42.) Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele (2000)

One would assume that if early on one was going to speculate on who would be the best Wu-Tang solo artist, Ghostface Killah would have found himself out of the running. Maybe fifth? Certainly behind Meth and ODB and probably behind Chef and GZA and it the time, that would have been correct. But time has been very kind to Ghost and from my perspective he is unchallenged in the race right now.

Ghost is number one. Every one else is behind him (though Raekwan is making a case with the fantastic, and unfortunately ineligible for this list, Only Built 2 but even that record probably wouldn't be as good without Ghost). Supreme Clientele was Ghost's second solo record but it was also his announcement. The "listen motherfuckers, it's me Ghostface muthafucking Killah. I'm ready to own this shit."

And own it he would. Supreme Clientele was released in the first month of this decade and Ghost has been going strong now for this entire time. Ghostface Killah is a weird dude and the thing that was brilliant about Supreme Clientele was that it was weird, but it was undercover weird. It's like he saw into the future of hip hop, but didn't necessarily want everybody to be in on it.

Ghost's lyrics are just nuts. All over the place crazy. Oftentimes they seem completely nonsensical. The stream of consciousness thoughts of a madman. That's pretty exciting, honestly. But his delivery is so engrossing and no one in hip hop samples classic soul music better than Ghost.

Supreme Clientele is Ghost's best album because no one really saw it coming. This wasn't "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and as far away from "All I Need" as you can get. There aren't pop singles here. This is a record, best enjoyed as a whole. Further, it solidified Wu- Tang as still being a force. They'd lost a step, but Ghost was gonna bring 'em back to glory, oh and also record "Malcom" which is the craziest hip-hop character study ever made. Thanks, Ghost.

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