Tonight, lauded Wu-Tang MC Ghostface Killah takes the stage at Webster Hall. Ghost has spent almost two decades being one of the most prolific MCs in the game. Unfortunately, many legal restrictions have kept some incredible work of his from seeing an official retail release. So, for the Ghostface fan who has everything, we have assembled the five best Ghostface songs you’ve never heard.
– On Raekwon and Ghostface’s “Criminology 2”
– Stream Ghostface’s Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry
“My Guitar” 2000
Before the Wu-Tang collaborations with Dhani Harrison on 8 Diagrams, before Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album, there was Ghostface’s “My Guitar.” Relegated to copies of the Supreme Clientele promotional snippet tape, “My Guitar” ranks among the absolute best all time rap-Beatles hybrid moments as Ghostface runs the gamut of emotions over Jimmy Ponder’s cover of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
“The Sun” featuring Slick Rick, Rza and Raekwon 2002
Kept off of Ghostface’s third album, Bulletproof Wallets, “The Sun” was supposed to begin the record, effectively setting the melodic tone and making history by uniting Ghostface for the first time with fellow master storyteller Slick Rick. A literal ode to the sun, Ghost, Rae and Rick each describe what the closest star to this planet means to so many people. It’s poignant, fun and utterly genuine.
“The Watch” featuring Raekwon 2002
Also cut from Bulletproof Wallets was “The Watch.” Here, over a wonderfully tense Alchemist beat, Ghostface shows us the darker side of career-retrospective rap as Raekwon raps from the perspective of Ghostface’s watch, recapping his mistakes and counting down the time he has left on his career. The duo’s chemistry explodes as Ghost sharply responds, proving he can sound hardcore even when threatening an inanimate object.
“Get My Dough” 2003
Perhaps you may have heard this verse and beat before as “He Goes” on the 2004 De La Soul album The Grind Date. Well, as great as it was to hear two of hip-hop’s most creative forces united on a track, the business side of things didn’t go quite as smoothly. Evidently, Ghostface wasn’t being properly paid for his contributions. It’s unclear who exactly Ghost believes was at fault, but it resulted in him including a venomous altered version of his verse several months before The Grind Date‘s release on his No Pork on My Fork Vol. 1 mixtape. Ghost’s never sounded more pissed.
“Charlie Brown” 2006
In the mid-2000s, Ghostface left Epic Records for Def Jam in hopes the label would, among other things, clear his samples. Unfortunately, and ironically contrary to the MF Doom produced “Charlie Brown,” Def Jam didn’t “do the opposite.” While Fishscale-era Ghostface’s collaborations allowed for the dream pairing of Ghostface rocking the mic over known Doom instrumentals, “Charlie Brown” allowed the duo to really feed off of each others’ creativity. Rapping over a BPM unlike anything rap had in its climate, it’s a shame “Charlie Brown” never made its way on to an official Ghostface release so it could be rightfully heralded among the finest works in his catalog.