For Supreme-Intelligence, Rap Runs in the Family

Rapper Supreme-Intelligence Coles has hip-hop music in his DNA. The son of the Wu-Tang Clan’s prolific lead Ghostface Killah, Coles’ debut in the music industry has been nearly a decade in the making. A few months after the release of his EP Love Jones, the rapper and Staten Island native caught up with HYPEBEAST, reflecting on the inspiration for the new project, growing up with the influence of his famous father and having a son of his own.

While there’s no formula on how to achieve legendary status in the music industry, Coles credits his father with sparking his interest in rap as a child. “I’ve always been inspired by my dad since an early age,” the 24-year-old artist recalled. “All of my family is musically inclined.”

In addition to Ghostface, Coles said his brother Dennis performs under the moniker Sun God. “Growing up and seeing him write his music in the living room and watching my older brother Sun God write his music always gave me the inspiration to do music.”

Though Coles began writing raps as a hobby when was a sophomore in high school nearly a decade ago, he hit a pivotal moment that altered his approach to music and made him take his craft — and himself — more seriously. “I started to notice how my friends wanted to listen to my music as much as I did,” he explained. “Before I just made it for personal reasons and to express myself, but then people heard and asked me to send them songs.”

“I started to think maybe I could do something with this.”

Named after the classic 1997 romance movie, a favorite of both Coles and Ghostface, the initial concept for the Coles’ breakout Love Jones was centered around romantic relationships. “I was trying to capture every lesson that I had learned from my own relationships — how to be a man, how to not be jealous, how to treat women,” he said. “But it took me a few years to make this project, so as time went on, I was in a different situation: I had a son.”

The finished product, completed four years after he started it, sees Coles take an inward look at his relationships with his family and loved ones, especially the dynamics of his evolving relationship with his father. Threaded throughout the project are recordings of phone conversations between Ghostface and Coles, detailing their past falling out and the path to reconciliation.

“Introspecting” is a raw cut of a one-minute phone call that hears Ghostface express his love for his son. And on the following track, “Thankful,” Coles directly addresses his father. “This music is how I get to your ear, Pop,” he raps.

Now, in addition to working on another EP that is slated for release in December, Coles says he’s learned a lot on how to parent his own son from talking to Ghostface.

“I hold lessons from my childhood very near and dear to my heart to try to be as much as an active father as I can to my son,” Coles said. “There was trauma with me and my dad, but we’re at the best we’ve ever been at right now.”

“He gave me a better lesson at the end of the day; to know that you have to be there for your son and any kid in the future that you have.”

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