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Dennis Coles (born May 9, 1970),1 better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan.2 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.3
Ghostface Killah is critically acclaimed45 for his loud, fast-paced flow,3 and his emotional stream-of-consciousness narratives containing cryptic slang and non-sequiturs.36 In 2006, MTV included him on their honorable mention list of The Greatest MCs of All Time,7while the editors of About.com placed him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), praising him as “one of the most imaginative storytellers of our time.”8 Ghostface’s storytelling abilities have widely been praised, with Q magazine calling him “rap’s finest storyteller.”9
Ghostface Killah was raised in the Stapleton housing projects in Staten Island, New York. In his autobiographical song “All That I Got Is You”, Ghost tells the story of his childhood. He raps about how he grew up in a three bedroom apartment without his father, who left him at the age of six. His mother had nine children.
He debuted with the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan on their critically acclaimed debut, 1993’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in which he is credited as Ghostface Killah. A roommate of Wu-Tang founder The RZA, Ghostface helped bring together the other seven members, and would function as executive producer on all the Wu-Tang Clan releases.
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