Ghostface Preps New Album, Wu-Tang To Tour

Wu-Tang Clan principal Ghostface Killah has put the finishing touches on his fifth album, "Fishscale," due Feb. 28 via Def Jam. The set is led by the single "Back Like That," which features up-and-com

Wu-Tang Clan principal Ghostface Killah has put the finishing touches on his fifth album, "Fishscale," due Feb. 28 via Def Jam. The set is led by the single "Back Like That," which features up-and-coming Def Jam labelmate Ne-Yo. Production on the project was supplied by MF Doom, Pete Rock, Madlib and J. Dilla, among many others.

Rock produced "Be Easy," which hit the streets on mixtapes last fall, while Wu-Tang cohort Raekwon appears on four tracks, including "Kilo." Ghostface's manager tells Billboard.com the song "Wu United" features all the members of the Wu-Tang Clan, who are regrouping in February for their first tour since 1997. Kanye West is also working on a track for the project.

"Fishscale" is the follow-up to Ghostface's 2004 Def Jam debut, "The Pretty Toney Album," which opened at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 219,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Ghostface is also tipped to appear on Raekwon's sequel to his 1995 solo album "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx," but no release date has yet been confirmed.

As for the Wu-Tang tour, Ghostface's manager says all the members of the act will participate. At deadline, 10 shows were confirmed, beginning Feb. 7 in New Haven, Conn., but discussions are underway for additional summer dates. Both Raekwon and RZA hinted at the possibility of a Wu outing in prior interviews with Billboard.com, with RZA stressing that group members should be thinking about something other than money when it comes to Wu-Tang's future.

"I know everybody has a lifestyle they have to maintain," he told Billboard.com in February 2005. "Let's just say a Wu-Tang Clan album is worth a couple million dollars. Once 10 guys get on it, it's still worth a couple hundred grand. Some guys' lifestyles require them to make five or six hundred thousand dollars a year regardless. Maybe doing Wu-Tang will make you that much money, but doing it by yourself could you make you a million, because there aren't so many hands involved. But for the legacy, I think we should be willing to make that sacrifice and get it cracking."

Wu-Tang was able to reassemble for one show in California in July 2004 (chronicled on the CD/DVD "Disciples of the 36 Chambers") and another in New Jersey in November of that year the night before Ol' Dirty Bastard collapsed and died in a Manhattan recording studio.

Before the Wu dates, Ghostface will join Fort Minor at a Feb. 6 show in New York, and will then embark on his own tour in early March with Dead Prez's M1 and Sam Scarfo.

Also on tap for this spring is the release of a Ghostface action figure, which will come with a mixtape by a DJ to be announced. The doll, which is limited to 1,000, is decked out in 14-karat gold jewelry and can speak "Ghostface Killah catch-phrases," according to manufacturer 4Cast. Purchasers will also be eligible for a contest whose prize is spending a day with the rapper.

Here are the Wu-Tang Clan's tour dates:

Feb. 7: New Haven, Conn. (Toad's Place)
Feb. 8-9: Boston (Palladium)
Feb. 10-11: Philadelphia (Electric Factory)
Feb. 12: Baltimore (Sonar)
Feb. 13: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
Feb. 14: New York (Hammerstein Ballroom)
Feb. 17: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Revolution)
Feb. 18: St. Petersburg, Fla. (Jannus Landing)
Feb. 19: Orlando, Fla. (Hard Rock Live)