Ghostface Killah's Ironman vs Supreme Clientele


1. Iron Maiden
2. Wildflower
3. The Faster Blade
4. 260
5. Assassination Day
6. Poisonous Darts
7. Winter Warz
8. Box In Hand 
9. Fish
10. Camay
11. Daytona 500
12. Motherless Child
13. Black Jesus
14. After The Smoke Is Clear
15. All That I Got Is You
16. The Soul Controller
17. Marvel


Supreme Clientele

1. Intro 
2. Nutmeg
3. One 
4. Saturday Nite
5. Ghost Deini
6. Apollo Kids
7. The Grain 
8. Buck 50
9. Mighty Healthy
10. Woodrow The Base Head(Skit)
11. Stay True
12. We Made It
13. Stroke Of Death
14. Iron's Theme
15. Malcolm
16. Who Would You Fuck(Skit)
17. Child's Play
18. Cherchez La Ghost
19. Wu Banga 101
20. Clyde Smith(Skit)
21. Iron's Theme Conclusion

Ghostface has one of the best catalogs ever and today we compare two of his best albums. Let's get started.

Can I say Fishscale or even his 07 joint, because those were flames? No? Alright. Let me stop being a wannabe hipster and be for real. Ironman is a great album. But, I'm a sucker for obscure-ass samples. And SC had a plethora of those. From the flips of the 1960s Iron Man theme to, well, practically every goddamned song from that album, the sample game was on point.

Lyrically, it showcased GFK at a great time. He was old enough to not do some of the shit he spoke on, but young enough to do it anyway because reasons. Plus, come on! It's Supreme Clientele. It's like the holy grail of GFK music.

Most people may say Supreme Clientele is his best rounded work, but I gotta give it to Ironman. To me, the latter is a lot more raw, engaging, and better yet, all the more entertaining. With tracks like Camay, Winter Warz, and Wildflower, the lyrics hit home hard, and not to mention that it's sometimes very funny to me. Again, Supreme Clientele is an excellent album, but on a overall scale Ironman is better to me.

Ghostface Killah will always be one of my favorite MCs. His discography is nearly perfect to me. So much greatness. Two albums from that discography, his first two albums, IronMan and Supreme Clientele have stood the test of time. I love IronMan more than Supreme, but I have to say that Supreme is better in every way. Tony Starks seemed to be more confident in his lyrical ability and the production was mastered as RZA was entering his prime, with some great assistance from Juju and Mathematics. While I loved the soulful, more down to earth IronMan.....Starks was a rookie when it came to solo projects. Supreme shows Stark as a MC force to be reckoned with. Supreme also wasn't feature heavy like Iron Man. The tracks also flowed better. I'll take listening to Nutmeg and Buck 50 over Iron Maiden and Box in the Hand any day of the week. Even the little stuff like Starks' trademark humor is shown, not only on the tracks, but also on skits like "Who Would You Fuck?". Supreme Clientele is Starks' album version of the Wu Tang Clan "Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nothing to F With" with strong and confident lyricism, focused production, and it did a great job of establishing Ghost as one of the best in the game.

Supreme Clientele is personally my favorite Ghostface album. Ghost's storytelling skills makes me feel like I'm right there sneaking around with Ghost myself. There's not a single song I can skip on this album. It's one of the best albums of 2000 for sure(If not the best). Ironically, there's more of an Ironman theme here than the actual Ironman album. From the RZA beats and other samples, Ghostface shows he's the star of the show and the Wu isn't gone. From the fast complex wordplay on Nutmeg to the slower Child's Play, this album is the audio form of Staten Island rap. Everything works together like a well oiled machine, the skits, the ironman theme and the features. Pretty Toney is undefeated on this album.

Ironman is hard to choose over Supreme Clientele to me. No matter who was on the track, whether RZA, Cappadonna or Raekwon, every word was aggressive and felt like they couldn't be stopped by anything. You see that in Fish and Camay. With a great soul driven production by the RZA, that really takes this album to another level. If it's not a jazzy baseline, which personally I love, it's backed by female gospel voices. The only reason why I choose Supreme Clientele over this is the lyrics are a bit redundant and clichéd. The actual rhymes are clever, as you would expect no less from Ghostface, but they don't break any new ground. Great piece of work nonetheless.

Ghostface Killah has one of the best discographies in Hip Hop period. When Wu Tang's debut dropped, I don't think anybody had GFK rated as the best in the group, but after he killed everything on the purple tape(OB4CL), the solo album was inevitable. By then, Ghostface had improved lyrically and he finds his own sound on Ironman. As solid as Ironman is however, Supreme Clientele is the Classic, and probably Ghostface at his peak.
Ironman presents Ghostface as the aggressive and unique lyricist that became my favorite member of the Wu. Raekwon shines just as much on the album, and I never get tired of Ghost and Rae going back and forth like they do on 260. Ghostface sounds great over that gritty/soulful RZA production, and even shows he can change it up on the All That I Got Is You track with Mary. The album could've used less Cappadonna, but his verse on Winter Warz makes up for it(probably a top 5 Wu track in my book).

Supreme Clientele is Ghostface's best album, rivaled only by Fishscale(also a classic). The production was cleaner on SC, as opposed to Ironman. His unfuckwittable flow on songs like Nutmeg and Apollo Kids put him in any GOAT conversation in Hip Hop. "One" might be my favorite Ghostface track in general. Ironman was a great Wu Tang album that featured much of the clan on it, but Ghostface shines on his own with Supreme Clientele. He even introduces us to Clyde Smith!(call him Knuckles). A lot of fans hold the Cherchez La Ghost track against him, but I think for a single from somebody like Ghostface, it's a good show of versatility. No other track is remotely skippable and that old God flow on Mighty Healthy makes this the definitive Ghostface album.

These are Ghost best albums bar none. No debate. I can't say one is better than the other because they are equal to me. But I will say that I favor Ironman slightly over Supreme Clientele. The production was still at the height of RZA's classic run and it's a part of the first series of Wu solos. That holds an important place to me for real. Both are masterful however.

Personally, I lean towards Ironman, just a tad bit. The raw sound of the album, the aggression. It was perfect. Supreme Clientele however, was more refined and sharper. I think both albums are classics, but on personal preference, I lean just a bit to Ironman.

What do you think? Join the conversation with us in the comments below.



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