Discography Check: Ghostface Killah

By @TrueGodImmortal 

The Wu-Tang Clan is one of the greatest groups in the history of music, not just hip hop. While their group albums have been hit or miss during the years, one of the members of the group has maintained consistency and might actually be one of the most prolific artists in hip hop period. Ghostface Killah has been putting out amazing albums since 1996, when he debuted with his classic Ironman project. Since then, Ghost has been the most consistent solo artist in hip hop album wise, and through his storytelling, imagination, ability to construct and sequence, and more attributes to his credit, I think Ghostface has quite possibly the best discography in all of hip hop. As he prepares for Supreme Clientele 2, we decided to look at the best solo discography in the genre. Today, I present you with our Ghostface Killah discography check. Let's get into it.

*Ironman (1996)

-The beginning of the Ghostface solo journey is an amazing start. When I first heard Ironman, I was still fairly young and in school, so my appreciation of it wasn't the same. As I got older, I grew to appreciate this album and the production, mostly provided of course by the RZA. Each song provides a different feel and tale, while still maintaining cohesion throughout. Though some feel this isn't a classic, I would consider it one, as songs like "Daytona 500", "Iron Maiden", "Assassination Day", "All That I Got Is You", "Fish", "Camay", and one of my personal favorites "Winter Warz" all still knock and remain classic songs. This was a very solid debut from Ghost, but being that the album was released during the prime of the Wu, we didn't get to hear all of what Ghost had to offer, which is why some might think this isn't a classic or they don't hold it as his best. Regardless, this is a great way to start off his catalog.

*Supreme Clientele (2000)

-This is personally my favorite Ghostface album. It just carries an aura with it that fits Ghost perfectly and the music is absolutely flawless. Ghost has never been one to stray from creativity, and he puts his best foot forward with his sophomore solo album. Utilizing his uptempo flow and rhyme style, Ghost got into a zone that we hadn't seen from him before and the result was Supreme. Ghost brought some obscure yet intricate lyricism and the production here felt stronger than his debut. My biggest memory of this album honestly comes from "Cherchez La Ghost", which at one point, was the biggest song in my hood growing up. In the midst of the No Limit, Eminem, Jay-Z, DMX, Cash Money and early 2000 wave, the biggest song was the booming joint from Ghost and U-God. The hook was infectious, the verses were easy to quote and the song just felt perfect. It would be "Nutmeg" however that truly drove home how much I love this album, as the production is stellar here. Ghost spits solid verses over the production, and this is the story of the album in general honestly. Ghost shows up every song with the fire, and though there are a good amount of features, this feels like a true Ghostface album, even more so than Ironman. Supreme Clientele is where Ghost found his niche I believe and this classic was spawned, with songs like "Mighty Healthy", "Apollo Kids", "Ghost Deini", "Buck 50", and more becoming vital to Ghost's career and future (you'll see why, though I'm sure you already know).

*Bulletproof Wallets (2001)

-This is personally one of my least favorite Ghost albums and I feel like that's a shared opinion amongst a lot of us honestly. I don't think this album is bad by any stretch. It's a really good album. However, the dreaded "follow up a classic" issue arose here. While the concept of this was similar to the way they created OB4CL, as Raekwon was a "guest star" on this album and featured on the cover, but wasn't featured as prominently, and the music itself just didn't connect as hard. I personally enjoyed the first single "Never Be The Same Again", and while some said it was too soft for Ghost at the time, his realism and aggression fit the song perfectly then. I think there are some good songs like "Maxine", "The Juks", "Strawberry", "The Hilton", and a few others, but it doesn't compare to his first two unfortunately. Still a good album and solid addition to his catalog however, overall.

*The Pretty Toney Album (2004)

-Some people say this is his most underrated album. I don't agree. I will say it is underrated however. When Ghost first got to Def Jam, a lot of people figured this was a change for him and his career and it was. He went into an entirely different mode and began releasing projects very frequently, starting with this one. This album has some bad moments, like the single "Tush" with Missy, but I like songs like "Be This Way", "Run", and "Metal Lungies", and more tracks, but while this album isn't my favorite, I still think it was a good way to kick off the Def Jam era of his career.

*Fishscale (2006)

-We covered this album before back in the fall, but this is my 2nd favorite Ghost album. It's packed with songs, but every song hits the mark. There's nothing missing on this album, and I dare say this might be creative peak for Ghost as an MC. Lyrically, he was in his zone, and flow wise, he was also in his zone, as he weaves through a tale of living underwater on the aptly titled "Underwater". The drug talk of course is in full force and I personally loved the songs like "R.A.G.U." and "Kilo", along with the MF Doom production and J. Dilla production on the album. It's almost as if this is the ultimate Ghostface album, as he works with some of the best producers and puts together his best concepts so far. I liked the feel of the first single "Back Like That", as it seemingly continued the saga of "Never Be The Same Again" from Bulletproof Wallets and Ne-Yo did his thing on the hook. My favorite songs have to be "Whip You With A Strap", which is Ghost storytelling at its finest, alongside a smooth and unfairly soulful loop from Dilla and the laid back yet emotional "Momma", where Ghost allows his vulnerability to shine. This is quite possibly his best album, but I edge it slightly to Supreme, though this is overall a more daring album and the production is slightly better. It's really a toss up between those two for his best album.

*More Fish (2006)

-Essentially, after the success of Fishscale, Ghost released the archives from the Fishscale sessions and this is what we got. Not really an album, but more like a collection of songs in a project, More Fish is still a solid release. With production from Madlib, Hi-Tek, Doom, and Mark Ronson, this was a very good project, with "Blue Armor", "Alex (Stolen Script)", and "Guns N Razors" being some of my favorite tracks on this one.

*The Big Doe Rehab (2007)

-I think this is Ghost's most underrated album. Personally, I really enjoyed this album. I think Ghost gave us something special with this one, as evidenced by the amazing sound and production on "Yolanda's House", which was a precursor to the Rae, Meth, and Ghost album that came a few years later. That song is one of my favorite all time Ghost songs, as all three MCs weave through a story together flawlessly. The Wu chemistry is so amazing. Other great songs like "I'll Die for You", "Rec Room Therapy", and "Toney Sigel" with Beanie Sigel and Styles P keep this album going, and I am personally a huge fan of the last song on the album "Slow Down", as I think Chrisette Michele does a great job with the hook. This album was a definite banger and ranks fairly high in his catalog to me.

*Ghostdini: Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City (2009) 

-This might be his worst album. It was creative in a way, along with a different change of pace, but it just didn't work for me. Is it horrible overall? No, it's a decent album. It just doesn't compare to any of his other work. Production was the saving grace here however, and songs like the John Legend assisted "Let's Stop Playin", and "Forever" are enjoyable listens. It just doesn't flow as well as I hoped it would.

*Wu-Massacre w/Raekwon and Method Man (2010)

-This was a strange album that almost came out of nowhere. My three personal favorites from the Wu over the years together for an album had the potential to be a classic. Instead, what we got was an album that felt just put together and perhaps songs intended for solo albums that got put on an album for the trio. I still enjoyed songs like "Our Dreams",  "Meth vs Chef 2", "Dangerous", and "Miranda". However, despite the amazing covers they came up with for this, I wonder what could have been accomplished had they put 100% focus behind it and set out to make a classic perhaps. Maybe they can try again in 2017? Doubt it, but I'd be up for it.

*Apollo Kids (2010)

-This album is strange. It seemed like Ghost was planning on releasing Supreme 2, but had conflicts with Def Jam. So, instead of releasing Supreme 2, he submitted this to them. Now, is this album bad? No. Is this album great? Not exactly. Is this album good? Yes. It's very good. However, after all of his consistency through the years, this feels essentially like his safest album thus far. It doesn't showcase too much of his creativity or his ability, but damn near every song is dope. "Purified Thoughts", "In Tha Park", and "Troublemakers" are supreme fire, and the production on this album is once again flawless, as Frank Dukes handles a bulk of it and provides Ghost with what he needed. This is a very good album, but admittedly felt like it was just a warm up to something bigger. Considering Ghost recorded this as a mixtape and not really as an album, this makes sense. Still dope, just by the numbers.

*Wu-Block w/ Sheek Louch (2012)

-I personally wasn't the biggest fan of this idea or the album. I think this would have been much better if Ghost and Rae did a duo album with Jada and Styles, but hey, we got this instead. It's essentially a Ghost and Sheek album with a ton of appearances from the members of the respective crews on it. Rae appears a few times. Jada appears a few times. Styles appears a few times, Cappadonna and Meth also appear. I feel like this album is very solid and has what you expect from it, but that's also my issue with it. Ghost has shown he can do more than just rap over hard shit or just talk that street language. I wanted to hear more from this, but make no mistake about it, this is a good project. It's just not one I was excited for because I feel it was about 5-10 years too late and didn't have enough Jada, Styles and Rae or Meth on it to truly make the Wu-Block title fit.

*Twelve Reasons To Die (2013)

-Here is where Ghost shines. The concept album. Based on a comic book of the same name. You just knew that this would be fire and it was. It doesn't stray from the usual grungy soul production that Ghost loves, but Ghost creates a story here and we know his strong suit is storytelling. He created something that felt special here, and the story of Tony Starks, who was murdered by the DeLuca crime family, but resurrected through his music as Ghostface Killah is interesting. The music? It all flows together and that's the beauty. There are a few standout tracks like "Rise of the Black Suits", "Revenge Is Sweet", and a couple other songs, but all in all, this is an amazing album overall. Ghost knew he found something special here and he would continue his storytelling ways.

*36 Seasons (2014)

-Another concept album. Magnificent. This one has guest stars and accompaniments. This story is about Tony Starks returning home after 9 years looking for a peaceful life, but that's harder to achieve than he would imagine. The guest stars in this cinematic album are the legendary yet underrated MCs AZ and Kool G Rap. Ghost made a concept album with AZ and Kool G featured as guest stars or co-stars I should say, as AZ appears 5 times and G Rap appears 3 times. My favorite songs on this album are "The Battlefield", "Emergency Procedure", and "Here I Go Again", as the album is similar to his previous one where it all flows together perfectly. Not necessarily a classic, but it's definitely in the conversation possibly.

*Sour Soul (2015)

-A collaborative effort with a Canadian Jazz Hip Hop band, this album is another example of Ghostface branching out and doing what he does best creatively. Another solid album, and while this isn't a classic to me personally, it's a great listen. I think that the beauty now of Ghostface is that he does what he wants and takes risks. He's managed to create a discography that doesn't necessarily conform or sound exactly alike, which is key. On this album, songs like "Gunshowers", "Six Degrees", and "Nuggets of Wisdom" might all sound familiar in title, but musically they're elevated by the production of the band. This is yet another victory for Ghost.

*Twelve Reasons To Die 2 (2015)

-His most recent album, which doesn't beat the first one, but it is still another solid project. This one admittedly feels a bit lacking in cohesion compared to the first, but it hits the mark more often than not musically. "Resurrection Morning" with Bilal and Raekwon is amazing, while "Return of the Savage" enforces that good old Wu sound with Rae and RZA. Overall, this is a solid project, but I feel like Ghost has something special coming for his next solo album. I can't wait.

Ghostface is one of the greatest MCs we've witnessed in our time and period. His discography is one of the greatest period. If you aren't familiar, please take some time and listen to the greatness. You won't be disappointed.



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