Ironman

by Ghostface Killah

Released October 29, 1996 via Epic Records

Reviewed October 28, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Daytona 500 (43%), Assassination Day (40%), Iron Maiden (34%)

Take a cross section of Raekwon’s razor sharp lyrical strikes against the wiley, unorthodox flows of Ghostface Killah; you’ll see they exist in perfect harmony on Ironman, GFK’s 1996 major label debut. At that time, a better one-two punch was hard to find. With Cappadonna and RZA performing in complementary roles, and the entire Wu at their disposal for guest appearances at the height of their arrival, Ironman was destined to be a classic. Not only are beats and rhymes in a consistently dynamic space throughout the record, but the momentum from one song to the next never wavers. Ironman is an undeniable benchmark in the conversation of debut rap albums, and given that the Wu was letting off classic album after classic album, it immediately entered a crowded conversation regarding the outfit’s best solo efforts. – DeVán (9/10)

The indelible impact of Ghostface Killah on not just the ’90s, but hip-hop as a whole, could never be forgotten. Ironman—where it all began in terms of his solo discography—is a lovely place to start. While it doesn’t capture the same gritty mafioso as Supreme Clientele, Ironman is the necessary bridge between Ghost’s Wu-Tang presence and the development of his own style outside of the Wu. His debut, with masterful assistance from RZA, Raekwon, and Cappadona, is what many artists at the time could’ve hoped to achieve as an established presence in the game; Ghostface Killah was just that incredible from the jump. Without Ironman, we wouldn’t have seen the growth of arguably Wu Tang's best member. Ghost was always unique, but Ironman presented that as the focal point of a project for the first time ever. – Ben (Synth) (8.5/10)


Ghostface Killah's debut Wu-Tang solo record Ironman turns 25, featuring that signature RZA sound: Dusty, dirty and incredibly captivating. Creating an atmosphere for the world's characters to freely express their thoughts is an essential job of the beatmaker/producer, and has another done it quite as well as RZA? Ghostface is often regarded as the most consistent Wu member, and it's a statement that's hard to argue with; Ironman being the beginning of a bustling solo career. Gritty beats heavily impregnated with muddy low end lay the foundations for Ghostgace Killah and his fellow Wu compadres to spill their mind. Witty bravado straight off the streets of Staten Island lace the record's runtime, while still offering a turnaround through more serious, heartfelt pastures. Maintaining a balance which is hard to find even in the contemporary scene. – Peter (8.5/10)


DeVán: 9/10 | Cam: 8.8/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10

Jared: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10