A roommate of Wu-Tang founder RZA, Ghostface helped bring together the other seven members. In 1995, Ghostface guest-starred extensively on fellow Clan member Raekwon's debut album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., appearing on almost every song and receiving nearly equal billing. He also contributed songs to the Sunset Park and Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood soundtracks, which would be included on his first solo LP, Ironman, in 1996. The album, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, had a more pronounced soul influence (particularly 1970s soul) than previous Wu-Tang releases, and Ghostface's future albums would continue to feature this stylistic trait.
In 2000, he released his second studio album Supreme Clientele. The album was well received by critics and peaked #7 on the Billboard 200. It included "Apollo Kids", a popular single which featured Raekwon and had a sample of "Cool Breeze" by Solomon Burke. "Cherchez LaGhost", another single off the album, became a minor club hit. Supreme Clientele would be a turning point in RZA's influence on his sound, as only six songs are produced by the RZA, compared to Ironman, its predecessor where every song but one is produced by him. Though he contributed fewer beats to the project, RZA personally oversaw the mixing and production of the album as a whole, contributing to Supreme Clientele's unified sound.
Ghostface wasted little time in recording his next album, the heavily R&B-influenced Bulletproof Wallets, released a year after Supreme Clientele. Its feature single, "Never Be the Same Again", featured Carl Thomas and Raekwon. He had another minor club hit with "Flowers", which featured guest vocals from fellow Wu-Tang members Method Man and Raekwon, and a popular single "Ghost Showers" which featured Madame Majestic, who also sung on the popular Wu-Tang track "Gravel Pit".