It’s time to go back to the flicks with Ghostface Killah. No, Wu-Tang’s Ironman — who also answers to Tony Starks — isn’t making films. But in true Ghost fashion, he’s keeping his latest music so visual you’ll want to get some popcorn listen to it on your iPod.
“I’m a good storyteller, so I like to write things in the movie zone,” he said recently in New York. “I’m best at that, rather than just freestyle. I like explaining stories.”
Ghost’s Fishscale, his fifth solo album in 10 years, is another unvarnished opus filled with brother Starks’ cinematic stories. As for the title, “all my real cats that come from the ‘hood, they know what Fishscale is about,” Ghost explained. “Whoever got the hypest sh– out there, that’s the one with the fishscale. On the drug scene, fishscale is the best cocaine out there. … My [music] is like [drugs], so I’m letting brothers know I got the fishscale.”
The album’s first single features red-hot R&B crooner Ne-Yo, a fellow Def Jam signee (see “How Ne-Yo Turned Getting Dumped Into A Top-10 Single”). Ghost said he first caught wind of Ne-Yo when the singer’s album sampler was circulating around the Def Jam offices. Once one of the A&R reps heard Ghost was interested in working with Ne-Yo, he had the singer lay the chorus to the instrumental of what turned out to be “Back Like That.” Ghost later wrote rhymes for the record.
“The [Def Jam] building was loving it,” Ghost said. “It’s about a female cheating on her man with somebody he’s going to war with on the streets. [Her man and his enemy] are getting it on in the streets, but she gets found in the car with the dude. It’s like, ‘What you doing? Is he gassing you to get to me? Or you [sleeping] with him out of spite because you might have heard I was f—ing around somewhere else?’
“It’s called ‘Back Like That’ because Ne-Yo is singing, ‘You don’t get a n—a back like that,’ ” Ghost continued. “That’s with the enemy. You could have gotten somebody else, but me and this n—a, we going to war. I come home and he could be lying up in the crib and [murder] me. I just worked off Ne-Yo’s chorus. I just barked on [my girl] through the whole song.”
The video just hit the air, and in the clip, Ghost mostly curses his girlfriend out for her betrayal. Meanwhile, on “Big Girls,” Ghost chastises two young women for their drug habits and partying lifestyle.
“It might have been two or three girls,” he said of the song’s scenario. “They was pretty, but they just [used drugs all the time]. I came in the club and was kicking it with them. By the next verse I was bombing them, like, ‘Yo, man, go to school. F— all the club-hopping. I’ll pay for your college books.’ We giving them hope.”
Ghost just ended a string of tour dates with the Wu-Tang Clan, and on March 3 he begins his own tour in Millvale, Pennsylvania. The outing ends on April 23 in Buffalo, New York. Fishscale is due March 28.