Who is Ghostemane?
Ghostemane, born Eric Whitney, is an American rapper and singer, best known for his 2018 album ‘N/O/I/S/E.’ Born in Lake Worth, Florida, Ghostemane was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was enthusiastic about music ever since he was a kid. He was a huge fan of hardcore punk as a child. He also learned to play the guitar around the same time. In his teenage years, he played the guitar with several bands, such as ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Seven Serpents.’ He was introduced to rap music by one of his bandmates from ‘Nemesis.’ Ghostemane discovered Memphis Rap and got addicted to it. Following his graduation in astrophysics, he started working a lucrative day job. However, he left his job in 2015 to forge a career in music. He then moved to Los Angeles. In 2016, he began working alongside like-minded artists such as Pouya and ‘Suicideboys.’ Pouya and Ghostemane worked together on a single titled ‘1000 Rounds,’ which went viral and amassed more than 16 million views on ‘YouTube.’ In 2018, he released his debut album, ‘N/O/I/S/E,’ which became an underground hit. Ghostemane has also earned significant popularity in the underground music scene, with several mixtapes and EPs.
Childhood & Early Life
Ghostemane was born Eric Whitney, on April 15, 1991, in Lake Worth, Florida. His parents had moved to Florida from New York just a year before Eric was born. His father worked as a phlebotomist. Eric grew up with a brother. Soon after he was born, the family moved to a new house in the West Palm Beach area, Florida.
Ever since he was a kid, Eric was very good in academics. He consistently scored high grades in school. In addition, he also played football almost throughout his childhood.
He was also a hardcore music lover. He listened to hardcore punk rock when he was growing up. He also became interested in learning music and attended guitar classics.
He had aspired to become a musician ever since his teenage years. However, having a strict father somehow held him back from trying harder to pursue his dreams. This changed when his father passed away. Eric was 17 years old back then. He was deeply saddened by his father’s death but also gained confidence to do whatever he wanted to do in life.
His father “forced” him to play football in high school. Later, Eric was “ordered” to join the ‘US Marines.’ However, Eric’s dreams lay somewhere else. He was deeply interested in reading philosophy, the occult, and the sciences. By his mid-teenage years, he had also become highly interested in the doom metal genre of music.
He scored a high GPA in high school and enrolled at college to study astrophysics. However, he also continued playing in many doom metal bands, such as ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Seven Serpents.’
Following his college graduation, Eric started focusing on making money. He started doing a call-center job. Sometime later, he landed a high-profile job. However, he was not able to get music out of his system all the while.
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Following his high-school graduation, Ghostemane had joined a hardcore band named ‘Nemesis,’ through which he was first introduced to rap music. Before that, he had listened to punk and alternative rock music popularized by bands such as ‘Green Day’ and ‘Lagwagon.’ After he discovered rap music, he began listening to artists such as ‘Three 6 Mafia,’ which formed the basis of his future musical projects.
He recorded a rap song with his ‘Nemesis’ band members just for fun. However, he got addicted to rap, as it provided him more creative freedom than rock music. His band members were not too interested in pursuing rap music. Thus, Ghostemane learned video editing and ‘Photoshop’ in order to create his own album covers and music videos.
He released several mixtapes and EPs online. His debut mixtape, titled ‘Blunts n’ Brass Monkey,’ was released in 2014. During that time, Ghostemane used “ill Biz” as his stage name. The same year, he released yet another mixtape, ‘Taboo.’
While working a day job in Florida, Ghostemane released many singles on ‘SoundCloud.’ He had gained an underground fan base by then and was slowly becoming popular. However, he knew that there was no scope for the kind of music he was interested in making in his hometown. He decided to take the big plunge and moved to Los Angeles in 2015.
In 2015, Ghostemane released his debut EP, ‘Ghoste Tales’ and then released more EPs, such as ‘Dogma’ and ‘Kreep.’ The same year, he also released his debut album, ‘Oogabooga.’
One reason for his overwhelming underground success was the genre of his music. Frequently touching dark themes such as depression, occultism, nihilism, and death, his songs became popular with like-minded listeners.
In 2015, when he thought his music career was picking up a decent pace, he left his job and started making music full-time. Soon after landing in Los Angeles, he met JGRXXN and joined the rap collective named ‘Schemaposse,’ which also included the late rapper Lil Peep and Craig Xen.
In April 2016, ‘Schemaposse’ disbanded. Ghostemane was now alone once again, with no rap group to back him up. However, not willing to give up, he came in touch with rappers such as Pouya and ‘Suicideboys’ and began collaborating with them.
In April 2017, Pouya and Ghostemane released a single titled ‘1000 Rounds.’ It became viral and amassed more than a million views shortly after its ‘YouTube’ release. The duo also announced the release of a mixtape that they worked on together, in May 2018.
In October 2018, Ghostemane teamed up with rapper Zubin for a single titled ‘Broken.’
The same year, Ghostemane released his album ‘N/O/I/S/E,’ which borrowed heavily from Marilyn Manson and ‘Nine Inch Nails.’ Many of the songs from ‘N/O/I/S/E’ were also influenced by the legendary heavy metal band ‘Metallica.’
Family & Personal Life
Ghostemane writes lyrics heavily inspired by philosophy and the sciences, which has famously led many of his die-hard fans to read books on such topics, to understand every reference that they find in his lyrics.
He had been in a relationship with a fellow musician named Ivy Suicide. However, in April 2019, he accused his girlfriend of domestic violence. A restraining order was granted against her and in Ghostamane’s favor.