By Zach Schwartz
It was a big week for Ghostface Killah. In addition to the new Wu-Tang Clan album, A Better Tomorrow, which was released on Tuesday, Tony Starks is preparing to drop his 11th studio album, 36 Seasons, next Tuesday. The most recent solo offering by the Iron Man is a concept album with a movie-like story, lush instrumentation by the Revelations, and an accompanying 20-page comic book.
But this was also one of the worst weeks in recent memory for race relations in America. With the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown barely in the rearview, this week a Staten Island grand jury also declined to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold.
With Ghostface Killah hailing from the streets of Shaolin, I thought I’d call him up to get his opinion on everything that’s been going on.
VICE: What’s your opinion on Ferguson and all the other stuff that’s been happening?
Ghostface Killah: The cop was wrong. The cop was dead wrong. And I feel like justice should be served. I believe that he should go to jail. You killed an unarmed teenager, you shot him six times. You could have had a chance to use your little tasers and your little batons and all that other shit on him before you shot him six times.
They should just put that Darren Wilson in jail, B. And that’s for all the police officers out there. I don’t care if you’re black or white. With senseless killing like that, you should go ahead and do your time. That’s what I feel.
What do you think about the demonstrations that have been happening?
I mean, they’re mad, man. You can’t tell someone that’s angry—you done took someone’s baby away—that they’re supposed to sit down and just chill out. I’m not telling anybody to get up and just go riot, but you don’t know what they’re feeling. You know what I mean?
It’s like, enough is enough. It’s bad enough that we did 400 years of slavery. And y’all motherfuckers are still doing the same shit. Y’all still killing motherfuckers like it ain’t nothing. Choking motherfuckers out. So I feel that whatever they feel out there, in Ferguson, in Staten Island, wherever, that’s on them. Let them do whatever the fuck they want.
These cops, they’re just getting away with a bunch of shit. Since they got a little gun on them, they feel like they’re superior, like they’re the kings of this shit. It’s like, Yo, man, you’re dealing with people’s lives right now, B. Right now, I don’t even give a fuck. I’m tired of this shit, too.
Do you think the situation with police brutality is getting better or worse?
Man, listen, this shit is fucked up everywhere in the United States. It’s like, whatever happened back in the day, it’s the same shit right now. Rodney King shit, slavery shit, this was happening when Martin Luther King was out…
Y’all motherfuckers are killing niggas. You used to hang us, now you just shoot us. But it ‘s the same shit. And it ain’t getting better. How could [George Zimmerman] kill Travyon Martin and then just come home? Motherfuckers choking out grown men on Staten Island, then motherfuckers can just come home? What’s really good? And then you ask me is this shit getting better? What do you think?
I think the police are fucked up.
That’s right. It’d be different if a black man killed a white child. If a black policeman did that to some white motherfucker, y’all would throw the book at him. But I never even heard of a black cop killing somebody like that. Not me. It might have been done before, but I can’t remember it. But y’all know what y’all would do to that black cop. So it’s like, Yo, why don’t the lives of our kids matter as much as yours?
If you ask me, I think it should be an eye for an eye. On everything. You kill me? Somebody kills you. My perspective is like Malcolm X’s. You know what I mean? It ain’t time to be marching around when people are dying. If it’s on, then it’s on. Let’s strap up and do what we gotta do.
I’m not gonna be out there marching. Martin Luther King did the marching, with all due respect, because he wanted the peace so bad. But it’s like, these motherfuckers, they don’t respect peace . They respect violence. Until then, you gonna keep going for peace and justice and [get nothing in return.] While they’re looking at you laughing. You know they’re gonna do it again and again and again and again.
Speaking of Malcolm X, I know you were originally with the Five Percent Nation, and then you converted to traditional Islam. What was the thought process behind that?
It was just going to Africa. You go to Africa and you see how things are over there. Spiritually, it opens you up. I thought about it. There’s only one God, man. What you believe is what you believe. The Five Percent Nation, it’s still Islam, but I just wanted to go back to what I felt was right. My roots. My heritage. Because that’s what black people are over there. Where I’m originally from, it’s all Muslims.
What can your fans expect from you in the future?
Just look out for that Blue & Cream, the sequel to Supreme Clientele. It’s almost finished. I’m trying to see if I can release it sometime in August, September 2015, somewhere in the fourth quarter. I got Twelve Reasons to Die part two coming out. And I’m with Raekwon, and we’re gonna do this third Only Built 4 Cuban Linx