Today in Hip-Hop History: January 8th, 1997
Ironman Reaches Gold Album Status
Today in hip-hop history marks the nineteen year anniversary of Ghostface Killah’s Ironman being Gold certified. The Wu-tang clan artist’s first solo album was released by Epic Records and consisted of many Wu-Tang member collaborations despite its insistence on it being a solo-album. Stephen Thompson of the A.V. Club reports the album as “Attacking from all angles, Ironman is classic Wu-Tang, piecing together Al Green and Jackson 5 samples, gospel choruses, kung fu soundbites and piano vamps into something unpredictable and vital-sounding.” Many critics come to a consensus that while it still agrees with common themes and motifs that Wu-Tang is usually full of, Ghostface pulls a diverse range of emotions from himself this time around. “Anger is just a stimulant for Ghostface Killah. On Ironman he raps about male bonding, the mating game and the violent ups and downs of the drug trade, in a voice raised just above the tone of conversation,” writes Jon Pareles, the chief music critic for The New York Times in writing a review for the album.
Ironman received generally positive reviews and despite the controversy of Wu-Tang’s studio flooding, and not properly citing a few samples, it was still an album that confidently propelled Ghostface Killah into further solo ventures.