Music Article

Ghost' Writer

Ghostface Killah explains his most obtuse lyrics -- ''Hype French mustard'', James Bond and ziti riddles are finally solved

Even for hip-hop scholars, Ghostface Killah's dense wordplay can be tough to decipher. The five-star rhyming chef dices words and phrases like no other, often adding fresh slang to his unique lexicon with each track. As the former Wu-Tang Clan member releases his excellent fifth solo LP, Fishscale, we sat him down and asked him to weigh in on some of his more puzzling passages.

Line: ''Grey Poupon is rebel on rap''
Explanation: ''This is my smooth s--- because Grey Poupon is like some hype French mustard, you know what I mean? I don't like Grey Poupon — I like French's. Everybody else was talking about it like it was the s--- because of that commercial, but I still like the yellow mustard.''

''Apollo Kids''
Line: ''Ay yo, this rap is like ziti, facin' me real TV/Crash at high speeds, strawberry kiwi''
Explanation: ''The rap's good because it's like ziti, which was my best food back then. I threw 'strawberry kiwi' on because I'm into experimenting. I was thinking of a style to write without nobody knowing what I was saying except for me.''

''Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)''
THE W 2000
Line: ''Wallo's comfortable, chocolate frosting/Your socks hangin' out, yours is talkin'''
Explanation: ''Like a nigga that had a hole in his chocolate-covered [Wallabee] shoes. You know when you walk around in your shoes too much and get a hole in the sole? The rubber is split — it's like your shoes are talking.''

''The Champ''
Line: ''I'm James Bond in the octagon with two razors''
Explanation: ''I heard there was [a James Bond movie] where he was in the octagon [presumably a fighting ring], but I ain't seen it. I like Bond. He got mad gadgets and makes his s--- look live! Niggas be trying to trap him with all kinda ill s---, and he always finds a way to get out!''

Originally posted Mar 31, 2006 Published in issue #871 Apr 07, 2006 Order article reprints

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