Ghostface Killah was on hand for the opening of the new Supreme store in London. Not much actual performance footage but worth checking Tony Starks spit the opening bars to “Nutmeg” with the same vintage mic seen on the cover of Supreme Clientele. If you have not, I suggest you listen to said album. [Spotted at Hypebeast]
The Red Bull Music Academy hit me up and asked me if I wanted to host a panel with the Wu-Tang Clan discussing their seminal debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The answer to that question was obvious and this Wednesday (9/28), I made the trip to Shaolin Land to moderate a lecture was part of RBMA’s Five Out of Five Tour that features artist from each NYC borough, performing and discussing their classic albums, hence Wu-Tang Clan and Staten Island.
There was some minor drama with some Wu members being unaware of the panel (the group performed at the venue, Eve Lounge in Staten Island, that night), which led to the discussion’s focus shifting to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… since all the members on hand—Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and also Cappadonna—participated in creating the masterful album. The conversation was lively and many jewels were dropped.
Red Bull will be posting the lecture in its entirety but AllHipHop was on hand and already has a bunch of videos from the event up. Some choice moments include Wu-Tang revealing they too watch soap operas and Raekwon speaking on playing A&R for Nas as well as the creation of “Incarcerated Scarfaces” (above). There was also a portion where Ghostface recounted hitting a “grandfather deer” in New Jersey while listening to Cuban Linx for the first time that was hilarious, but isn’t up yet. God bless that deer.
BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION: A lot of this info and much more can be found in my book, The Wu-Tang Clan & RZA: A Trip Through Hip Hop’s 36 Chambers. Shout out to Allah Mathematics who was also on stage.
Ghostface Killah on “All My Children” and His Favorite Wu Album
Raekwon and Ghostface on the Importance of RZA
Raekwon on Nas and “Verbal Intercourse”
R.A.G.U. (Raekwon and Ghostface United) dropped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform the Chef’s lead single, “Rock ‘N Roll,” from that Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, in stores March 8. Guess Jim Jones was AWOL. “Never rock skinny jeans I’m way above…” [Peeped at Rap Radar via HipHopStan]
Remember when ODB and Black Thought looked like they were about to throw the fives on stage? Can’t find that video at all. But Black Thought recently dropped standout verses on Ghostface’s Apollo Kids album and on Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, so it’s all good.
About time. Meth, Rae & Ghost’s “Our Dreams” video, directed by Rik Cordero. RIP Michael Jackson. [Courtesy of Three/21 Media]
Meth, Ghost and Rae’s Avenging Eagles mixtape, with DJ Mathematics, in anticipation of the March 30 release, Wu-Massacre. Y’all did know The Avenging Eagle is a Shaw Brothers flick, right? Liberated by the good folks at Nah Right.
Avenging Eagles Download [Mediafire]
Tracklist after the break. I normally hate posting “preview” videos, but I’ll make the exception this time. Tical, Tony Starks and Lex Diamond’s “Our Dreams,” behind the scenes, via Three/21 Media.
Above, Part Deux of the Wu-Massacre trinity of trailers. Starks!
Below, RZA gets interviewed by Supreme and drops some science. Check Supreme’s site for a few more interview snippets.
The Wu-Massacre Trailer Part I
How can you be mad at this? All the talk of Method Man, Raekwon and Ghostface recording a joint album is coming to a fruition (even the RZA wants in). Looks like it’s due in stores December 22nd and director du jour Rik Cordero put together a trio trailers inspired by Se7en.
The first trailer is above, and “Wu Ooh” “New Wu” from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II is below. Tical!
“Call me Arab Diesel cause I’m a track bomber.” -Trife (Ghostface Killah “Paisley Darts”)
Not the most PC of lines, but I’ve liked Trife Diesel (formerly Trife Da God) and his way with words since first hearing him on “Theodore” on Ghostface Killah’s Bulletproof Wallets. Word is he’s no longer rocking with Theodore Unit. Hmm.
Some of these tracks you should have heard (make sure you listen to “Miguel Sanchez” which was originally Ghostface’s More Fish. Trife’s proper debut, Better Late Than Never, drops July 21.
Trife Diesel – The Project Pope
01. I’m Saying It Now
02. War Scarz
03. 85 Hip Hop
04. Biscuits feat. Ghostface killah
06. Hustle Hard
07. The World Is A Ghetto
08. Blockstars feat. Lounga Lo
09. Grew Up Hard
10. Think It Over feat. Termanology
11. Beefing For Nothing
12. Fyuz feat. Termanology and Sun God
13. Speed of Light feat. B.O.B. and Inspectah Deck
14. State To State
15. The Game Don’t Change
16. Miguel Sanchez
So one of my peeps hits me up like, and I quote, “Alvin, if you can find “Holy Wars” (1988?) by Sir Ibu, Supreme and Nefertiti in downloadable form, I’ll name my first born after you.” No need for all that since aiding others in the name of fresh Hip-Hop is part of my Personal Legend a la The Alchemist (not the rapper/producer).
Well, after some savvy Internet searching I have found the track (above) in question; it is truly a rare Golden Age of Rap gem. The name Sir Ibu will befuddle neophyte rap fans. Q-Tip gives him a name drop in his “Renaissance Rap” video (why it didn’t get its own track on his great The Renaissance album is still perplexing), but here is a little background… [continued after video]
Sir Ibu is one of the MCs in Divine Force, a rap outfit so obscure that the only substantial info I could find on them was usually around and about Ego Trip’s The Big Playback album [ahem, which I have on vinyl, sealed]. The aforementioned album is essentially the companion audio to the through Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists.
According to my findings—it was just a Google search…I’m saying, Lexis-Nexis is expensive—Divine Force originally consisted of Master Shykwan, Supreme M.C. and Ice Tee. Eventually Sir Ibu would replace Shykwan, who dipped to join the military, and Jizer got down as the group’s DJ. With the team now set, the group would release “Holy War” on Yamak-Ka Records in 1987. Interestingly, Yamak-Ka’s president was Melquan, who would shortly thereafter manage the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. Melquan subsequently secured record deals for the GZA and the RZA at Cold Chillin’ and Tommy Boy Records, respectively.
Sir Ibu would drop a joint called “I’m the Peacemaker” in ’89 via 4th & Broadway Records (the same label that released Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full). I can’t find much on Ibu after that. Another example of this almost forgotten MCs influence is on Ghostface’s “Mighty Healthy.” Mr. Starks interpolated some of Ibu’s bars on this early Supreme Clientele heater. Seems like Ibu did get a check for that tribute, though. (below)
Ghostface f/ Novel “Message from Ghostface” [Via Nah Right]
“‘Cobra Clutch’ was abstract, an abstract joint. People get me twisted and sh*t. See I created a style when I did ‘Nutmeg’ and ‘One’ and all the other sh*t. I was in Africa and I was like, ‘Yo I’ma make a rhyme not meaning nothing.’ Just put words together but what the sentence might mean, might not got nothing to do for nothing. I did it on ‘Nutmeg’ and the first verse on ‘One’ and all the other sh*t. People started getting me confused. Like, ‘Damn I don’t know what he’s talking about.’ But it wasn’t meant for you to know what I was talking about cause it was just a style that I created. So people f*cked around and got caught. Yeah, I don’t know what he talking about and this and that and a third.”
Ghostface “Cobra Clutch”
I’ve interviewed and written about a gang of MC/rappers/idiots with deals over the years. One of my favs was this interview with Ghostface Killah for AllHipHop, where I nabbed the quote above from.
It wasn’t one of those interviews were I get deep into what makes Ghost tick, his demons or the reasoning behind his favorite colored paired Wallabees. Instead I went over some key tracks from Paisley Fontaine’s discography and asked him to detail the motivation behind each one. I think it came off pretty good. Pause.