Sunday, December 9, 2007

ghostface killah - ironman

i guess you could say that i enjoy a decent amount of bleakness in my music. from John Frusciante to Andrew Hill all of my favorite composers have been involved music that even at its most accessible still was stuck in a realm of darkness. i guess the definition of hip-hop completely goes against that whole mindset since hip-hop and rap are essentially an updated version of funk. still, i find myself relating to records across the board and dwelling in their menacing and almost sinister quality. El-P's "Fantastic Damage" comes to mind and interestingly enough the artist this post is based on collaborated with El-P on a track for a Prefuse 73. Ghostface Killah is certainly known for wearing a variety of masks, but as with all of his other clan members his best involves a certain producer and seven MCs. The Wu-Tang Clan is in my opinion the most flawless rap group to release a record and in many ways there members do little to disprove that fact with their classic solo records. perhaps the most ambiguous of these solo releases is Ghostface's own "Ironman". basically, the record is a mash up of the synth heavy choruses found on GZA's "Liquid Swords" and the mafia infused darkness of Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx".

dennis coles aka tony starks aka ghostface killah
"Wildflower" is obviously the moment of mastery on this record. a verbal slap to a past flame of Ghostface Killah's the song reminisces about previous encounters ranging from sipping yoo-hoo to breaking furniture while fucking. basically, this is emotional distraught Ghostface which is completely odd considering the years before this release all you had heard from the members of the Wu was essentially about how strong and bad ass they were. "Wildflower" is certainly not sensitive but in a way it is, at least on Ghostface's part. that some girl could effect the same person that has dropped lines like " don't laugh / bag the cash / grab the hash / don't forget his stash / grab the tear gas /and place it in his face fast " in the same way that every man has by a girl, made Ghostface human. is this the reason for Ghost's looming success as a solo artist and his solid credibility since the release of "Ironman"? i can't really say. what i do know is that a man that can express his sadness over losing a girl who he was "the first nigga that had you watchin flicks by DeNiro" in the same way as Ghost does on "Wildflower" must be sincere in a way few are.

ghostface killah's "ironman"
"Ironman" is in a sense Ghostface's coming out party. his love of soul, his intense metaphorical lyrical content, and his personal stories are all shown on this album as they would be on every one that flows it. but something is different on "Ironman". sure, you could blame it on RZA's traditional technique being basically all over it, but i think it is something more. after "Cuban Linx" Ghostface's conceptual edge seemed to be full exposed and so he may have unintentionally made the most "human" Wu-Tang album in attempt to have his debut be different from Raekwon's. where RZA and GZA are obviously poets in their delivery of their stories and beliefs, Ghostface is an every man talking about what every man wants. guns, pussy, and drugs. how can you not dig that?

ghostface killah - ironman (1996)

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