31. Ghostface Killah f/ Raekwon & Cappadonna "Iron Maiden" (1996)
Label: Razor Sharp/Epic Street
As Ironman's opening track, the urgently paced thriller "Iron Maiden," with its strategically placed police sirens and tongue-twisting lingo that gives praise to immigrants livin' trife ("Drug Somalians pollyin'"), is reminiscent of the rush you felt the first time you heard Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... The saga continues here as Ghostface shows that, sho' nuff, he's ready to once again strive for perfection. "Michael Bolton magazine quote, I'm too potent/Louisville mix painkill rap, fuck Benadryl/The violin in 'Knowledge God' sounded ill," he says, bridging the gap between OB4CL and Ironman even further with that stamp of approval. Cappadonna, who shares billing on the album's cover, keeps it "PLO TKO every day" and tells us that "Every evening I have a by-myself meeting." Memo to self: Time to listen to the sample from The Education of Sonny Carson at the start one more time.