Today (May 9), a wordsmith whose crowning aptitude to generate fervid painterly narratives through the chambers of a luminous soul into the realm of hip-hop welcomes in another year of life, the one and only, Ghostface Killah.

Widely recognized for his sonorous raps and wandering flow, Ghostface Killah is admired by hip-hop heads worldwide for his emphasis on unyielding subject matters which are a merger to his exclusive persona. The Staten Island-bound lyricist first soared through the minds of listeners on back in 1992 on the Wu-Tang Clan‘s debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) when he cried out loud solidifying his emcee stance via hit track “Protect Ya Neck.”

A couple of miles down the line, the esteemed Tony Starks made history with fellow Wu-kin Raekwon, by making a guest-star appearance on the Chef’s treasured solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995). Ghost’s vivid storytelling bind with Raekwon’s zesty’s lyricism on the album helped shape and mold the aesthetic of mafioso rap as the at-the-time pending legends told the tale of the ideal Staten Island street experience, immediately giving birth to the beloved Ghost and Rae duo fellowship.

Come 1996, Ghostface flew into the heights of the solo world with his debut album, Ironman. Netted with the razor-sharp clamor of Wu-Tang architect RZA bottled with the solitary flows of several Wu bodies, Starks displayed an organic sense of emotional lability. His ardent input of Five Percent appeal, with dips of classic 70s soul samples alongside blaxploitation film excerpts which is evident in songs in the likes of “After the Smoke Is Clear,” “Fish,” and “Wildflower” project a severe righteous flavor. The imperfect Black male with an angelic soul.

In the wake of Y2k, the class act of an emcee released his quintessential sophomore album Supreme Clientele. The album displays the advancement of the Wu-Tang Clan legend’s signature vocal velocity and a myriad of narratives starting from his mass appeal down to childhood flashbacks. Embedded with sharp personal context and aimless lyrical structure founded in perception, Ghost personifies the supreme Staten Islander from Stapleton with a sovereign mentality.

Honored for his cryptic spits and complex storytelling, Ghostface Killah owns one of the most innovative minds hip-hop has ever witnessed. The lyrical jewels of this master lyricist are globally familiar as one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most emblematic. He is undisputedly one of the most consistent lyricists to reign out of hip-hop’s 90s phenomenon owning 12 solo gems to date. His latest being Twelve Reasons to Die II, a mafioso themed concept album with LA producer Adrian Younge where Ghost does nothing but put his most theatrical foot forward. And now, the masses patiently await the release of the sequel to his sophomore debut, Supreme Clientele 2– which remains highly anticipated seventeen years later. With over two decades in the game, Ghostface Killah still stands as one hip-hop’s most superior artists.

Happy Birthday to the Supreme Wordsmith of Hip-Hop, Ghostface Killah!