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Ghostface Killah explains his most obtuse lyrics

‘Hype French mustard,’ James Bond, and ziti riddles are finally solved

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Even for hip-hop scholars, Ghostface Killah’s dense wordplay can be tough to decipher. The five-star rhyming chef dices words and phrases like no other, often adding fresh slang to his unique lexicon with each track. As the former Wu-Tang Clan member releases his excellent fifth solo LP, Fishscale, we sat him down and asked him to weigh in on some of his more puzzling passages.



Line: ”Grey Poupon is rebel on rap”

Explanation: ”This is my smooth s— because Grey Poupon is like some hype French mustard, you know what I mean? I don’t like Grey Poupon — I like French’s. Everybody else was talking about it like it was the s— because of that commercial, but I still like the yellow mustard.”

”Apollo Kids”


Line: ”Ay yo, this rap is like ziti, facin’ me real TV/Crash at high speeds, strawberry kiwi”

Explanation: ”The rap’s good because it’s like ziti, which was my best food back then. I threw ‘strawberry kiwi’ on because I’m into experimenting. I was thinking of a style to write without nobody knowing what I was saying except for me.”

”Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)”

THE W 2000

Line: ”Wallo’s comfortable, chocolate frosting/Your socks hangin’ out, yours is talkin”’

Explanation: ”Like a nigga that had a hole in his chocolate-covered [Wallabee] shoes. You know when you walk around in your shoes too much and get a hole in the sole? The rubber is split — it’s like your shoes are talking.”

”The Champ”


Line: ”I’m James Bond in the octagon with two razors”

Explanation: ”I heard there was [a James Bond movie] where he was in the octagon [presumably a fighting ring], but I ain’t seen it. I like Bond. He got mad gadgets and makes his s— look live! Niggas be trying to trap him with all kinda ill s—, and he always finds a way to get out!”