Why Tony Tillman wrote song ‘Ghost’ about his friend murdering wife
Rapzilla recently interviewed Reflection Music Group rapper Tony Tillman about “Ghost,” track No. 11 of his Aug. 2015 album Camden. On the song, Tillman told a story about one of his close friends murdering his own wife — shortly after Tillman had talked to them.
“I carried it for years,” Tillman said. “I didn’t talk about it much. I’d talk about it in circles. I would just say, ‘Yeah, my homeboy Don, he killed somebody, and it affected me. It affected me because I was a new Christian, so it kind of painted the picture, ‘This is not what Christianity should look like.’ … It was the first community I had been a part of. Since then, I’ve struggled with community. I’ve struggled with really having real, deep relationships with people.”
Tillman told many stories on Camden, and he wrote “Ghost” as a therapy of sorts, as well as to help listeners learn from what he called his mistakes in the situation.
“One, [writing] was kind of the tension release for [not talking about it for years]. And two was I feel like a lot of stuff goes on in marriages that when people are afraid to talk about it, you have the other side where people are afraid to engage them,” Tillman said. “Like I said in the song, it’s like a ghost; it haunts me to this day. I think about that and wish that I would’ve done more.”
As one can imagine, Tillman said that the song was painful to write.
“It was difficult to relive the memories,” he said. “Stuff that I didn’t … even though I remembered it, I never thought about the details … When I wrote it, all these memories were coming out. It was the easiest song to write as far as time, but as far as reliving those memories, yeah, it was rough, man.”
Watch the two segments of his interview about “Ghost” below, and buy Camden on iTunes.