Today I celebrate the 43rd birthday of one of my favorite rappers of all-time: Ghostface Killah. If you’re unfamiliar with GFK — otherwise known as Tony Starks, Ironman, Pretty Toney, Ghost Deini and many other aliases — you might know him as one of the members of the rap supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan. If you don’t know the Wu-Tang Clan, I’m not sure why you’re reading Poor Scholars, but I’ll let it slide since this is a celebration.
Anyways, Ghostface is one of my favorite emcees because he’s a vivid storyteller that gets incredibly animated during his verses. In a nutshell: It’s just fun to listen to this dude spin hood narratives with the energy he brings to the table.
So in honor of GFK’s birthday, here is the story of a college-aged me — Scott Phillips — meeting Ghostface Killah during a meet-and-greet at DePaul University prior to the release of his fifth album, FishScale.