Ghostface Killah Reflects on Lack of Storytelling and State of Beef in Hip-Hop: 'We Had Substance in Our Music'

The Wu-Tang Clan member said he does like a few melodic rappers while revealing he thinks rap beef should come to an end.

(Photo by Mauricio Santana / Getty Images)

Ghostface Killah believes the art of storytelling and beef amongst rappers has drastically changed in the modern era of hip-hop.

Last week, Rolling Stone shared a new interview with Ghostface to promote his newly released album Set The Tone, and the Staten Island native reflected on the current state of hip-hop. According to Killah, the art of storytelling is long gone in hip-hop as rappers no longer want to give listeners any material with substance and rather focus on the club scene.

"I don't hear n***as doing storytelling no more, man. There might be Nas. You might still got [Slick] Rick out there doing it … Raekwon, [GZA]. A lot of stuff be regular darts, regular raps," said Ghost. "Everything with this new generation is about clubs. A lot of pussy getting thrown around and shit. It ain't like with MC Lyte. Even when Lil' Kim did it, she was gangsta with it. She was a rapper's rapper. She was Erica Cane with it. But the Lauryn Hills of this shit [are] gone.

He added, "But I guess time changes. Because we was rhyming about [raps] '"smoking woola's at 16.'" Now you've got these n***as [and] pills is off the meat rack with the lean and shit. But at least we had substance in our music. Everything is the same now. We're the type of n***as that can rhyme about an eyeball falling out your face, and having the police pick it up and put it in a plastic bag. These n***as can't do that."

Ghostface Killah on the state of rap today:

"I don’t hear niggas doing storytelling no more, man. There might be Nas. You might still got [Slick] Rick out there doing it … Raekwon, [GZA]."


— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 20, 2024
Twitter: @RollingStone

The Wu-Tang Clan member did show love to rappers who use melodies in their songs, including Lil Baby and A Boogie wit da Hoodie, while adding those who came into the hip-hop scene with melodies "changed the game." However, he's not co-signing those who copy off other artists to chase a trendy sound.

The 54-year-old also claimed several rappers "sound the same" and questioned why that trend is happening in the industry. According to Ghost, rappers should be doing their "own shit."

Ghostface Killah on the state of rap pt. 2:

"But what I do notice about these kids is a lot of melodies, too. I like my little nigga, Lil Baby, and A Boogie Wit Tha Hoodie and all that. Melodies is good for the kids."


— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 21, 2024
Twitter: @RollingStone

While reflecting on the current state of hip-hop, Ghostface also spoke on rap beef and all the drama surrounding Drake and Kendrick Lamar's feud that concluded a few weeks ago. Ghost stated he believes Drizzy and K Dot have a personal issue with each other but he's not a fan because beef has a whole different meaning where he's from.

"I don't like it because where I come from beef is on sight. It's deadly," he said. "And we're not going to let off of it. We're going to keep the pressure on your motherfucking neck, and that's it. I don't know about this new beef and shit like that."

In response to Drake and K Dot bringing up abuse and pedophile allegations as well as who makes more money, Ghost said, "My type of beef rap is like slugs on your daughter or whatever the case may be. Like, 'Yo, you better sleep on a motherfucking Teflon pillow, n***a.' Teflon-pillow beef. Some people is saying it's good for the culture. But I respect the old-school beef that was for the culture because it taught you how to write. It taught you how to use that pen. Niggas wasn't talking about allegations and all of the other shit."

Ghost added that he wanted the rap beef to stop because the general conversation would change if someone lost their life as a result of the feud. He also revealed how much he doesn't like the media and how rap beef is covered. 

"When these rappers come up dead then what y'all going to say? That's why I hate the media," he said. "I hate a lot of DJs that be trying to get in and be like, 'Yo, you got to respond in 24 hours.' And when they don't have Kendrick Lamar respond back [say], 'He pussy, and this, that, and the third.'"

He added, "But when one of these motherfuckers get laid down, then y'all can hear the radio next day on some [in calm, solemn voice] 'Black on Black shit got to stop. We're losing too many of us.' N***a, you was the fucking referee! Fuck is wrong with you man?! All these little outlets, podcast, media n***as is nothing but the referees amping all this shit up, man."

Latest in Music