Ghostface Killah/ Ironman (180 Gram Vinyl) (2 Lp's)
Personnel: Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Method Man, The RZA, Inspektah Dek, U-God, Masta Killa, Street (rap vocals); Mary J. Blige, The Delphonics, Force MD's (vocals). Producers include: The RZA. Recorded at Mystic Studios, Staten Island, New York. IRONMAN is the first solo album by a member of the Wu-Tang Clan in almost a year, and rap fans waited a long time for it. The previous year, after all, yielded four of them, all largely produced by Wu-Tang mastermind RZA. IRONMAN is an RZA production, too, largely a masterpiece in its own right. It's likely to raise the level of anticipation, if that's possible, for the full band's follow-up to the 1993 landmark ENTER THE WU-TANG. IRONMAN is as singular an album as any of the individual Wu-Tang releases. Within its raw, basement sound are so many separate elements that it's sometimes hard to believe they're actually coalescing into a single song; it's as if the songs are defying the laws of physics. Lyrically, Ghostface's rhyme style is more complex than it first appears. Whether shouting his creed ("Daytona 500") or romancing an older woman ("Camay"), Ghostface speaks to his listeners in a private slang, and it often takes more than one listen to pick up on his metaphors. Most of the other Wu-Tangers make cameos here; Ghost's sidekicks Raekwon and Cappadonna are all over this album.