48. Ghostface Killah f/ Raekwon "Motherless Child" (1996)
Label: Razor Sharp, Epic Street
Most of the praise for the first batch of Wu-Tang solo records goes to GZA and Raekwon for their landmark debuts. People tend to forget that Ghostface's debut is right up there too. Granted, it's not because of Ghost. At the time, he had perfected his storytelling skills but not his personality. Nor was it Raekwon and Cappadonna, who hold it down on all fronts throughout their various features.
No, Ghost's true debt was to RZA. The Abbot's production had grown by leaps and bounds in the years leading up to Ghost's first solo venture. Originally appearing on the Sunset Park soundtrack, "Motherless Child" is one of RZA's illest soundscapes. Built using two O.V. Wright samples ("Motherless Child" and "Into Something (I Can't Shake Loose)") the beat built suspense and pain, the perfect backdrop for Tony Stark's tale of a corner thug who got caught up in senseless violence. —Insanul Ahmed