I was around 16, locked up, and I heard somethin’ – she went to the movies with this kid. That s**t hurt though. What were you doing the first time you heard yourself on the radio?

Ghostface: [It was] when “Protect Ya Neck” came out. Me, Raekwon, RZA, we was all together – probably some more members and s**t. I remember when Raekwon was with us, he was so happy that he jumped to the f**kin’ ceiling in the house like, “Ah, s**t!” After that, it was on. We started seeing ourselves on TV. I been knew it was gonna happen, I just ain’t know when. I seen the vision already, prior to that, in the ‘80s. I thought it was gonna go back then. But God saved it and put me with the best team I could ever get involved with. I wouldn’t trade my time with Wu-Tang back for nothin’, because that’s the best group ever, in the whole wide world. What’s one of your favorite albums that might surprise your fans?

Ghostface: [Oh, My God!] By Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew. Is the Patriot Act - a violation of privacy or necessary for security?

Ghostface: Do I do what? The government been doin’ that s**t, man. I don’t even wanna talk about that s**t. They been invadin’ n***as’ privacy since you came out ya mother’s womb, kid. That’s what that is – regular s**t that goes on. Okay. Downloading Music – cool or not cool?

Ghostface: Downloading music is not cool. Because, for all that s**t I work for, for y’all n***as to get that s**t and do what you wanna do – this is how I make a living – and you wanna do that to an artist like that – eat a d*ck, man. Straight up! Lastly, the media’s infatuation with violence – influential or entertainment?

Ghostface: The media is always f**kin’ ampin’ something up. That’s they job, G. Everything is based on money. They f**k around and talk like this, promote like this. The media’ll f**k around and get you killed, G. But that’s they job, G. That’s just what it is. All that s**t is f**kin’ crazy. What’s the signficance of Fish Scale in the scheme of things, now?

Ghostface: This is only the beginning, G. Tony Starks ain’t pop off yet. This is the beginning. This is like the first album that I ever did in my life. I got a lot of s**t that I gotta let off. But in the near future, you gonna see a lot more.