Ghostface Killah, otherwise known as Wally Don or Tony Starks, visited North Philadelphia to promote his new album, “More Fish.” For his sixth solo album, Ghostface, formerly of the Wu-Tang Clan, opened up the mike to his whole crew, Theodore Unit. He stopped by “The Temple News” office Dec. 5 to kick back and talk hip-hop.
The Temple News: So what brings you to Philly?
Ghostface Killah.: We promotin’ the new album, “More Fish.” We always love coming through Philly. We got a lot of love here.
TTN: What’s good with the new album, “More Fish”? Tell me a little about the new joint.
GK: We had a lot of pieces of fish left over from “Fishscale” – so we fried that up. I got the call from Def Jam while I was on tour with Wu-Tang Clan and they wanted to see if a brother could put another piece. We got Theodore Unit coming back in a big way on this joint. We put our material together and we just got busy.
TTN: Your son is emerging as a talented emcee. Touch on your son, Sun God, a little bit. How’s he developing as an emcee in your footsteps?
GK: I mean, you know, he do what he do. He and Trife got this track called Miguel Sanchez that’s gonna be hot. He’s still new, he’s still fresh, but he’s improving every time he goes into the booth. He’s 18 now.
TTN: You had a great range of beats on “Fishscale,” from Just Blaze, to Pete Rock and J-Dilla. What producers are featured on “Mad Fish?”
GK: We got DJ Hi-Tek on this one, Phantom of the Beats, Mark Ronson, Peanut, Kool Aid. But a lot of the same ones from the “Fishscale.”
TTN: Is there any reason you didn’t have any RZA beats on the new one or “Fishscale?”
GK: We had to do this fast. Whatever I had in the vault, we went from there. There wasn’t really any time to call out to no one like that.
TTN: You say more in one bar than a lot of cats fit into entire albums. Is there any track that you consider your crowning achievement?
GK: Nah, I just do what I do. I don’t even think I touched my best on nothing yet.
TTN: What’s your NFL team?
GK: I’m going to go with the Jets right now.
TTN: Could you touch on the state of Wu Tang right now?
GK: It’s good, man. Wu Tang is good. But, we’re going to do another album though, but I don’t want to focus on no Wu s–t right now. It’s all about Theodore.
TTN: Outside hip-hop, what music you guys get down to?
GK: We love a lot of R&B – old classic soul music. That’s the best music. We just had a long drive from Boston the other day and we kept it on the slow jams the whole time.
TTN: What are your thoughts on the state of the hip-hop game right now? Where do you all think it’s lacking?
Theodore Unit: It’s lacking in creativity. Too many brothers are talking about the same things, using the same rhymes, using the same beats. They ain’t trying to use words that no one’s heard before. So sometimes it’s good to look in the dictionary, catch up on those SAT words. It needs to be taken right now. That’s why we here.
TTN: How did Theodore Unit form?
GK: Basically, we all from the same island – Staten [Island]. Me and Trife from the same project. He was loyal. After that, my manager’s brother put me on to Wigs. We just bonded. Staten Island is a small place, so if you’re hot, you can rise to the top and we all met at the top.
TTN: This is your sixth solo album on top of all the Wu Tang classics. What’s next for Ghost?
GK: The thing right now is to focus on Trife, Wigs and my son – put them out. Get out of my contract with Def Jam, I got two more albums to put out with them. Then we can renegotiate with them or go independent. Lot of touring, that’s coming out right now, a few movies. Just keep on feeding these babies, you know. Conquer.
TTN: Touch on your sense of fashion a little bit.
GK: I got the slick style, man. It’s like the Tony Starks mode is like the Wallabee slick cat. Sometimes I’ll throw on the robe, it depends on the occasion. You know I like the big jewelry and all that. I like to just get heavy sometimes if I’m on stage or around some important heads. It’s really no name to it, but I like nice s–t. The way I wear my s–t is always been different than other cats. We Staten Island cats, we always been different.
TTN: How do you think Staten Island has influenced your style?
TU: It’s different than any other place on Earth. I think we unique because they slept on us for so long, we had to struggle to get above Bronx and Queens. We got our own lingo – the world had already heard the stuff from the other boroughs, when we came out it was fresh to them. A lot of people can relate to us.
TTN: What do you do when you’re not on tour or recording?
GK: It’s just thinking a lot. Trying to always stay writing something. Spend a lot of time by myself, trying to get my thoughts right because time is flying right now – brothers is getting older so I’m always trying to think about how to make the next million dollars. But I love water, to be near a lot of water, listening to old music and messing with my kids and stuff. Sometimes we go to the gym and release some steam.
TTN: How many kids do you have?
GK: (Laughs) I got enough.
TTN: Explain your relationship with Raekwon. Within the Wu, you two always seemed to be the tightest and always did side-projects together.
GK: Me and Raek was boys because our styles were sort of the same. When we came in on the street level, we identified with the same s–t. When we wrote “Cuban Links” it was on some street s–t, what we were seeing everyday. He saw it from his side of town and I saw it from mine. Raek’s a fly cat, I’m the same way. We mixed real well from the start. When we get together, we sound real good together. The chemistry is good.
TTN: When did Theodore Unit come together?
GK: Around 2001, around the times we dropped “Bulletproof Wallets.”
TTN: What aspect of the game do you enjoy most?
GK: I love to perform for people, better than being in the booth.
TTN: Are you all touring as Theodore Unit?
GK: Yeah, we’re gonna tour as a whole, hopefully start sometime in February. We might be touring with Jay-Z for a while, but do some shows beforehand to warm up.
TTN: Are you coming through Philly?
GK: Of course. No doubt. Philly is right there. We gotta get them cheesesteaks.
TTN: What do you want to tell all the Temple students who are backing you all in your corners?
GK: Keep rockin.’ Stay in school, get that education. It’s rough out there if you don’t have no degree under your belt. But you know, thanks for supporting. Put God first.
Cody Glenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.