Ghostface Killah commemorated the 25th anniversary of his debut album Ironman by taking over Pandora’s 90s Hip Hop Station on Friday for a special Artist Takeover Mode on the streaming service. In an interview to accompany the takeover, Ghostface spoke on how hip-hop saved his life and gave a little backstory to Ironman’s “Wildflower.”

“Hip-hop saved my life,” he said, “and it means everything to me” He explained that before taking up rapping, he was “on the streets doing a lot of stuff.”

“If it wasn’t for hip-hop, I don’t know where I’d be right now, you know what I mean? The last place I took up before I started doing this music, I was on the streets, just like, I was doing bad. Robbing and selling drugs, you know what I mean? Smoking dust, doing everything.”

Ghostface Killah takes over Pandora's 90s Hip Hop station
Image via Pandora

Ghostface said that his life started to change following a conversation with fellow Wu-Tang Clan member RZA after someone had informed him Ghostface was still engaged in illegal activity. “I remember one day RZA said, ‘Yo, what you gonna do, bruh? You can’t mix pork with beef man, you gotta do one or the other,’” Ghostface recounted. “I had to make a decision, and that was it.”

As Ghostface talked about some of his favorite ‘90s tracks for the takeover, he also spoke briefly on the writing process behind his track “Wildflower,” sharing that the inspiration behind it came from real-life hearbreak.

“I got my heart broke,” he said. “I didn’t like that pain, ‘cause that was like my first girlfriend, you know what I mean? She kinda like cheated on me and stuff. So I just carried that with me… and I put it out with words.” He added, “This is my first time saying that too, she ain’t even gonna know like… I did tell her, ‘Yo, you broke my heart.’ I didn’t tell her ‘Wildflower’ was based on you made me write that shit.”

Stream the 25th anniversary edition of Ironman and head to Pandora for more of Ghostface’s Artist Takeover Mode.

Ghostface Killah was recently a guest on Complex Brackets where he picked the best storytelling rap song of all time. You can check out that episode with host Brian “B.Dot” Miller below.