“Getting to Ghost” (Ghostface Killah Exclusive) [Interview]
Vancouver, B.C. – They don’t call him Ghost for nothing; chasing down Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan can feel like reaching out into thin air. HipHopCanada tracked the tour from one side of the country to the other, and finally was able to sit down with the Ironman Tony Starks just before his second show in Vancouver. Pretty Toney sometimes comes across as one of the more sensitive members of the clan – his love songs can really get under your skin – but the man himself seems quite matter-of-fact, more concrete. Between his religious persuasions, his family values and his upcoming projects, we got a few good words outta Ghost. Check out what he has to say about it all.
“I’m just Ghostface. I don’t gotta walk around with a screwface, I don’t gotta point a gun in your face, I don’t gotta do nothin but just be regular.”
Ghostface Killah: Q&A
Interview conducted by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Hey Ghost, how’s it going?
Ghostface Killah: Great how you feeling?
HipHopCanada: Great thanks! It’s been fifteen years since you’ve been up to Canada, how’s it been?
Ghostface Killah: Perfect.
HipHopCanada: Any highlights so far?
Ghostface Killah: The other day when this dude came up on the stage…[to Killah Priest] Yo Priest when did that dude come on stage and do that Old Dirty part? Victoria? It was ridiculous. Nice.
HipHopCanada: You’ve said that once you go Ghost you never go back, so why is that?
Ghostface Killah: I said that? Any grown man would probably say that if they’ve got confidence in themselves.
HipHopCanada: A lot of your tracks seem to be about jilted lovers taking revenge…any truth to those stories?
Ghostface Killah: Na, sometimes the beat just bring it out of you a lot, you know, make you say things that need to be said on that type of track. Everybody has those experiences but I don’t write every song based on that. I mean Ne-Yo on “Back Like That,” I think he sung the hook first and then I followed his hook. People think that I had to go through that to write the record but I’m so vivid when I write my music so a lot of times you’ll think that it’s real because you see it so clear.
HipHopCanada: For someone with a lot of love songs you seem pretty serious…what does it take to bring out your soft side?
Ghostface Killah: I don’t know what the soft side is, I’m just Ghostface. I don’t gotta walk around with a screwface, I don’t gotta point a gun in your face, I don’t gotta do nothin but just be regular. Like right now, would you call me talking to you my soft side or just a Ghostface side or a tough guy side? I don’t know. When I write love songs I guess that’s what you’d call it, a soft side. On other albums I’m just screaming and cursing so what would you call that? I’m just me.
HipHopCanada: You’ve got some kids, so what family values do you think are most important to pass on to them?
Ghostface Killah: Respect is number one. Respect yourself and respect others, man. That’s the most that you can ever do in life, other than strive for your goals and try to reach them and perfect them. But the last thing before you die on earth and they say something about you like ‘yo, I respect you’ – you don’t wanna be an asshole or have people say ‘I’m glad he gone,’ you wanna be respected. So if you can pass that on to your children, that’s a good thing.
HipHopCanada: For Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry, I wonder what your favourite poetry is to read or listen to.
Ghostface Killah: I like a lot of old soul, Marvin Gaye, Clarence Carter, I love old music more than I love music now. As for reading poetry, I’m a Muslim so I deal with a lot of religious books. The Qur’an and the Hadiths are number one, I love those, I could read those every day.
HipHopCanada: What is it about Islam that appeals to you?
The truth behind it. The Qur’an is like a book of warnings and you know what God is saying to you through the books – He usually has a veil over those he don’t want to understand the meaning of things. If your mind is open and your heart is open and you begin to look at it for what it is, not what it appears to be, you’ll be able to accept what he’s saying in the books and in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad and Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Noah, other prophets. You’ll accept it more, and that’s good enough for me.
HipHopCanada: That’s quite a beautiful way to look at it.
Ghostface Killah: I’m glad that He made me aware of right and wrong and guided me toward Islam where I could embrace the love and try to pass it on to other people that’s not fully aware.
HipHopCanada: Raekwon’s been making some real noise up here with his Ice H2O Canada…would you ever consider expanding your enterprises to Canada as well?
Ghostface Killah: I mean, it’s my first time back in Canada so whatever Allah has for me in store, I will follow his guide. Do what I gotta do. So far Canada been real good to me, been a real good vibe in Canada and I can honestly say I like this place. I been to a lot of different places and the vibe is good so I wouldn’t mind doing something here.
HipHopCanada: Any musical projects you’re sitting on?
Ghostface Killah: Yeah me and Sheek Louch from D-Block have a Wu-Block project coming. Jadakiss, Styles P, Raekwon, Capadonna, me and Sheek Louch. Later on I got Supreme Clientele part 2, Blue & Cream The Walley Era and a lot of things that’s coming.
HipHopCanada: Great, thanks, looking forward to it!
Ghostface Killah: I appreciate everything.
Interview conducted by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada
Footage taken by Kassandra Guagliardi for HipHopCanada
Special thanks to @mcmckee for helping out the HHC team.