Ghostface Killah

From Academic Kids

Ghostface Killah (born Dennis Coles, May 9, 1970) is an American rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the Wu-Tang achieved breakthrough commercial success in the early 1990s, Ghostface Killah, like most of his clan-mates, began a solo career. He also goes by the alias of Tony Starks, taken from the real identity of super hero Iron Man, Tony Stark.

As a solo artist, he first appeared on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (with clan-mate Raekwon, 1995, see 1995 in music), then on the soundtracks to Sunset Park and Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood. His first solo LP was Iron Man in 1996 (see 1996 in music), which was successful in hip hop circles and debuted at #2 on the pop charts. One track in particular from that album entitled "Daytona 500" - and the animated video which accompanied it (featuring Speed Racer) - has since been widely hailed as something of a hip-hop classic.

Ghostface became well-known for both his uptempo, seemingly indecipherable stream-of-consciousness raps and, later in his career, for his very emotionally charged delivery (first seen on the Wu-Tang Clan track "Impossible"). His follow-up to Ironman was Supreme Clientele in 2000 (see 2000 in music), which was critically acclaimed by both mainstream critics and hip hop enthusiasts. "Cherchez La Ghost", a single off the album, became a minor club hit, and the sentimental "Child's Play" brought Ghostface numerous comparisons with Slick Rick.

Ghostface wasted little time in recording his next album, the heavily R&B-influenced Bulletproof Wallets which was released a year after Supreme Clientele. He had another minor club hit with "Flowers" (meaning rappers, people who "flow" lyrically, rather than a reference to horticulture) which featured guest vocals from fellow Wu-Tang members Method Man and Raekwon.

In April of 2004, The Pretty Toney Album was released on Def Jam; it featured collaborations with Missy Elliott and Jadakiss and was Ghostface's first album to be credited to "Ghostface" rather than "Ghostface Killah". "Tush" and "Run", two singles taken from The Pretty Toney Album, achieved moderate success in the clubs and the charts. Ghostface also appeared on the track "On My Knees" by UK R&B group The 411 which became a hit in the UK and Australia, and released an album titled 718 with a group of his proteges, calling themselves The Theodore Unit.

Though Ghostface has had little mainstream success musically, he has managed to make something of an impression on mainstream pop culture, similarly to his fellow Wu-Tang Clansmen ODB and Method Man. In a 2000 episode of SNL, Ana Gasteyer, in character as Martha Stewart, proclaimed that she was cutting her ties as spokesperson for K-Mart because the chain had refused to stock the latest album by her "homie" Ghostface Killah.



  • Sun God
  • Tony Starks (from the comic Iron Man)
  • Ghostface
  • Pretty Toney
  • Tone-Tanna
  • General Tony Starks
  • Starkey Love
  • Wally Champ
  • Ironman (from the comic Iron Man)
  • Black Jesus
  • Ghost Deini (or G-Deini)



Singles & EPs

  • 1996 "Daytona 500"
  • 1996 "All I Got Is You" (featuring Tekitha)
  • 2000 "Cherchez La Ghost"
  • 2001 "Never Be The Same Again"
  • 2001 "Flowers"
  • 2003 "Gorilla Hood"
  • 2004 "Tush" (featuring Missy Elliott)
  • 2004 "Run"

Appears On


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