21. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Release date: April 11, 1999
Record label: Razor Sharp/Epic/SME
When acclaimed independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch hired RZA to score his nuanced crime flick Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, he immediately earned the respect of Wu-Tang fans worldwide. But after the film's Wu-heavy soundtrack hit shelves, the Clan's faithful must have been ready to declare Jarmusch as the coolest director alive.
Ghost Dog's soundtrack is best appreciated by those already initiated in the Killa Bee family tree. Its strongest records come from extended Wu-Tang affiliates like Sunz of Man ("Strange Eyes"), Superb ("The Man," featuring Masta Killa), and Royal Fam and La the Darkman ("Walk the Dogs").
Peppered with dialogue skits taken from Forest Whitaker's titular movie character, Ghost Dog's mid-range Wu-Tang blowout could've used some verses from A-list Clansmen like Ghostface, Raekwon, Method Man, or GZA. But, as the soundtrack stands, it's an effective display of the Wu's second-tier talent.