Breaking down Kanye West and Ghostface Killah's new single 'No Face'

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The official cover art for
The official cover art for 'No Face' featuring Ghostface Killah and Kanye West (Image via Spotify)

Today (June 7), we'll be looking at Ghostface Killah's collaboration with Kanye West titled No Face, which was released a week ago as the second single off of his recent album Set the Tone (Guns & Roses). The single was distributed to all streaming platforms via Nas's Mass Appeal record label, marking Ghost's first project release after signing with the label last year.

The song features a verse from Kanye and is also dedicated to fellow Wu-Tang member and friend Ol' Dirty Bast*rd, who passed away in 2004. During the introduction, Ghostface shouts out the Jackson 5 as well as the American sitcoms Good Times and What's Happening.

On June 6, Ghostface uploaded a clip from Kanye West's interview on the Drink Champs podcast, where Yeezy states:

"Wu-Tang is for the children."

Bar-For-Bar: Dissecting Ghostface and Kanye West's single No Face

The track was produced by EZ Elpee and Backpack and appears as the seventh track on Set the Tone (Guns & Roses). Ghostface Killah and Kanye West delve into several themes, which include:

  • Violence
  • Gang Affiliations
  • Status
  • Wealth
  • Success
  • Luxury
  • Excess and Drug Abuse
  • Womanizing

Disclaimer: The following review is rated EXPLICIT. Reader discretion is advised.


(Verse 1)

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"Ayo, n----s wanna clap me, monkey see, monkey do / I'm comin' with black gloves to snub his old chunky, too / African gold dentals, iced out medals / I seen n----s get murked by the heels of stilettos"

Ghostface starts off the track by recounting instances where people around him have tried to take him down but have ultimately failed. His aggressive delivery catches the listener as the rapper dives deeper into this theme of going up against haters.

"I blam one n---a and watch the other die by the echo / I had dots on darkskin n----s that look like freckles / Pay homage, my Islamic, my wrist timeless / I threw up rhymes in my Campbell's soup, I seen in my vomit"

Ghost pays homage to his Islamic beliefs, standing strong on his morals while citing seemingly metaphorical examples of him violently checking those who oppose him with his impeccable rhyme skills.

"It's a world premiere, 'mere / I limp when I'm draggin' to Saudi, it's down to here, here / Holdin' bricks, where, where? My man got eighty-five to life and that's years, years / Same day he spit at the judge and threw a chair, chair"

This bar could be a possible reference to the 1995 crime/thriller Dead Presidents, where the protagonist Anthony Curtis (played by Larenz Tate) hurls a chair at the judge after being sentenced to "15 years to life."


(Chorus)

"Over large cake / You know it's on, checkmate / You can get spun, just like a mixtape / Plus, we take down your squadron, we mobbin', we goblin / Just a kid with a no face / That can take form just like a snowflake / No reusable hammers, they all throwaways / Yeah, we can get blammers and hammers, do damage and..."

Ghostface opens on the chorus with a delivery similar to a nursery rhyme but mixed in with violent bars that give the track a bouncy, interesting vibe. Ghost flexes his gang affiliations while reestablishing his prominence in shaping the current generation of hip-hop.


(Verse 2)

The official album cover for Ghostface Killah's 12th studio album 'Set The Tone (Guns & Roses)' (Image via YouTube/@ghostfacekillah)
The official album cover for Ghostface Killah's 12th studio album 'Set The Tone (Guns & Roses)' (Image via YouTube/@ghostfacekillah)
"Me and Ghost in a ski mask / I was chillin' there, layin', Chilean like sea bass / And nobody was askin' her / P---y, don't even fix your lips like labiaplasty-a"

Kanye West shouts out Ghostface in his verse before speaking about a former relationship he was involved in. He also references body-modifying cosmetic surgery called "labiaplasty" in his first bar.

"Welfare, got all the bread / I'm sad, I need some head / I might tell you you the one while I'm hittin' it / 'Til I postn-t, c-m to my senses / I tried to meditate, I tried to medicate"

Ye continues to s-xual themes throughout the next bar, where he explains how the intimacy he shares with this woman tends to cloud his judgment, leaving him to turn to drugs to "medicate."

"She had two phones, thought she was Kevin Gates / She was lyin' 'bout it, then she came clean / I was so mad, I f--ked her so hard, she came clean / Got that new rrrrt, it's a May-bay-bay / She got that new bag, it's a Chay-nay-nay / I take it too far, I take it way-way-way / I pull up Cougar, out a ca-a-age"

The last couple of bars on Ye's verse make for a highlight moment in the song as we see the rapper blend themes of luxury, s-x, and wealth into bouncy and memorable rhyme schemes before Ghost enters with the chorus once again.


(Verse 3)

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"I'm like a Nobu Street activist, flooded with shines / Jackson 5 before Motowns, I get better with time / Run up in the big gambling spots, cockin' it back / I'm talkin' Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine and Jack"

Ghostface returns for his second verse, shouting out the Jackson 5 again before referencing a line from Biz Markie's 1989 song Just a Friend, where Biz shouts out his friends Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine, and Jack.

"VVS's on custom watches that's made from scratch / My birthstone is like a Easter egg, an emerald fact / My flawless game, floor seats in the glass, it came / It's a glass of July sun, beat the odds in Vegas"

Wealth is the primary theme on this bar, with Ghost flexing his custom VVS diamond watches. He highlights his affinity for spending money on some of life's biggest luxuries while also claiming his birthstone is an emerald.

The last line referencing Vegas ties into his previous bar, where he talks about how he's well-known in major gambling spots across the city.

"We shook the coke for the big lumps and the Pyrex strainers / Ran up in housing who had work, we disguised as painters / Pop like b---hes with fake a--es that leak like drainage / Our language, too much money, we can't explain it"

The final bar on the song explains Ghostface's excitement about living an excessive life that revolves around making a lot of money, partying with women, and hanging out with drug dealers, as seen in the first line where he explains the process of illegally manufacturing crack cocaine with the help of "Pyrex strainers."


Ghostface Killah's Set the Tone performed relatively well, peaking at No.39 on the UK R&B album charts. The album contained 19 individual tracks with features from Remy Ma, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, and more.

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Edited by Somava
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