Why Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z’s collab never happened
(Credit: Niklas Hellerstedt)

Old School Archives

Why Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z's collab never happened

There are only a handful of names in hip hop that dwarf that of Jay-Z. The iconic Brooklyn rapper has long since become a member of rap’s Mount Rushmore and deserves his place in immortality. However, if there is one name that is culturally more significant than Jay’s contribution it could well be that of Wu-Tang Clan.

The group, comprised of Raekwon, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Old Dirty Bastard, Method Man, GZA and more than a few others, rightly dominated the avant-garde rap game in the 1990s and ’00s. The group were as bold and brash as anyone had ever witnessed before and they delivered time and time again with provocative, subversive and, ultimately, effortlessly cool releases.

It is this dedication to their own style which has seen the group, and its individual members, be widely regarded as one of the most important figures in hip hop. It’s also why the band’s members are constantly hit up for feature spots on upcoming albums. But while the group members are always at the tip of people’s tongues, the collaborations don’t always come through.

That was certainly the case for Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Jay-Z. Speaking on Vlad TV, the Wu-Tang man opened up about the failed feature for Jay. “Yeh, he wanted to get me on his shit. I did the shit for him, like afterwards, but it was too late. They already had the joint. I was trying to get the music to him, but it was too late. But I still got that verse, somewhere in the closet.”

The rapper continues: “When Raekwon went to the studio that night, I had a show that night. I wanted to make that album too! ‘Cos Jay don’t reach out to nobody, for him to be like ‘Yo, I wanna see something from you’ or whatever, that’s a good look.” Ghostface refused to release his verse without Jay, though.

“I’d never do without him. The verse has a lot of shit people wouldn’t understand. I went too deep on some Islam shit. I took them through the Qu’ran on it.”

Of course, we’d love to hear Ghostface Killah takes through the Qu’ran, after all, he soundtracked all our other spiritual awakenings! Below, watch Ghostface Killah share why he will never share his collaboration with Jay-Z.