Ghostface Vibe Magazine Interview

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News Stories - GhostfaceKillah

Ghostface - Back Like That

By: Elle Castro

February 3, 2006

In the realm of hip hop, there are a number of rappers that come and go, but there are also those select few that maintain longevity in the game. Wu Tang Clan‘s member with the most monikers, Ghostface Killah - aka Toney Starks, aka Pretty Toney -, is one such lyricist that gets better with age.

With ten plus years under his belt, Ghostface is back at it again prepping for the release of his forthcoming album, Fish Scale, which is slated to drop on March 14th. This will be an addition to his array of classics including Ironman (1996), Supreme Clientele (2000), Bulletproof Wallets (2001) and his most recent release, The Pretty Toney LP (2004).

Besides putting out four solo projects, Ghost has also had his fair share of input on other Wu Tang related albums, including Raekwon’s classic Only Built For Cuban Linx. However, this time around Ghost is doing things a little different. He’s reclaiming his unique style, letting others know how it should be done. With the hard work and dedication put into this effort, Ghost is anticipating to step back on the scene heavy, just as he did with his sophomore album that included his most successful song released–“Chercez La Ghost.”

Currently in the midst of the Wu Tang Clan reunion tour, a promotional Fish Scale tour and various other video shoots, Starky Love One made time to chop it up with VIBE.com. In this exclusive chat, the busy rapper gives a mock-up of rap lesson 101, explains why he’s meant to be back on top, discusses why fellow Wu Tang leader, RZA, isn’t on the album, and unveils his personal “Ghostface Doll” collectible figurine.

Vibe.com: So what are your thoughts on Fish Scale?

Ghostface: Fish Scale, you know I’m just an old school head and I love real music. Right now the game is in somebody else’s pocket, and I just want to let the kids know who aren’t really up on their history where real music came from. I wanna give them a taste of what the streets was like when I was coming up and what was being played, and what type of dude I am. Right now it’s kind of crazy and the kids don’t know but it’s not their fault, ‘cause if you don’t know your history you don’t know where you’re going. So that’s why the game is crazy right now.

Fish Scale is an interesting title. What’s the significance behind it?
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Ghostface: It represents dopeness. I call it that because the block knows what time it is. My era of kids and where I came from, you know, the real cats out there understand it. Fish Scale is like that cocaine that if you put it on the streets it’s the purest and realest form that could touch the ground in any projects anywhere. I called my album a package, ‘cause what I’m about to give y’all is the dopest sh*t out of all these nigg*s shi*t. I just came up with Fish Scale and that’s what it was.

There’s a rumor that you have an album coming out with MF Doom called Swift and Changeable. Can you shed some light on that?

Ghostface: Before MF Doom gave me beats for my album I did like around 6 joints for Doom, and people was like ‘damn you did like 6 joints for him already you might as well just make another 3 or 4 and just make a whole album’. And that’s what it was. I didn’t get to record the other 3 or 4 yet ‘cause I’ve been moving around trying to get things done for my joint. But that’s what it’s gonna be. You know Doom is like the king of the underground. When it comes to certain markets that niggas don’t have, Doom got the backpackers, and all of that is good ‘cause people are people.

What producers worked on Fish Scale?

Ghostface: Just Doom, Pete Rock, J. Dillah, The Wise Men, Studio Steve.

I realized there arent any tracks on this album produced by RZA.Why is that?

Ghostface: Uh-uh, nah I didn’t touch RZA. You know I had reached out to him, but he was kind of caught up with what he was caught up in. So I had to do what I had to do. I reached out to other brothers too. So by the time I heard back from him I had got all of my beats already.

Talk to me about the “Ghostface Doll” you have coming out this spring?

Ghostface: Yea, that’s the Ghostface doll. It’s me, they dressed him how I get down, the robe, wallabies, hard jeans and a wife beater. Real gold, 14 KT. The doll is 9’’. You know one of my mans from Cali wanted to do something real quick and [he’s] what we put together. It’s going to be limited, just 1000 dolls that’s it. It’s selling for $500. It’s a figurine collectable item for fans of my music.

I see that you were up in Young Jeezy’s video for “Go Crazy” since he made reference to you in the song. How does it make you feel when newcomers actually make reference to?

Ghostface: It’s respect. It’s a good feeling, but it’s crazy. ‘Cause you don’t really recognize who loves you and who’s been a fan since day one. And for someone to just throw a nigga name up in their joint, it’s just crazy. All respect is due. I met him, he’s a very good brother and all of that, he’s not stuck up or any of that shit. It was just man to man respect.

You’re on Def Jam now, and there has been a lot of changes going on over there. How do you feel about that?

Ghostface: It’s all good man. As long as it don’t get in my way and everybody’s eyes are still on me, I’m good with it. The people who’s making the changes, I’m good with them. So I’m gonna let them do what they gotta do, and they gonna let us do what we gotta do. I’m gonna let them know that I’m in this building too to get busy. I’m letting niggas know that I’m that nigga. It’s like a baseball player: he can come to the team and put his work in until his contract is up. And that’s what I’m doing right now.


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