Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
Back in the ’90s, I was a big fan of the Wu-Tang Clan and their solo albums. Method Man had Tical, Ol’ Dirty Bastard had his classic Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, Raekwon did Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and GZA did the highly regarded Liquid Swords. Then came October 29, 1996, with Ghostface Killah’s debut album Ironman.
Ironman is quite possibly equally or even more prestigious than Liquid Swords. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 and selling nearly 160,000 copies in the first week alone, Ironman was highly praised for Ghostface’s lyrics that dive from gangsta to gritty reality. The lyrical content of Ironman is mature and complex while the samples, beats, and backgrounds draw attention to the messages that Ghostface delivers (e.g. the good and mortally bad about the drug trade, dating).
Now approaching 25 this October 29, Ironman is just as fresh and relevant today as it was back in 1996. Can this type of hip hop be replicated? No, it cannot.
It was recently announced by Ghostface Killah himself that he will re-release a new, extended 25th-anniversary edition of Ironman this coming October 29 with a digital and vinyl release; the vinyl version is not the extended version though. There will be new remixes and full instrumentals of all the tracks. You can preorder now for both releases, however, the vinyl version will be out in 2022.