Ghostface Killah life and biography

Ghostface Killah picture, image, poster

Ghostface Killah biography

Date of birth : 1970-05-09
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-11-16
Credited as : Rapper, Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Massacre

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Dennis Coles, better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved breakthrough success in the aftermath of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the members went on to pursue solo careers to varying levels of success.
Ghostface Killah debuted his solo-career with Ironman in 1996, which was well received by music critics. He has continued his success over the following years with critically acclaimed albums such as Supreme Clientele (2000) and Fishscale (2006). His stage name was taken from one of the characters in the 1979 kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing.

Raised Dennis Coles on what he calls "Shaolin" or Staten Island, New York, Ghostface joined his neighborhood friends Robert Diggs (a.k.a. Prince Rakeem or The RZA), Gary Grice (a.k.a. The Genius or GZA), Lamont Hawkins (a.k.a U-God), Jason Hunter (a.k.a. Inspectah Deck), Russell Jones (a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard), Clifford Smith (a.k.a. Method Man), and Raekwon to form a collective of nine rappers known as the Wu-Tang Clan in 1991. From the start, Wu-Tang Clan's boundaries were loose. While other rap groups often disbanded when members worked solo, all of the Wu-Tang Clan's members went on to release solo work with support from the rest of the group. The group released its first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) two years later to rave reviews. The release was "rough and rambling," according to Time,"combining ragged street beats with lyrical imagery and audio samples" from Kung Fu films. At a time when the focus of hip-hop culture was on the West Coast, the Wu-Tang Clan drew attention to the East Coast with the album.

Ghostface helped Raekwon on his album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx,released in 1995. According to Vibe, Ghostface proved himself a "superior MC--kicking lyrics of steel" on his friend's record. In February of 1996, Ghostface's first solo track, "Winter Warz," appeared on the Don't Be a Menace to South Central While You're Drinking Your Juice in the Hood soundtrack. His contribution to the Sunset Park soundtrack, "Motherless Child," and "Who's the Champion" on the Great White Hype soundtrack, were also well received. In 1997, Wu-Tang Clan released a double album called Wu-Tang Forever which Time called "ambitious ... challenging, complex," and "full of energy and promise."

On his 1996 platinum-selling debut, Ironman, Ghostface Killah rapped about male bonding, the drug trade, and male-female politics in his songs. His voice raised just above conversational tone as the rapper borrowed the beats of 1970s soul songs. The song "260" is built around a sample of Al Green's peace-and-love anthem "Let's Stay Together"--an ironic choice for a song about murderous street justice. Ironman debuted at number two on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The RZA produced the work, and Ironman was the first release on Razor Sharp Records, The RZA's imprint on the Epic record label. According to Rolling Stone, Ironmanbecame a hit with "the most evangelical Wu fans."

One of several delays in the release of Ghostface's sophomore release was a four-month prison term he served for attempted robbery. The rapper was accused of assaulting a valet and robbing him of $3,000 after a 1995 altercation at the Palladium nightclub in New York City. Because his car's tires were slashed while in the parking attendant's care, a fight ensued, and Ghostface allegedly tried to take money from one of the attendants. Though he maintained his innocence, he plead guilty to avoid a possible 5-to-15-year sentence if tried and convicted. He then had to return to court for a 1997 arrest for possession of a .357-caliber Magnum handgun. The arrest was questioned after police admitted they wrongly claimed that Ghostface fled the scene when in fact he had accompanied officers to a police station.

Supreme Clientele was not released until the spring of 2000. The album received almost unanimously rave reviews and went on to become a certified gold selling record. Entertainment Weekly criticized the release for its "tawdry skits" and "exhausting" length, but most critics reviewed it favorably. The release was a rare example of a "sophomore overshadowing its predecessor," wrote one critic in the Source.A Los Angeles Times critic predicted Supreme Clientele would likely turn out to be the "most popular solo collection from a Wu-Tang member" since Ironman. Village Voice praised Ghostface's "vocal clarity, verbal dexterity, and narrative facility" throughout the release. Supreme Clientele was also noted for featuring less of Ghostface's Wu-Tang Clan counterparts rapping and more of Ghostface himself rapping on his own through most of the album, though his Wu-Tang Clan cohorts all lent a hand in the studio, and The RZA produced or mixed at least four tracks. Ghostface pondered the elements of everyday life on the recording, including life on the streets, soul food, and music. Rolling Stone critic Anthony DeCurtis wrote that although Ghostface's lyrics were tough to decipher and comprehend, "his urgent, overpowering flow is designed to maintain the unrehearsed immediacy of freestyle rapping, in which cadence, sound, and unconscious association triumph over logic."

The 2000 Wu-Tang Clan release The W found the group "at its most focused," wrote Christopher John Farley in Time. "The W becomes a terrifically varied album," he continued, "full of differing vocal textures and provocative rhythmic and lyrical ideas." The album was recorded over two months while the entire group shared a house in Los Angeles. For the strength of Ghostface's Supreme Clientele, The RZA's Ghost Dog soundtrack, and The W, Rolling Stone named the group "People of the Year" in 2000. Rolling Stone critic Mark Binelli wrote The W "hearkens back to the explosive group dynamic" of the Wu-Tang Clan's 1993 debut. Ghostface's third release, Cuban Linx 2: Bulletproof Wallets was due in the summer of 2001.

In 2003, Ghostface signed with Def Jam Records. After temporarily dropping "Killah" from his stage name, Ghostface released The Pretty Toney Album in April 2004. In 2006, Ghostface teamed up with underground artist MF Doom for a still unreleased album entitled Swift & Changeable. MF Doom also produced several songs for Ghostface's 2006 album Fishscale, which was once again attributed to "Ghostface Killah". On December 4, 2007, Ghostface released his seventh solo studio album, The Big Doe Rehab.

Shortly after the release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, Def Jam contracted Raekwon to work with their label artists Method Man and Ghostface Killah on an album later titled Wu-Massacre. Production began in November 2009. Wu-Massacre was released March 30, 2010 to generally positive reviews from most music critics with some mixed criticism due to the album's rushed feel clocking in at a mere 30 minutes of music. Recently he confirmed that he will be releasing 3 studio albums with the first one out near December called Apollo Kids, the second called Blue & Cream and finally he will be releasing a sequel to his 2000 album Supreme Clientele. He recently confirmed a collabo album with D-Block member Sheek Louch as well called Wu-Block.

Selected discography
Ghostface Killah:
-Ironman , Columbia, 1996.
-(Contributor) Don't Be a Menace to South Central While You're Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (soundtrack), Uni/Mercury, 1996.
-Supreme Clientele , Epic/Razor Sharp, 2000.
-Bulletproof Wallets (2001)
-The Pretty Toney Album (2004)
-Fishscale (2006)
-More Fish (2006)
-The Big Doe Rehab (2007)
-Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (2009)
-Apollo Kids (2010)
-Supreme Clientele Presents... Blue & Cream: The Wally Era(2012)

Wu-Tang Clan:
-Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) , Loud/RCA, 1993.
-Wu-Tang Forever , Loud/RCA, 1997.
-Wu-Chronicles , Priority, 1999.
-The W , Loud/Columbia/Sony, 2000.

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