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On this day in Hip Hop history, rap legend Ghostface Killah was born in Staten Island, New York. Most known for his work with the famed Wu-Tang Clan, Ghost has also had one of the more successful careers of those from his era due to his ability to stay relevant and active in music without actually changing anything about himself to “get with the times.” His image and brand are some of the most respected in the industry and his ability to actually spit is nearly unparalleled.

Raised in the rugged Stapleton Housing Projects, Ghostface Killah adopted his name from the kung-fu classic Mystery of Chessboxing. GFK made his musical debut with Wu-Tang’s famous 1993 LP Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Following this album, although remaining a huge part of the group, Ghostface Killah went on the have a strong solo career releasing 17 studio albums and counting.

From jump street, GFK’s success was prominent with his debut album Ironman debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. His style and sound as a solo artists is what most would say set him apart and allowed for him to be so popular. The 1970s soul influence in GFK’s production and his smooth storytelling ability is what set him apart from his fellow Wu-Tang members. This however still does not put Pretty Tony in a box. Throughout his career, GFK has been able to switch his subject matter from conscious to street while utilizing a plethora of flows and collaborating with a wide range of artists.

Aside from music, Ghostface’s persona has allotted him the ability to make appearances on television, in movies, video games, and even comic books. GFK can be seen on shows from 30 Rock to Boondocks to Mob Wives. He has made cameo appearances in films such as Belly and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He is a main opponent in all three of the Def Jam fighting game series as well as the popular Wu-Tang game Shaolin Style.

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Ghostface Killah continues todau to make music and has showed no signs of slowing down in the near future, which is great for all who still want more of that authentic Hip Hop sound that has dwindled over the past few years. Take some time today to appreciate one of Hip Hop’s few active legends and tastemakers.