There’s no question that Ghostface Killah is one of the most talented and successful artists in the Wu-Tang Clan, and one of the most unique personalities in all of rap music. RZA, The Abbot of the legendary Staten Island-based hip-hop group, recently told Complex, “Ghost is one of the best rappers in the world. At one point, he was the best rapper in the world.” Very rare.

Twenty years after the release of the Wu’s debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Ghost’s career is still in full effect, and his sword is sharper than ever. Just last month, he dropped 12 Reasons To Die, a forward-thinking concept album with producer Adrian Younge that showcased his impeccable storytelling abilities and off-kilter creativity. He literally laid down a movie on wax.

And last summer, he appeared on the remix of G.O.O.D. Music’s summer slammer “New God Flow,” holding court alongside Pusha T and Kanye West with a song-stealing verse, rapping, “I got soccer moms paying for cock/Asians get it from behind while they’re cleaning their wok.” Yup, Tony Starks is two decades deep in the game, and he still has crazy bars.

To help celebrate Ghost turning 43 today (wow, that’s nuts), and his latest release 12 Reasons To Die (now available on iTunes and also as a deluxe package), we sat down with him after a recent performance in NYC to look back at his essential albums, and find out what songs are his favorites off each of them.

Between sips of Grey Goose, Ghost talked about the album cuts he’s most fond of, the stories behind crafting his classic catalog, and the hiccups he encountered along the way. In addition, he told us how he ended up on “New God Flow,” and addressed the popular rappers of today, saying that regardless of radio play, he’ll “dart ‘em out. Early.” Check the fly shit.

RELATED: The 50 Best Ghostface Killah Songs

As told to Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

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