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“Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks.” – Diddy, “Bad Boys 4 Life”
Can you claim to be the best lyricist in the game if someone else wrote your rhymes? Hmm. Here, hop in the Delorean with me and lets go back. First lets rewind to the year 2012. The year Nas was being called out for using ghostwriters. That’s right, Nasty Nas got called out for having someone write his rhymes. The accuser, Dream Hampton. If you’re not aware of who she is, Google her. She has interviewed some of your favorite MCs (Jay Z, Biggie, 2Pac) for VIBE Magazine. She also co-wrote Jay Z’s book, Decoded.
So the reason why Dream said Nas uses ghostwriters is because someone asked her why Jay Z doesn’t make an album like Nas’s Untitled (which is slightly overrated). She replied that Jay Z raps about his reality, while Nas uses his writers. She goes on to say rappers like Jay Electronica and Stic of Dead Prez (both whom denied it) wrote for Nas. Whoa Nelly. Fast-forward to 2014 and Nas releases a song called “The Season.” “The Season” is where Nas responds to Dream by basically saying ‘Bye Felicia.’
The question that has to be asked is this, ‘Does it really matter?’ If telling you that an artist you held as the best or genius had someone else do their work, does your opinion change about that person. For example, a lot of fans know Dr. Dre gets help with his beats. Does that change the fact that you think he’s a great producer? How about Kanye West? Rhymefest wrote “Jesus Walks,” does it matter? Ol’ Dirty Bastard? Lil Wayne? Diddy? The list goes on.
So who cares if Nas used a ghostwriter or not. My only problem is that if he really did use one, I wish they had fact checked some of his ‘history’ quotes. Because whomever history book they were using to sound extra deep, failed. Ghostwriters are needed. They’re like the big brother feeding lines to their nerdy little brother while he’s on a date. And lets be honest, some lyrics are best when they are said by other people. And some folks really need someone to cliff notes them some lines. So can you claim to be the best lyricist in the game, if someone else wrote your lines? Yes. If your writer wrote that you’re the best lyricist in the game then damnit you are. -Pooh Bailey