Ghostface Killah Drops ‘Supreme Clientele’ Album – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Jan. 25, in hip-hop history...
2000: Four years after releasing his critically acclaimed solo debut record Ironman in 1996, Wu-Tang Clan member, Ghostface Killah, went on to release a near-classic album in his sophomore effort, Supreme Clientele. Today, Jan. 25, is the 19th anniversary of that album.
In the late '90s/early 2000s, after some disappointing numbers from solo sophomore albums by various members of the Clan, Ghost's Supreme Clientele restored faith in the Wu. Out of all second generation Wu-Tang projects, Supreme Clientele is without a doubt the most acclaimed. This album, just like Ironman, featured heavy production and contributions from RZA. Supreme Clientele debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA in March 2000.
The LP finds the Staten Island native showing off his authentic and unique flow and taking his game to another level by showcasing colorful storytelling. SC sprouted hit records such as "Apollo Kids," "Cherchez la Ghost," “Mighty Healthy” and "One." The project featured guest appearances from Lord Superb, 60 Second Assassin, Chip Banks, Hell Razah, GZA, RZA, Cappadonna, Method Man, Masta Killa, Redman, U-God and, of course, Raekwon.
In 2011, over a decade after its release, the album was the root of a lawsuit filed against Ghost, Sony Music Entertainment and the Rza's Razor Sharp Records. In the suit, composer Jack Urbont alleged that Ghost “copied verbatim” Urbont’s “Iron Man Theme” on two Supreme Clientele tracks and “fraudulently concealed” this use by failing to acknowledge Urbont’s composition in the liner notes. Though Urbont believed that he was owed royalties for the usage of the theme, which he created, the court determined back in 2015 that the song was created on a "work-for-hire" basis, meaning the composer was only entitled to a one-time fee.
In 2017, the album became the subject of a nostalgic line of Ghostface merchandise that included hoodies, long sleeve tees, short sleeve graphic tees, s/s camo tees, tank tops, women’s shorts and dad hats.
All that aside, Supreme Clientele allowed Ghostface to step into the spotlight that he so justly deserved. Many consider this album to be the best of Tony Starks' career and among the best of the Clan's repertoire.
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