The secret ghostwriters of Hip Hop

  • Published 6 August 2014

Grandmaster Caz

The practice of ghostwriting is one of rap's biggest taboos, and yet many of its greatest hits were ghostwritten. So who are Hip Hop's ghostwriters and what place do they have in a style of music built on speaking from the heart?

In most genres of music, including Soul, R&B and Pop, being a songwriter is a legitimate career, but in Hip Hop, writing for another rapper has long been something to hide.

It was Chuck D from Public Enemy who described rap as "CNN for black people." Emerging from the poverty and deprivation of New York's South Bronx neighbourhood in the 1970s, rap gave the voiceless a voice. Because of this, rappers have a unique reputation to uphold. They have to be authentic, telling stories about their own individual worlds. They have to "keep it real".

"We expect it to be personal, we expect it to be from the heart and straight from that individual's experience," says Underground UK rapper Jehst. Others put it more strongly. "It's a travesty, anybody who calls themselves an MC and doesn't write their rhyme - no way you can even stand in the same room as an MC if you don't write your rhyme, plain & simple," says Grandmaster Caz, born Curtis Fisher, who made his name as Casanova Fly in legendary MC battles during the 1970s.

Teenagers like Grandmaster Caz held street parties, each with their own sound system, in which MCs (Masters of Ceremonies) tried to out-do each other to impress. "We were going for glory, we were trying to be superheroes," says Grandmaster Caz.

Grandmaster Caz performing to crowd

"It was of the utmost urgency and importancy, if you called yourself a true MC in the early days, then you had to be able to write rhymes, you had to be able to rock a crowd, you had to be able to eliminate your opponent."

Despite this, he became most famous for a song he did not perform.

The story goes back to when he was part of the group Mighty Force, managed by his friend Big Bank Hank, real name Henry Jackson. Big Bank Hank had borrowed money from his parents to improve the group's sound system, and was paying back the loan with a job in a pizza shop. One day, while he was singing along to one of Casanova Fly's tapes at the pizza shop, in walked the legendary Sylvia Robinson, from the influential Sugar Hill Records label. She was forming a new group and asked Big Bank Hank to audition for her there and then. This should have been his cue to say he managed one of the best MCs in the Bronx - but he didn't. "He just took the lyrics that were on the tape," says Grandmaster Caz. "They loved it and they made him part of the group on the spot."

Big Bank Hank and Grandmaster Caz

The song in question was Rapper's Delight, which became the genre's first commercial hit, bringing Hip Hop - then a largely counter-culture movement - out of the ghetto and into the mainstream. Big Bank Hank's use of Casanova Fly's lines is obvious from the lyrics, which will be familiar to many:

Check it out, I'm the C-A-S-A, the N-O-V-A / And the rest is F-L-Y / You see I go by the code of the doctor of the mix / And these reasons I'll tell you why / You see, I'm six foot one, and I'm loads of fun.

"He was so much not an MC, he didn't even know enough to change the words around to spell his own name," says Grandmaster Caz. "He just copied it word for word - he said: "I'm six foot one" - he's not, I'm six foot one. Everything in the rhyme describes me. I'm unwittingly Hip Hop's first ghostwriter."

Perhaps the speed of events overtook Big Bank Hank, but for Grandmaster Caz, it still rankles. "I was part of one of the most important records of all time, and that should be acknowledged," he says.

As part of the Mighty Force group, perhaps Big Bank Hank did feel ownership over some of the lyrics. In the 1999 documentary The Hip Hop Years, Big Bank Hank said he understood Grandmaster Caz's frustration. "I can understand why he would say that and I have nothing but love for him," he says. "Because he didn't move to that magnitude and because I couldn't bring him in. But some of the stuff was done together and I just transposed it over."

Kathy Iandoli, music editor for the website Hip Hop DX, says ghostwriting in rap can be "anything from shouting a word or two in the studio, to legitimately writing a whole song" and it's this murky area that creates tension and rumours - who really wrote that lyric? In the early days, the only thing at stake was a rapper's street credibility, but as Hip Hop gained more currency there was a fortune to be made.

man holds up T-shirt in memory of BIG

One of the best-known ghetto-to-riches stories is that of Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he was out selling drugs from the age of twelve. Hip Hop changed his life.

Now my whole crew is loungin' celebrating every day / no more public housing / thinking back on my one room shack / now my Mom pimps a Ac' with minks on her back . [Ac' is short for Acura, a luxury line of cars made by Honda.]

The multi-millionaire rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z (Shawn Carter) has also rapped about how he chose music over drug-dealing. Just know I chose my own fate / I drove by the fork in the road and went straight. Instead of hustling drugs, he used his business skills to sell music - Bricks to billboards, grams to Grammys.

And big money inevitably changed more than just the suits in the so-called "shiny-suit" era of the mid-90s. "When the tax bracket shifted for the Hip Hop artist, everything changed," says Iandoli. "It was an open conversation that certain acts didn't write their own rhymes but they were making the hits."

In his 2001 song Bad Boy For Life, the Hip Hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs boasts "Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write cheques" - thereby celebrating his money-making over his skills as a rapper.

One of the biggest hits of all time, I'll Be Missing You - Comb's Grammy-award-winning ode to his friend Biggie Smalls - was the work of the ghostwriter Sauce Money. He grew up as Todd Gaither in Brooklyn's projects alongside Jay Z, who inspired him to start writing. After Biggie Smalls was shot in 1997, the hip hop world was in mourning, and Biggie's good friend and label-mate Combs - then known as Puff Daddy - was looking for someone to help him write a tribute. Jay Z felt too raw to do it himself so he put Combs in touch with Sauce Money, who had lost his mother a few years earlier and channelled his emotions into the lyrics.

Sauce Money remembers when Combs first heard the song. "He was blown away because it was everything he wanted to say," he says. "It's almost like being an actor - I became him, and once I became him I knew what he would want to say to Big in remembrance."

Iandoli remembers that the release of the record polarised opinion. "As much of a monster hit as it was, I think it also was controversial because Diddy didn't write it," she says. "It was almost like having someone write a eulogy for when your best friend passed away. The hip hop purist would look at that and say, you really couldn't write that song? But when you can't write a song, you can't write a song."

Sauce Money wasn't invited to the Grammy awards, but the record made his name, and he was well paid. "It branded me as an A-List ghostwriter," he says. "I was lucky enough to get my money and my publishing." But not everybody gets such a good deal.

Sauce Money

The need for invisibility means that ghostwriters aren't always listed on the album credits or given royalties, and instead are often paid one-off fees for their work. Iandoli suggests that because of this, it's difficult to know exactly how much ghostwriting goes on. "A lot of deals are being struck under the table. Publishing credits with certain artists are not being handed out because of the street credibility," she says. "But I think because so many artists are so wealthy, when they know there's a hit they'll pass hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands. That kind of exchange of money without the proper documentation is what exists nowadays."

In 2012 one of the most highly regarded lyricists in Hip Hop - Nas - was accused of using other people help write his rhymes. Nas denied the allegations in a radio interview. "You know who's my ghostwriters? My friends, people I meet on the street… somebody will say something that sparks something in me so I get it from everybody," he said on Power 106 FM.

But according to the BBC's DJ Semtex collaboration is not only something that artists do all the time, it's actually a good thing. "If by the end of the session you've only written 50% of the track, is that a bad thing? It's you being smart as an MC, it's you constructing other people's opinions, getting their contributions and turning it into a banger," he says.

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Hip hop glossary

Jay Z

  • Spit - to rhyme or rap
  • Swag - a person's level of charisma or bravado and sense of style
  • Battle - two rappers competing to eliminate each other using only the strength or wit of their rhymes, the outcome decided by the audience
  • Flow - an important element of a rapper's identity, it refers to the rhythm a rapper uses when rhyming

Certainly, collaborations with ghostwriters can be fruitful and allow rappers to flex a different kind of muscle.

Hailing from the infamous Corona neighbourhood in Queens, Nathanial Wilson, better known as Kool G Rap, became famous for his violent lyrics depicting the reality of the criminal underworlds of the late 1980s. His songs have often been heavily misogynistic - the track Hey Mister describes a violent attack on a lying girlfriend: She started coppin' a plea but I ain't really tryin' to hear her / I snatched her by her hand, bashed her face up in the mirror.

This makes it hard to believe that Kool G Rap was a ghostwriter for the female rapper Roxanne Shante and the all-female Hip Hop group Salt-N-Pepa. The track he wrote for them, Chick on the Side, tells the story of a cheating boyfriend from a female perspective: I finally caught on to your little game / Your lying and denying is a cryin' shame / You took me for granted, this is the end, dammit / You're playing the field like you're some (love bandit)

Blogger and label-owner Frank Miller says it's not unusual for established acts to look to younger talent in order to help them stay relevant and ahead of the game.

When artists are under pressure to pump out the hits, they often need a team around them - including writers - he says. "Once you're on a mainstream stage and you're such a money-generating entity, art isn't the focus, it becomes business and product," he says. "You want the best minds you can afford all in the same room and bouncing ideas off each other, and the avatar representing all that hard work is the artist."

Miller says the young writer benefits by getting a foothold in the industry. But on balance it's the established acts that get most out of the relationship.

"There are artists that have been around for 20 or 30 years now that are running out of gas, and they see some new talent and they are like: I have the resources and you have the talent, let's put it together and keep me limping along," he says. "It's a shame it has to be that way, that young artists coming with new music that connects to their generation have to go through these old gatekeepers to have that platform."

But then not everyone can make it as a performer. "Not everyone is equipped to be a lyricist, not everyone is equipped to be a vocalist," as Chuck D has put it.

Kool G Rap says that at the early stage in his career when he worked with Salt-N-Pepa he was just happy to have the chance to realise his talent as a writer.

Nicki Minaj

And he respects those who are able to convincingly spit [rap] other people's lyrics. "I can't take away from the artists that deliver lyrics from other writers, he says. "I can't knock it because it still takes a certain type of person to deliver that."

Iandoli agrees. "When it comes to the quintessential hip hop artist, that person has to have a combination of lyrics and skill and swag and charisma. That's ideal, that's Jay Z. Artists like that are one in a million."

Miller suggests ghostwriting is becoming less of a taboo, but it's still a concealed industry, which leaves it open to exploitation. It's fine when people are being credited for their work, he says, "but when the real talent is being hidden in the broom closet while the performer is out there entertaining guests at the house party, that's a little shady."

Some mainstream rappers hang on to the tradition of writing their own lyrics. When Nicki Minaj picked up her prize for Best Female Hip Hop Artist at this year's Black Entertainment TV awards she said: "When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it… I'm still one of the only MC's that's out here spitting metaphors and making you think." She ended with the hope that authenticity would continue to be honoured.

But Hip Hop has moved on so much that even though the legacy of honest, raw writing is still a selling point, the reality is very different.

Grandmaster Caz spoke to Outlook on the BBC World Service. Listen again on iPlayer or get the Outlook podcast .

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

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  • Published 16 July 2013

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How To Become a Ghostwriter for Rappers (Ultimate Guide)

  • July 20, 2023

Table of Contents:

What is ghostwriting, developing your writing skills, mastering rap lyrics and style, building connections in the music industry, showcasing your talent, finding opportunities as a ghostwriter, embracing feedback and continuous improvement, dealing with challenges and rejections, main attributes and elaborate information, ghostwriting writing.

Ghostwriting in the rap industry refers to writing lyrics for rappers who may not have the time, skills, or creativity to pen their songs. As a rap ghostwriter, you can work closely with renowned artists, contribute to chart-topping hits, and significantly impact the music scene. However, it’s important to understand that ghostwriters remain anonymous, and their contributions are often undisclosed.

Ghostwriting is when one person writes another person’s words or ideas. When you’re writing for someone else, it’s called a ghostwriter (or sometimes just “the ghost”).

You’re writing for the author or client (or sometimes just “the client”). The author usually pays you for your work, although sometimes both parties split the payment evenly — this depends on whether you’re working with an established book publishing house or doing freelance work independently.

The first step in becoming a rap ghostwriter is to develop your writing skills. You need to be able to write quickly, concisely and with clarity. Writing for rappers will require you to have a strong grasp of the English language and be able to communicate ideas effectively. If you don’t already have these skills, you must work hard to develop them.

One of the best ways to practice writing is by reading. Reading will help you learn new words and understand how they are used in context. It will also help you develop your vocabulary and improve your grammar skills. If you want to write well, reading is one of the best things you can do daily.

Another excellent way to practice writing is by writing every day. When it comes down to it, there’s no substitute for practice when it comes to developing good writing skills. The more time you spend writing, the better you will become at it over time. By working hard every day, you’ll see improvements over time as your skills get stronger with practice.

To be a rap ghostwriter, you must understand the art of writing rap lyrics. Your work aims to help them interestingly express a thought or emotion. It’s not enough to write down what they say; you need to make it sound good.

As you learn about rap lyrics, you’ll begin to notice that there are some common themes among the best ones. Certain techniques have been used repeatedly by great artists over the years, and you’ll find that many of these techniques are used throughout their music.

The vital step towards mastering the art of writing rap lyrics is learning how to master these techniques yourself. You can do this by listening closely to songs by your favorite rappers and studying how they put together their lyrics. Pay attention to how they use repetition, syllables, rhyming words, metaphors and other poetic devices to make their message more effective. Once you understand these things on paper, try writing some rhymes yourself using these techniques so that they become second nature to you when working with clients.

See Also Quotes About Reading: Inspiring Words To Celebrate The Power Of Books

If you want to become a rap ghostwriter, you must. It’s important to know people in the industry so that when you get a job, they can refer you or even pass along some information about it.

Here are some ways that you can make connections:

  • Join a local hip-hop community and start networking with other artists.
  • Get involved with local music projects, like concerts or festivals.
  • Create your music and post it on social media sites like SoundCloud or YouTube. This will allow people interested in hiring ghostwriters for rappers to learn about your work.

You can show your work to potential clients by writing a book and through book promotion . This will let clients see that you can make really good stuff. If you don’t have any experience writing music before, that’s okay — there are plenty of ways to get started. Start by reading up on lyric writing tips and tricks so you know how to structure and put your ideas into words. Once you have a good grasp on how this works, try writing some lyrics yourself and

Finding opportunities can be difficult if you’re just getting started in ghostwriting. Here are some tips:

  • Network with other writers
  • Get on social media and network with rappers and other entertainment industry professionals.
  • Get involved with music blogs through freelance writing or guest posting opportunities.
  • Use social media to connect with rappers in your area who might need help with their next project.
  • To find the best job as a rap ghostwriter, search for the keyword rap ghostwriters for hire on the internet.

Becoming a rap ghostwriter is a lot like becoming a writer in general: You need to be able to keep up with various assignments and always seek feedback from others on your work.

The best way to improve your craft is to get feedback on your work — from the person paying you and other writers, editors and readers.

Here are some tips for embracing feedback and continuously improving as a ghostwriter:

  • Embrace criticism
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Listen carefully to what people say about your work
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

As a rap ghostwriter, you are bound to face challenges and rejections. You will be rejected for your services, which should not deter you from writing. It is the nature of the business, and one cannot expect to be successful overnight. There are some ways in which you can deal with challenges:

You may have some ideas about what you want people to read, but they may not be interested. Give them a reason why they should buy your book. This can be done by creating a general outline or writing an introduction to your book, for example. This allows the reader to understand what they will get from your book. You can also give them a sample of the content so that they can know whether or not it will benefit them.

If only they knew about it, you might also want to create a list of people interested in reading your book. It is always good to know who would buy your book before actually writing it so that you can make sure that it has something interesting for them before investing time and effort into making it perfect for them!

Becoming a rap ghostwriter requires unique writing skills, knowledge of rap culture, and the ability to collaborate effectively. You can establish yourself as a sought-after ghostwriter in the rap industry by honing your craft, building connections, and continuously growing. Embrace the challenges, stay dedicated, and let your talent shine.

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1993

  • Rap History

A History of 56 Verified Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters

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Hip hop has a long and controversial history with ghostwriters. While other music genres generally don’t make a big deal about who writes what, rap’s particular focus on penmanship and personal accounts has made ghostwriting a touch topic.

Before we get into the list, let’s clear a few things up: ghostwriting isn’t necessarily writing whole verses; it could have just been a melody, a hook, an idea. As long as it contributed to the overall song, it’s part of the writing process. Also, for all intents and purposes, we’re going to use “ghostwriter” as an umbrella term to include: credited writer, uncredited writer and co-writer.

One more thing. Unlike a lot of websites out there who operate off rumours, gossip and word of mouth, every single song listed below have been verified either by the artists themselves or on the album liner notes. We take that journalism shit seriously here.

Alright, so let’s get into it – here are 56 hip hop songs since 1979 that have verifiably been written by ghostwriters.

The Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight”

Most Important Moments In Hip Hop History Rappers Delight 1011X1024

Album: Sugarhill Gang

Released: September 16, 1979

Ghostwriter: Grandmaster Caz

For real? The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” is the earliest, notable case of ghostwriting in the hip hop industry. It’s also the most egregious example. As the story goes, Big Bank Hank was going to record the song but he didn’t have any rhymes ready so he asked Grandmaster Caz to write some for him.

Grandmaster Caz: So when he came to me like, ‘Yo, these people want me to make a rap,’ I said: ‘For what? You don’t rap. You ain’t no MC. Didn’t you tell them about me?’ He’s like, ‘The lady heard my tapes and she likes my voice.’ So anyway. He said, ‘I need you to write me some rhymes because we going in the studio.’ I’m not thinking nothing of it. I’m not thinking this is going anywhere. So I’m like: ‘Cool. Come over my house.’ He came to my house. I threw a bunch of rhymes on the table and said, ‘Say this, say this and say that.’ They took Grandmaster Caz’s rhymes without giving him credit. Now, he’s getting revenge. | The Washington Post

Run-D.M.C. – “Can You Rock It Like This”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Run Dmc

Album: King of Rock

Released: November 6, 1985

Ghostwriter: LL Cool J

For real? LL Cool J is credited on the song as J.T. Smith. Around that same time LL was getting ready to drop his debut album and was called on by Russell Simmons and Run-D.M.C. to assist with the group’s second album, King of Rock .

Salt-n-Pepa – “Chick On The Side”

Most Influential Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Salt Pepa

Album: Hot, Cool & Vicious

Released: December 1, 1986

Ghostwriter: Kool G Rap

For real? “I wrote the song ‘Chick On The Side’ on the B-side of ‘Push It’,” Kool Rap remembered in an interview with Platform8470. “It was before G Rap ever had a record. Before I was with Juice Crew, before all of that.” This was backed up In a recent interview, Cheryl James aka Salt talked about the legendary Queens rapper penning the words for the record.

Eazy-E – “Boyz-n-the-Hood”

Rappers With The Most Platinum Albums Of All Time Eazy E

Album: N.W.A. and the Posse

Released: March 3, 1987

Ghostwriter: Ice Cube

For real? Ice Cube actually wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood” for Home Boys Only , a New York rap group that were the first rap act to be signed to Ruthless Records. But after the group passed on the song due to its heavy West Coast themes, Dr. Dre suggested to Eazy that he should rap it instead.

“Well, I actually wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood” for a group of his — it wasn’t for him. He had a group called H.B.O. — Home Boys Only,” Cube said in a Billboard interview. “He was just gonna be the manager. So I wrote some songs and he was like, ‘I like the stuff you write, I like what you’re talking about. Write a song for my group.’ So I wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood” and they turned it down. But [Dr.] Dre convinced Eazy to do it. Eazy just worked hard. He worked hard, hard, and actually became a pretty good rapper.”

Biz Markie – “Pickin’ Boogers” / “Albee Square Mall” / “Biz is Goin’ Off” / “Return of the Biz Dance” / “Vapors”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Goin Off

Album: Goin’ Off

Released: February 23, 1988

Ghostwriter: Big Daddy Kane

For real? Over the decades Big Daddy Kane has spoken in lengths about being a ghostwriter for Biz Markie; an assertion that was never been denied by the late, great Clown Prince of Hip Hop.

Big Daddy Kane: For me, ghost-writing for someone else wasn’t hard, because if I did it in my style that’s pretty much something good for you, and doing it in someone else’s style, if they have a more simpler style then it makes my job easier, because now I ain’t got to think too complicated. For example, writing for Biz, it wasn’t really about having hot rhymes, it was about having something funny, Biz just wanted something funny to say. Big Daddy Kane: Rap Like No Equal | HipHopDX

N.W.A – various tracks on Straight Outta Compton

Greatest Rap Album Opening Lines Of All Time Straight Outta Compton

Album: Straight Outta Compton

Released: August 8, 1988

Ghostwriters: Ice Cube, MC Ren, The D.O.C.

For real? It’s a well-known fact that Ice Cube, MC Ren and The D.O.C. penned the majority of the lyrics for N.W.A.’s debut album. They’re also officially credited as writers on the album notes.

Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

Most Influential Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Geto Boys

Album: We Can’t Be Stopped

Released: July 1, 1991

Ghostwriter: Scarface

For real? The Geto Boys’ best-known song was originally supposed to be a Scarface solo joint. Not only did the Houston OG produce the track, he penned three of the four verses on the song.

Willie D: First of all, Brad brought the song to the table. He got the idea from his grandmother. His grandmother would always say when she [lost] something, ‘My mind playin’ tricks on me.’ So he took that. A light went off—or it came on. He wrote like three verses to the song. The song was basically written. When J. [Prince] heard the song, he said, ‘This needs to be a Geto Boys song,’ ’cause [Scarface] had actually wrote it for himself. The Willie D Episode | The Combat Jack Show

Kris Kross – “Jump”

Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 Kris Kross

Album: Totally Krossed Out

Released: February 6, 1992

Ghostwriter: Jermaine Dupri

For real? Not only did Jermaine Dupri discover Kris Kross, he also wrote and produced a majority of their multiplatinum debut album.

Dr. Dre – “Deep Cover”

Most Influential Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Deep Cover

Album: Deep Cover (soundtrack)

Released: April 4, 1992

Ghostwriter: Snoop Dogg

For real? “Deep Cover” was a pivotal moment for Dre’s recording career. On the outs with Ruthless Records and on his own as a solo artist, it was a do-or-die moment for the Compton producer. Luckily for Dre, he had a secret weapon – a lanky, Long Beach rapper who rapped like the West Coast version of Slick Rick.

“I asked Dre, I said ‘what you want your first line to be?” Snoop remembered in an interview with Revolt. “He said ‘tonight’s the night I get in some shit, deep cover on the incognito tip.’ I said ‘all right I got you.’”

Dr. Dre – “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” / “Lil’ Ghetto Boy” / “A Nigga Witta Gun” / “Lyrical Gangbang” / “Bitches Ain’t Shit”

Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 The Chronic

Album: The Chronic

Released: December 15, 1992

Ghostwriter: The D.O.C.

For real? The D.O.C. is the unheralded MVP of the Ruthless / Death Row Records era. Not only did the Texas rapper contribute significantly to N.W.A.’s debut album, he’s also credited as a writer on a number of The Chronic songs, including “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.”

The D.O.C.: That was one of the first records that Snoop and I worked together on. Where it was me imparting, if you will, to him the formula, for lack of a better way. By that time, the competition phase had passed. My voice was gone. Artists like Snoop are super hard to come by. I knew when we wrote the record. That’s why I told Snoop to put my name. I was gonna make that video. ‘Put my name right there.’ Dre hates that. ‘Why you always got your name in a record?’ ‘Come on, man. I gotta get in how I fit in.’ The D.O.C. on Co-Writing Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ & Paperwork Not Being Right | Vlad TV

Ol’ Dirty Bastard – various tracks on Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

100 Rappers Their Age Classic Album Ol Dirty

Album: Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

Released: March 28, 1995

Ghostwriters: RZA, GZA

For real? According to Method Man, a lot of the verses Ol’ Dirty rapped on his debut were old RZA and GZA rhymes. “The majority of the verses on that album are old RZA rhymes and GZA rhymes,” Meth told Complex. “Dirty took all their shit and made it his own and GZA ain’t say shit. Most of [Dirty’s verses] was GZA’s shit. I remember GZA and ODB got in an argument one night and GZA was like, ‘Ni**a most of that shit on your fucking album is mines anyway!’”

Foxy Brown – “Foxy’s Bells” / “Get Me Home” / “If I…” / “Ill Na Na” / “I’ll Be”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Foxy

Album: Ill Na Na

Released: November 19, 1996

Ghostwriter: Jay-Z

For real? Jay-Z is credited on several tracks off Foxy Brown’s 1996 debut album under Shawn Carter.

Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans & 112 – “I’ll Be Missing You”

Puff Daddy Ill Be Missing You

Album: No Way Out

Released: May 23, 1997

Ghostwriter: Sauce Money

For real? Sauce is credited as a writer on the song (under Todd Gaither), and has, on multiple occasions, talked about how Puffy not clearing The Police sample ended up costing them millions in publishing money .

Lil’ Kim feat. Lil’ Cease – “Crush on You”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Lil Kim

Album: Hard Core

Released: June 10, 1997

Ghostwriters: The Notorious B.I.G. wrote for Lil’ Kim; Cam’ron wrote for Lil’ Cease.

For real? It’s a well-known fact that Biggie used to pen Lil’ Kim’s bars – he’s credited as C. Wallace on this song – but not as many people that it was Cam’ron who wrote Lil’ Cease’s verse.

Cam’ron: What happened was, [Untertainment CEO Lance] Un [Rivera] gave Mase $30,000 to write five songs for Lil’ Cease at that time and Mase gave me $5,000 of the 30 to write one or two of the songs,” explained Killa. “I wrote the ‘Crush on You’ song and they ended up keeping it for Lil’ Kim album but it was really for Lil’ Cease. The original ‘Crush on You’ is all Lil’ Cease, Lil’ Kim isn’t even on the record. Cam’ron Reveals He Wrote Lil’ Cease’s Verse On | HipHopDX

Puff Daddy feat. Lil’ Kim , The LOX & The Notorious B.I.G. – “It’s All About the Benjamins”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters All About Benjamins

Released: August 12, 1997

Ghostwriter: Jadakiss

For real? In an interview on the People’s Party with Talib Kweli podcast, the LOX rapper revealed that it was him who wrote Puffy’s verse. “[Diddy] happened to come into the room and hear me rhyming, and I already had that rhyme,” Jadakiss recalled. “He heard it and was like, ‘Nah, that’s me, let me get that right there.’ He took that and put it on the ‘Benjamins.’”

“Me and Sheek didn’t like the Benjamins,” Kiss later revealed. “[Diddy] almost like forced us to record the verses that we have on there. We didn’t really understand what that beat was, it didn’t grasp us at the time. We weren’t eager to record it. But Diddy knew, that’s what makes Diddy Diddy.”

Will Smith – “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Gettin Jiggy

Album: Big Willie Style

Released: January 27, 1998

Ghostwriter: Nas

For real? This ghostwriting case has been rumoured and debated for years, but the fact is that Nas is credited as a writer on the track under Nasir Jones. In a 2014 reddit AMA, the Queensbridge rapper also said “I hung out with Will in the studio. And watched him write it. It was a fun studio session, and I said a line or two or three to him. It wasn’t that serious” – which sounds like Nas downplaying his involvement due to his respect for Will Smith. In an interview with Hot 97, Nas’ former manage, Steve Stoute confirmed that Nas had contributed to “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It.”

Steve Stoute: Will had a couple people write for him. But when we really needed to finish that thing up, we brought Nas in. He’d write some of it, then he’d hate himself, then he’d keep writing. I was like, ‘Nas, there’s publishing money in this. This is a real thing. Just don’t listen to the gettin’ jiggy with it part, listen to the rest’ Steve Stoute & Kaz talk TheStashed.com, Nas Ghost Writing for Will Smith + Amazing Kobe Stories | Hot 97

Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg – “Still D.R.E.”

Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Dre 2001

Album: 2001

Released: November 16, 1999

For real? Jay-Z writing “Still D.R.E.” for Dre and Snoop is probably the highest profile ghostwriting example. “At first, he wrote about diamonds and Bentleys,” Dre explained to Blaze Magazine in a 1999 interview. “So I told Jay to write some other shit. Jigga sat for 20 minutes and came back with some hard-ass, around-the-way L.A. shit.”

It was also revealed later on that not only did Hov write Dre’s lyrics, he penned Snoop Dogg’s verses as well. Snoop told The Breakfast Club: “He wrote Dre’s shit and my shit and it was flawless. It was Still D.R.E and it was Jay-Z and he wrote the whole fucking song.”

Dr. Dre feat. Eminem – “Forgot About Dre”

Ghostwriter: Eminem

For real? Not only did Eminem drop one of his greatest guest verses ever on “Forgot About Dre”, he also wrote Dre’s lyrics for him. “That was Eminem’s idea,” Dre said on a Beats 1 interview. “He wrote the song for me and Snoop originally. He laid the reference vocals for Snoop and I liked the way he sounded. So we just kept it that way. I laid my vocals and that was it.”

Dr. Dre – “The Message”

Ghostwriter: Royce da 5’9″

For real? Written by Royce da 5’9″ and produced by Lord Finesse, “The Message” was dedicated to Dr. Dre’s half-brother , Tyree Du Sean Crayon, who passed away after an altercation. When he was writing the song for Dre, Royce revealed that he had no idea about his brother, and was writing from his personal experience.

Royce: I was rapping about a friend of mine who got shot in the neck. He was standing on the corner with some people, somebody rolled up and shot him. Nobody knew what it was for. He wasn’t beefing with nobody or nothing. So when I found out about it, I was hitting his pager and everything. Everything I said on that song, I absolutely went through. That’s why I felt like people were going to be able to relate to that. Royce Da 5′9″ Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs | Complex

Jay-Z – “Lucifer”

Ranking Jay Z First Week Album Sales Black Album

Album: The Black Album

Released: November 14, 2003

Ghostwriter: Kanye West

For real? Before Jay-Z stans start freaking out, it’s not like Kanye was penning full verses or anything like that for his big brother. It was just a little catchy line and that Hov got from Ye (“I’m from the murder capital / where we murder for capital”) and added to “Lucifer.” This is what I meant when I said at the beginning; ghostwriting isn’t always about giving another rapper whole pre-written verses or reference tracks. Sometime it’s just little ideas or melodies, though that’s not to downplay those contributions.

Puff Daddy – “The Future”

Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 Press Play

Album: Press Play

Released: October 17, 2006

Ghostwriter: Pharoahe Monch

For real? Pharoahe Monch is credited under Troy Jamerson on the song.

Pharoahe Monch: Man, what’s weird about that is, if I find the original verses that I laid down they’re very different from Diddy’s. Not taking anything away from what was done, but the way I approached it was a little more akin to my swagger. His approach was a lot different. So the fact that people are coming to me saying, “Puff sounds like you on the record,” is driving me to be like “Agh! Let me show you what Pharoahe Monch really sounds like.” Pharoahe Monch – Interview | Stylus Magazine

Puff Daddy – “Tell Me”

For real? Royce is credited as Ryan Montgomery on the song.

Royce da 5’9″: Puff [Daddy], writing for him, he made me appreciate the art of rewriting. He pushed me so hard, dog. So hard I was taking it personally. I thought I wasn’t doing good enough. I thought he wasn’t really hearing me the right way. I didn’t like that shit at that time. But I had to say, this motherfucker made me write 34 verses to one song—why don’t I have that kind of relationship with my own records? I sent this nigga a verse I’m crazy about, he sends me back the verse with holes in it and tells me to fill them back in with something else. “Everything I Know Is From Making Mistakes”: A Candid Conversation with Royce da 5’9″ | DJ Booth

Kanye West – “Say You Will” / “Amazing” / “Paranoid” / “RoboCop”

Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales 808S

Album: 808s & Heartbreak

Released: November 24, 2008

Ghostwriter: Consequence

For real? Most rap fans know that Kid Cudi contributed significantly to 808s & Heartbreak , but they don’t know that Consequence is also listed as a co-writer on a lot of those tracks.

Consequence: I was really involved with 808s. I wrote the verses to “Paranoid,” wrote the chorus to “Amazing” and “Robocop.” It’s the challenge. When you step out into a different genre, when you step into the realm of melody and harmony, it becomes a challenge. Consequence Drops “ComplexCon” Video, Talks Last-Minute Sprint to Finish Kanye’s ‘Jesus Is King’ | Complex

Drake – “Find Your Love”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Find Your Love

Album: Thank Me Later

Released: May 5, 2010

For real? “Find Your Love” was originally a track Kanye was working on with Jeff Bhasker and No I.D. for Rihanna, but it ended up in Drake’s hands.

Jeff Bhasker: We actually wrote that for Rihanna. She actually cut it, it was just another writing day in the studio. I think No I.D had that drum beat and that’s the classic, ‘Jeff jump on the piano,’ and Kanye started humming in my ear. We started coming up with a melody, I started crafting the music and we wrote that relatively quickly, within an hour. When you think about it [sings, ‘I’m more than just an option, hey, hey, hey,’] that’s right up Kanye’s alley, that’s his style, that’s all Kanye. I’m not exactly sure [how Drake got it] but they were both managed by Gee Roberson who was probably the messenger for that song. For one reason or another it didn’t make it to Rihanna’s album, so Drake took it and made a smash out of it. Superproducer Jeff Bhasker Reveals the Secrets of Working With Kanye West | Complex

Kendrick Lamar feat. Dr. Dre – “The Recipe”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters The Recipe

Album: good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe)

Released: April 3, 2012

Ghostwriter: Kendrick Lamar

For real? This was a huge moment back in 2012. Kendrick was already making waves in the rap game the year prior, but it was getting that official Dr. Dre stamp of approval that took him to the next level. “This track was done by a guy named Scoop DeVille, and we just went into the studio and added our elements to it,” Dre recalled in an interview with Billboard. “I mixed it up. Kendrick wrote the words. It came together and we fell in love with it.”

Drake – “Legend” / “10 Bands” / “Know Yourself” / “Used To”

Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 If Youre

Album: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Released: February 13, 2015

Ghostwriter: Quentin Miller

For real? Probably the most famous ghostwriting incident from the past decade and the root of the Drake-Meek Mill beef, amongst other things. Quentin Miller is credited under his name on four songs off If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late .

Quentin Miller: People want to give me credit for his whole catalog, but that’s not true. I was inspired by him, just like everybody else. We collaborated, and that’s that. Quentin Miller Isn’t Picking Sides in the Pusha-T and Drake Beef | Rolling Stone

Kanye West – “30 Hours”

Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales Life Of Pablo

Album: The Life of Pablo

Released: February 14, 2016

Ghostwriter: Drake

For real? Drake is credited as Aubrey Graham on the track.

Kendrick Lamar – “Pride”

Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Damn

Album: DAMN.

Released: April 14, 2017

Ghostwriter: Anna Wise

For real? Anna Wise has been an important part on all three of Kendrick’s major label studio albums. She sung the hook on “Real” off good kid, m.A.A.d city ; was featured on “Institutionalized” and “These Walls” on To Pimp a Butterfly ; and co-wrote in “Pride” off DAMN.

“But for “Pride,” it’s really interesting because I didn’t even write that for him,” Wise said in an interview with Complex. “I wrote that in a session with Steve Lacy where just him and I were together. Kendrick and I, we’ve both been so busy. We haven’t been able to meet up to work. I send him little, you know, voice memos. I’m always sending him little things just to be inspired by.”

“But when I worked with Steve on this track and I wrote that, [sings] ‘Me I wasn’t taught to share but care.’ I wrote that whole thing—’In another life, I surely was there,’ all those harmonies, and then the refrain, ‘Maybe I wasn’t there.’ That’s all what I wrote with Steve.”

Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow”

History Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters Bodak Yellow

Album: Invasion of Privacy

Released: June 16, 2017

Ghostwriter: Pardison Fontaine

For real? Pardison is credited as one of the writers on “Bodak Yellow” along with Cardi B and Klenord Raphael. Kodak Black is also credited as a songwriter because Cardi used the same flow from his 2015 song “No Flockin.”

Kanye West – “Yikes”

Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales Ye

Released: June 1, 2018

For real? The Wyoming sessions were well-documented in the ensuing aftermath of the Pusha T-Drake beef. It was revealed that Kanye had called Drake to work on music together, and the OVO head honcho ended up penning lines for “Yikes.”

Drake: [Kanye] just told me he wanted to give me beats, he said he wasn’t dropping till October, November, something like that. I went and spent the majority of the time working on his music, trying to cook up ideas for him. We left [Wyoming] with “Lift Yourself” and a pat on the back. Drake talks Kanye and Pusha-T in new interview | The FADER

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ghostwriting in rap

MC WordWeaver

10 Rap Hits and Their Ghostwriters

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 When Meek Mill "outed" Drake's ghostwriter (co-writer?), it resurrected the age-old debate over ghostwriting. The debate intensified after fans heard a reference track for Drake’s “10 Bands" bearing the voice of an obscure Atlanta rapper named  Quentin Miller . Drake fans had more questions than answers . 

Miller allegedly ghostwrote Drake's Toronto anthem, "Know Yourself." Although he denied ghostwriting for Drake, he did hint that they've "collaborated" on songs. 

The reality remains that ghostwriting is still a taboo in hip-hop . Yet, some of the most popular rap songs over the years wouldn't have been possible without ghostwriters. 

In honor of the silent pen pushers, here are 10 rap songs you know and the ghostwriters behind them.

Foxy Brown - "Get Me Home"

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

Artist : Foxy Brown (ft. Blackstreet) Song : " G et Me Home " Ghostwriter : Jay Z

Foxy Brown's confidence and seductive mic presence are undeniably hers. To complete the package, Fox Boogie tapped Jay Z's songwriting services for her debut album, Ill Na Na . Jigga wrote or co-wrote nearly every song on Ill Na Na , including this runaway smash "Get Me Home."

Lil Kim - "Crush on You" (Ft. Lil Cease)

Artist : Lil Kim Song : "Crush on You" Ghostwriter : Cam'ron

We know Cam'ron is a skilled MC. But who knew Killa Cam was also slinging rhymes on the side? Turns out the Harlem rapper originally wrote "Crush on You" for Lil Kim 's Junior M.A.F.I.A comrade/fellow Lil' person, Lil Cease.

"What happened was, Un [producer Lance Rivera of the famous Jay Z stabbing incident] gave Mase $30,000 to write five songs for Lil’ Cease at that time and Mase gave me $5,000 of the 30 to write one or two of the songs,” Cam explained to XXL. "I wrote the 'Crush on You' song and they ended up keeping it for Lil’ Kim album but it was really for Lil' Cease. The original ‘Crush on You’ is all Lil’ Cease, Lil’ Kim isn’t even on the record."

Eazy E - "Boyz N the Hood"

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Artist : Eazy E Song : " Boyz N the Hood " Ghostwriter : Ice Cube

Eazy E is one of the few rappers who blatantly copped to lyrics-farming. "Ice Cube writes the rhymes that I say," he proudly proclaimed on N.W.A.'s "8 Ball." "Boyz N the Hood" merits inclusion though, seeing as it's Eazy's most memorable individual performance. Just one of the numerous examples of another rapper helping create a peer's landmark hit.

Will Smith - "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"

Nick Laham/Getty 

Artist : Will Smith Song : " Gettin' Jiggy Wit It " Ghostwriter : Nas (co-writer)

Although Nas is often credited as the ghost behind Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It," Esco says he only said a a line or three. "I hung out with Will in the studio," Nas said during his Reddit AMA. "I watched him write it. It was a fun studio session, and I said a line or two or three to him. It wasn't that serious. Will Smith wrote that song. But seriously, I watched him have fun making that record on his own, and Will is a true MC."

Nas is a humble guy.

On a related note, Nas was also behind Big Willie's "Yes, Yes Y'all," "Miami" and "Chasing Forever."

Biz Markie - "Vapors"

Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

Artist : Biz Markie Song : "Vapors" Ghostwriter : Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie were best of friends in the 1980s. Biz helped Kane become a better performer. In return, Kane supplied the Human Beatbox with a string of hits. Kane authored the first five songs on Biz Markie's outstanding LP, Goin' Off . Most notable among them is "Vapors." "Writing for Biz wasn’t really about having hot rhymes," Kane told HipHopDX. "It was about having something funny, Biz just wanted something funny to say. "

Lil Kim - "Queen B---"

Mitchell Gerber/Getty Images

Artist : Lil Kim Song : "Queen Bee" Ghostwriter : The Notorious B.I.G.

Everyone knows The Notorious B.l.G. wrote rhymes for Lil Kim. But "Queen B--" is worth highlighting because you can actually hear the reference track with Biggie's vocals intact. You haven't fully lived until you've heard Biggie refer to himself with the female pronoun while rhyming about his lady parts.

Dr. Dre - "Still D.R.E."

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

Artist : Dr. Dre Song : " Still D.R.E. ” Ghostwriter : Jay Z

Dr. Dre treats songs like products, inviting input from different writers and producers in a bid to create the perfect piece. For the comeback anthem "Still D.R.E.," Dre called on the services of one Shawn Carter, who turned in an instant hit. 

Diddy - "I'll Be Missing You" Ft. Faith Evans

Artist : Diddy Song : "I’ll Be Missing You" Ghostwriter : Sauce Money

"I'll Be Missing You," a tribute to Biggie Smalls, features Puff Daddy, Biggie's wife Faith Evans and 112. Puffy's verse was ghostwritten by former Jay Z associate Sauce Money. Ancillary tidbit: Sting earns an estimated $2000 a day from the song, since Puff Daddy didn't say "please" before cribbing The Police's "Every Breath You Take" sample. 

Dr. Dre - "Nuthin' But a G Thang"

 Joseph Okpako/Getty Images

Artist : Dr. Dre Song : " Nuthin' But a G Thang " Ghostwriter : The D.O.C.

The D.O.C. was billed as one of the most promising west coast MCs before a car accident destroyed his vocal chords. His penmanship on "Nuthin' But a G Thang" proved that the wreck didn't destroy his creative skills. D.O.C. also wins the award for The Most Self-Congratulatory Line on a Ghostwritten Song Ever: "Like my n---a D.O.C., no one can do it better."

Kanye West - Jesus Walks

Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Artist : Kanye West Song : " Jesus Walks " Ghostwriter : Rhymefest (co-writer)

Like most ghostwriters, Rhymefest is reluctant to take credit for his work on "Jesus Walks." He was humble and coy when I asked him about it years ago: "Jesus Walks” is a song that is neither my creation nor Kanye West ’s creation. It was given to us by the Creator and we were used as a vehicle. So, for me to say “I did this much, he did that much” would be kind of selfish," he said.

Still, 'Fest walked away with a Grammy for his part. And that was before he dropped his first album. Not too shabby.

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Ghostwriting in Hip-Hop

The Secret World of Ghostwriting in Hip-Hop: Unmasking the Invisible Scribes

Introduction:.

The world of hip-hop and rap is full of stories, controversies, and creativity. But behind the glamorous stage performances and chart-topping hits, there lies a hidden world where ghostwriters weave their magic. Ghostwriting has always been a controversial issue in the rap industry, raising questions about authenticity and artistic integrity. In this blog, we'll delve into the realm of ghostwriting and explore whether some of the biggest names in the industry, like Madonna, Eminem, and Drake, have relied on ghostwriters to create their iconic hits.

Ghostwriting Phenomenon:

Ghostwriting is not a new concept in the music industry. For decades, artists from various genres have employed ghostwriters to create songs or even entire albums. However, in the world of rap, where lyricism and personal storytelling are highly valued, the use of ghostwriters often becomes a contentious issue. Fans and critics alike have debated whether hiring ghostwriters undermines an artist's credibility or is simply a practical approach to creating music in a highly competitive market.

Madonna's Secret Songwriters:

Madonna

While Madonna is not a rapper, her influence on the music industry is undeniable. As a pop icon, she has released numerous chart-topping hits throughout her career. But did she rely on ghostwriters? It's no secret that Madonna has collaborated with various songwriters and producers, and her songwriting credits often include other names. However, these collaborations have been transparent, and her collaborators are credited for their work, so it's not accurate to call them "ghostwriters" in the traditional sense.

Eminem and the Ghostwriting Debate:

Eminem

Eminem, considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, has faced questions about ghostwriting throughout his career. However, the vast majority of his work is credited to him, and he has often addressed the topic in his lyrics, asserting his authorship. While Eminem has collaborated with other artists and occasionally shared writing credits, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he has relied on ghostwriters for his songs.

Drake's Controversial Connection to Ghostwriters:

Drake

Drake, one of the most successful rappers of the current generation, has faced ghostwriting allegations multiple times. In 2015, rapper Meek Mill accused Drake of using a ghostwriter, Quentin Miller, for his verse on the song "R.I.C.O." This accusation sparked a heated debate in the rap community, with many taking sides. Quentin Miller denied being Drake's ghostwriter, but he did admit to collaborating with him. Although the controversy has somewhat tarnished Drake's image as a lyricist, he continues to dominate the charts and enjoy massive success.

Other Major Artists and Ghostwriting:

Many other major artists have been rumored to use ghostwriters or have openly admitted to employing them. For example, Kanye West has worked with several ghostwriters, including Rhymefest and Consequence, who have contributed to his lyrics. Similarly, artists like Lil Wayne, Diddy, and even the late Notorious B.I.G. have been associated with ghostwriters at various points in their careers.

The Impact of Ghostwriting on the Rap Industry:

While ghostwriting has long been a part of the music industry, its prevalence in rap raises questions about authenticity and artistic integrity. For some, the use of ghostwriters diminishes an artist's credibility, as it suggests that their work is not wholly their own. Others argue that ghostwriting is a legitimate part of the creative process, allowing artists to benefit from the talents.

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Dr. Jeffrey Lupker - Co-founder, Staccato

International Speaker & Published Author on Deep Learning & Music.

Dr. Lupker has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has given lectures internationally in the fields of deep learning, machine learning and music. Beyond Staccato and his own research, Dr. Lupker is an active performer on guitar and keyboards and has played across Canada and USA with award winning artists.

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The Phantom Pen: The Prevalence of Ghostwriting in Rap

Recently, meek mill put drake on blast for hiring a ghostwriter, quentin miller, to write his verse.

ghostwriting in rap

Recently, Meek Mill put Drake on blast for hiring a ghostwriter , Quentin Miller , to write his verse on “R.I.C.O.” off Meek’s recent album Dreams Are Worth More Than Money . This has caused an uproar on the Internet, any many have been vocalizing their opinion ghostwriting and its validity. Before any conclusion is to be made, let’s research into what a ghostwriter really is, and why he or she is needed.

Unless one is an industry plant/puppet whose sole purpose is to generate revenue without the desire to represent any form of artistic authenticity or integrity, very few will hire ghostwriters at the outset of their career. Most artists — especially rappers — take pride in their ability to formulate their own lyrical and stylistic concepts; having a ghostwriter shows their inability in the craft. However, as their careers cultivate and grow, other facets become equally, if not more, important. In order to quantitatively expand in all fields while remaining qualitatively relevant in such a competitive industry, the “art” will need to be run like a business. In the same way to how renowned artists, designers or filmmakers have assistants to help illustrate their vision pixel-by-pixel, or how Internet entrepreneurs need the help of experts in various fields to bring their ideas to reality; successful rappers will eventually need ghostwriters because, no matter how talented he or she is, it is impossible for a single person to continually adapt and prosper in such a fast-paced and unpredictable industry without the help of a capable team. Ultimately, they’ve been taboo in hip-hop culture, ghostwriters are just as apparent as songwriters, producers, instrumentalists, graphic designers, photographers and others.

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10 ghostwritten hip-hop tracks – and the surprising ghostwriters behind them

Every few years, hip-hop gets itself into a tizzy over ghostwriters.

The background chatter of who-wrote-what is always there, with certain triggers – from Skillz’ redacted ‘Ghostwriter’ to that Nas kerfuffle  a while back – occasionally tossing fuel on the fire. What’s clear, though, is that ghostwriting is as old as the hills, and about as common as it’s ever been (side note: as any booze-lubricated industry type will tell you, don’t think it doesn’t go on with underground dance producers, either).

Unlike pop and R&B, where a T. Nash writing credit will help rather than hinder the marketing push, rap tends to take a dim view of hidden writers. The lines are often blurred, too – plenty of rappers happily admit flinging ideas into the mix in the studio, but will stop short of ratting out their employer. A sense of omertà hangs around the issue, which makes it all the more surprising when you find out your favourite rapper wrote that dismal novelty rap from [insert faded celebrity here].

In tribute to the silent and the shadow-cloaked, we’ve assembled some of the more surprising and unexpected ghost-writing gigs of the last 30 years. From The D.O.C to, er, “What’s up doc?”, these are 10 tracks you probably know – and the 10 people you probably didn’t know wrote them.

Artist: Will Smith Song: ‘Gettin Jiggy Wit It’ (1998) Ghostwriter: Nas

Nas found himself embroiled in a ghostwriting controversy back in 2012, when the rapper was accused of co-opting Jay Electronica and Dead Prez’s stic.man to write verses for his Untitled LP. Whatever the extent of their involvement, the Queens rapper has certainly done his fair share of covert scribbling, working for The Firm partner Foxy Brown and, like every rapper and their pitbull, grinding for Diddy too. Weirdest of all was his brief late 1990s job as Will Smith’s go-to writer, penning the enduring/regrettable ‘Gettin Jiggy Wit It’. Nas was also behind Big Willie’s verses on ‘Miami’ – which, frankly, still bumps .

Artist: Ol’ Dirty Bastard Song: Assorted tracks from Return To The 36 Chambers (1995) Ghostwriter: RZA, GZA

If there’s any proof in the old adage “it’s how you tell ’em”, it’s worth turning to ODB’s inimitable 1995 debut. Method Man has gone on record confirming that the bulk of ODB’s beloved Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version was actually orchestrated by Wu-Tang confreres RZA and GZA, who contributed old and unreleased rhymes from their notebooks. Some of the verses apparently go way back to GZA’s teenage battle rhyming days – something Meth says the latter apparently wasn’t afraid to bring up when required : “I remember GZA and ODB got in an argument one night and GZA was like, ‘Nigga, most of that shit you say on your fucking album is mines anyway!””

beastie-boys-license-to-ill-album-cover-art

Artist:  Beastie Boys Song:  Chunks of  Licensed to Ill , specifically ‘Paul’s Revere’ (1986) Ghostwriter:  Run-D.M.C.

Depending on who you believe, Run-D.M.C. wrote either segments or a sizeable chunk of The Beasties’ tubthumping 1986 debut Licensed To Ill . What’s beyond dispute is that Rick Rubin parachuted the pair in to assist on the record, with fantastical how-we-formed jam ‘Paul Revere’ among the tracks to feature writing from the pair. It wasn’t the only bit of lyric-swapping going on the Rubin axis: Run-D.M.C. also commissioned LL Cool J to pen verses for them.

Artist: Dr. Dre Song: ‘Still D.R.E.’ (1999) Ghostwriter: Jay Z

Dre’s habitual use of ghostwriters has never really qualified as a secret, and the list is long: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Royce Da 5’9″, Rakim, Knoc-Turnal and Kendrick Lamar have all done time as his backroom boys. Despite that, more listeners than not will probably still be surprised to learn that 2001 standout ‘Still D.R.E.’ was the work of a then-ascendent Jay-Z. Hov, incidentally, used to have some repute as ghostwriter, putting pen to paper for man (Memphis Bleek), woman (Foxy Brown) and beast (more on that later).

Artist:  Lil’ Kim feat. Lil’ Cease Song:  ‘Crush On You’ (1997) Ghostwriter:  Cam’ron

It’s well-known that Biggie wrote bars for Lil’ Kim, but it’s probably more of a surprise that Dipset duke Cam’ron was doing the heavy-lifting on 1997 smash ‘Crush On You’, writing Lil’ Cease’s banner verse. Over to Cam’ron, who is surprisingly frank   on a subject that not many rappers are comfy nattering candidly about: “What happened was, [Untertainment CEO Lance] Un [Rivera] gave Mase $30,000 to write five songs for Lil’ Cease at that time and Mase gave me $5,000 of the 30 to write one or two of the songs… I wrote the ‘Crush On You’ song and they ended up keeping it for Lil’ Kim album but it was really for Lil’ Cease. The original ‘Crush on You’ is all Lil’ Cease, Lil’ Kim isn’t even on the record.”

snoopdre

Artist:  Dr. Dre Song:  ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang’ (1992) Ghostwriter:  The D.O.C.

The D.O.C’s 1989 album No One Can Do It Better is frequently credited as the archetype for the gangsta rap sound that would go on to ambush the charts, but the veteran rapper’s involvement in G-Funk extends further than mere influence. After losing his voice in a car accident, the Dallas rapper kept his hand in with writing jobs for N.W.A., Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. His verses appear all over 1992’s The Chronic , but his most brazen work is on the album’s calling card ‘Nuthin But A ‘G’ Thang’, where he personally penned the line “Like my nigga D.O.C./ No one can do it better.” Ancillary tidbit: Ice Cube wrote the bulk of Straight Outta Compton .

saltnpepa

Artist: Salt-n-Pepa Song:  ‘Chick On The Side’ (1986) Ghostwriter: Kool G Rap

There’s a long and fascinating lineage of tough-guy rappers using ghostwriting gigs as an opportunity for gender-bending – see Biggie’s verses on ‘Queen Bitch’, or Big Daddy Kane’s writing for Roxanne Shanté. The most incongruous example of gender chicanery is arguably Salt -n-Pepa’s 1986 track ‘Chick On The Side’ – a warrior queen takedown of a cheating scoundrel, in fact penned by thug rapper and sometime chauvinist Kool G Rap.

spacejam

Artist:  Bugs Bunny Song:  ‘Buggin” from  Space Jam  (1996) Ghostwriter:  Jay Z

Space Jam soundtrack fodder, courtesy of Reasonable Doubt -era Jay-Z. Sample Jiggaism: “Like Trump’s wife, up to my ears in carats/Not even the botha can fade the rabbit.”

Artist:  Eve feat. Jadakiss Song:  ‘Got It All’ (2000) Ghostwriter:  Cassidy

Plenty of greenhorn MCs use ghostwriting as an apprenticeship prior to debuting as a solo artist proper – Kendrick and Freddie Gibbs have been busy , and Problem has been open   about the advantages such a route can bring . Case in point: three years before Cassidy was strong-arming folk into his ‘Hotel’, he was reportedly doing behind-the-scenes work on Eve’s steel-drum enhanced 2000 single ‘Got It All’.

diddy

Artist: Diddy Song: ‘The Future’ (2006) Ghostwriter: Pharoahe Monch

Somebody needs to call the competition committee – Diddy’s responsible for a good 40% of the ghostwriting economy. It’s an old joke, and it’s something of an unfair too: the Bad Boy CEO is the most brazenly open about his lyric-farming, which is certainly preferable to the subterfuge no doubt going on with much more supposedly ‘credible’ artists. Still, Diddy loves a ghostwriter: Biggie, Skillz, Royce Da 5’9″, Fabolous and scores more have helped him out to some degree or other. We’ve plumped for the Pharoahe Monch-penned ‘The Future’, if only because the flow is so transparently Monch’s, it’s practically a karaoke job.

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Writing Beginner

Which Rappers Use Ghostwriters? (Info on 30+ Rappers)

Many rappers use ghostwriters to compose their lyrics.

A rap ghostwriter is someone who writes songs for a rapper but is not credited on the finished product, so as not to steal glory from the star.

Which rappers use ghostwriters?

Let’s look at a comprehensive list of which rappers use ghostwriters and which do not.

Rappers Who Use Ghostwriters

Two rappers back to back—Which Rappers Use Ghostwriters

Ghostwriters are generally anonymous, but some rappers have gone public with their use of them.

One of the best-known examples of this phenomenon may be Diddy’s, “I’ll Be Missing You,” a tribute song to Biggie Smalls.

His verse was ghostwritten by one of Jay-Z’s associates named Sauce Money.

Some other notable examples include:

  • Tung Twista (Used Ernest Wilson, aka “Slow Jammin’” Eddie Sermon)
  • Outsidaz (Aspiring rapper Young Noble outed his group for using ghostwriters)
  • Biz Markie (Teamed up with MF DOOM to write lyrics for Biz’s album, All Samples Cleared! )

These are just a few examples. The use of ghostwriters is nothing new: artists have been using them since way before hip hop even started.

Many rappers write some or most of their first albums, but then hire ghostwriters for future albums.

Almost all artists eventually hire ghostwriters.

For example, Motown songs were mostly written by the studio musicians at Berry Gordy’s “hit factory.” Even further back than that, people like Cole Porter used ghostwriters.

Let’s get into some of today’s well-known rappers who have been accused of using ghostwriters, and some who have openly admitted to using them.

Here is a YouTube video by HipHop Madness about the ghostwriters behind your favorite rappers:

What Famous Rappers Have Ghostwriters? (All the Answers)

Most artists use ghostwriters at some point in their career. Rappers are no different.

Here is information about what rappers use ghostwriters.

Does Drake Use Ghostwriters?

No, according to Drake.

But, yes, according to other sources and rappers who have called him out.

It has been reported that Drake uses ghostwriters, and his friend Quentin Miller claimed he wrote many songs for Drake’s album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late .

However, Drake has (for the most part) always credited his writers, which means they do not fall into the ghostwriter category.

Does Kayne Have Ghostwriters?

Yes. Kanye does not write many of his songs.

Most of his lyrics are written through a collaboration between himself and ghostwriters.

CyHi (CyHi Da Prynce), Cons (Consequence), and Pardi (Pardison Fontaine) are a few ghostwriters that Kanye has used in the past.

There is also Rhymefest who wrote Kanye’s infamous song, “Jesus Walks.”

Some of his songs are completely ghostwritten, but he retains creative control throughout the writing process.

Does Future Have Ghostwriters?

No. Future does not use ghostwriters.

In fact, Future has ghostwritten for other rappers. He has openly appeared in interviews confirming that he has written for YC.

He also wrote Beyonce’s, “Drunk in Love,” and is not credited on the track.

Does NF Have Ghostwriters?

No. There are no claims that Nathan Feuerstein, better known as NF, had a ghostwriter.

There is no solid evidence that NF has in the past or currently uses a ghostwriter to help him with his tracks.

It’s no surprise that he doesn’t since one of his biggest influences is Eminem.

Does Kendrick Lamar Use Ghostwriters?

No. Kendrick Lamar has never used a ghostwriter, nor will he ever consider it.

He has a very close-knit circle of collaborators, who help him produce his music.

His main collaborator is Punch from TDE, and he also mentions Terrence Martin as a great songwriter on “Control” (he also wrote the hook of “Complexion”).

Does Eminem Use Ghostwriters?

Yes, but he has never used a ghostwriter on his albums.

Eminem is very open about using ghostwriters for his mixtape/street album, Infinite (he even says it on the intro of “D12 World”).

However, he does not use ghostwriters for his main projects.

Eminem has served as a ghostwriter himself for several other artists.

Does Cardi B Use Ghostwriters?

No. Although she has been accused of using ghostwriters, she denies using them.

Cardi B has weighed in on the debate of whether her long-time co-writer Pardison is actually a ghostwriter.

According to Cardi, he is not because he recieves credit for everything he works on for the rapper.

Does Nicki Minaj Use Ghostwriters?

This is still up for debate.

Nicki says no, but Nicki Minaj’s ex-boyfriend claims otherwise. He has openly stated that he ghostwrote on The Pinkprint . For example, he says that he wrote lyrics for the album in his song,”Lifeline.”

In the track, Samuels raps: “My bars on The Pinkprint no one will ever match.”

Does Post Malone Use Ghostwriters?

Yes, he uses ghostwriters.

Post Malone used a ghostwriter for “Rockstar” (featuring 21 Savage).

Joey Badass and T-Pain have claimed to be the ghostwriters for the song. Joey openly posted this claim on his Twitter account.

Does Jay Z Have Ghostwriters?

Yes, Jay Z uses ghostwriters.

Many people credit J.Cole for helping Jay Z with his 4:44 album, but it was actually Memphis Bleek who wrote most of the songs (with help from No I.D.).

Jay Z has also used many other ghostwriters throughout the year.

Writers like Nas, Talib Kweli, and Mr. Porter have been credited for their contributions.

Does Chris Brown Have Ghostwriters?

Yes. There are many reports of Chris Brown using ghostwriters, but the main writer has always been Eric Bellinger.

This is because they used to be in a group together called “Bar Society” before it disbanded.

Many of Breezy’s songs like “Loyal” and “Don’t Judge Me” were ghostwritten by Bellinger.

He is also responsible for songs like “Liquor,“ “Roses,” and many more.

Does Playboi Carti Have Ghostwriters?

No. There is no evidence that Playboi Carti has a ghostwriter.

However, Playboi Carti has been accused of ghostwriting for Drake. He’s also been accused of having his own ghostwriters.

Does J Cole Have Ghostwriters?

Like Nicki Minaj, this is still up for debate.

There have been claims that J Cole uses his close friend and Dreamville artist, Bas, as a ghostwriter.

However, they have denied these claims on Twitter.

Does Snoop Dogg Have Ghostwriters?

Yes, Snoop Dogg uses ghostwriters.

A writer named Problem has openly confirmed that he wrote for The Doggfather in a 2013 interview.

Although he didn’t name anyone specifically, in a 2009 interview, Snoop also said Malice In Wonderland was written by others.

Does Polo G Have Ghostwriters?

Yes. Polo G has said in an interview that he writes his own lyrics, but others write the melodies for him.

This is because he has trouble coming up with catchy hooks on his own.

Polo still manages to rap over these beats, however, showcasing his talent.

Does Juice World Have Ghostwriters?

No. Juice World has said many times that he writes his own lyrics but doesn’t plan anything beforehand.

He prefers to freestyle everything so it comes off more natural.

Juice has used a co-writer though. Justin Strawn has helped him with songs like “I Like Girls” and “My Last Love.”

Does Lil Uzi Have Ghostwriters?

Yes. Even though he hasn’t been open about it, many of his old songs had lyrics written by others.

He has since hired Charlie Heat as a writer for his music, and credits him on the song, “XO Tour Llif3.”

There are also rumors that Don Cannon helps with his music too.

Does NBA Youngboy Have Ghostwriters?

No. NBA Youngboy has stated that he writes his own lyrics and doesn’t use ghostwriters for anything.

He does, however, get help from other producers like MexikoDro and Dubba-AA.

Like many other rappers, NBA Youngboy has been accused of using ghostwriters to help him write his songs.

Does Lil Nas X Have Ghostwriters?

No. In an interview Lil Nas bluntly confirmed that he never uses ghostwriters.

He says the inspiration for his songs comes exclusively from his friends, family, and the streets.

Does Will Smith Use Ghostwriters?

Yes, Will Smith uses ghostwriters.

Will Smith has often borrowed the talents of another famous rapper, Nas, to help him with the writing process of some of his biggest tracks.

Nas has stated that he helped write the song, “Getting Jiggy Wit It.”

Nas also takes credit for other tracks on Big Willie’s Yes, Yes Y’all , Miami , and Chasing Forever .

Does Dre. Dre Use Ghostwriters?

Yes. There are many reports of Dr. Dre using ghostwriters throughout his career.

One of his most infamous ghostwriters is Jay-Z.

The rap superstar was responsible for Dr. Dre’s hit, “Still Dre.” Another rapper who has written for Dre is Eminem on the hit song, “Forgot About Dre.”

Which Rappers Use Ghostwriters (Table)

Here is a table that shows which rappers use or have used ghostwriters:

Rappers Who Don’t Use Ghostwriters

All the rappers listed above have been accused of using ghostwriters. However, many other famous rappers have never used one before.

We’ve mentioned artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, and J Cole where there is debate about whether or not they hire ghostwriters.

Then there are rappers who have a good reputation for not using a ghostwriter include:

Why Do Rappers Use Ghostwriters?

Ghostwriters help rappers who want assistance in executing hit songs.

There are a number of reasons why rappers use ghostwriters:

  • Ghostwriters are talented artists
  • The rappers get too busy with other priorities
  • The rapper may not write good lyrics

After an artist becomes popular, recording music and touring often takes priority over creating original lyrics.

Some rap ghostwriters are also famous rappers themselves. For example, Jay-Z and Nas.

Ghostwriters are often hired by artists, who give them an outline of how they want the song to go and what kind of lyrics they want in it.

Some ghostwriters are also “freelancers,” which means their tone or style can be suited for different rappers who require a ghostwriter.

However, not every rapper uses ghostwriters.

Final Thoughts : Which Rappers Use Ghostwriters?

When it all comes down to it, whether or not to hire ghostwriters is up to the artist.

Using a ghostwriter does not take away from the talent, hard work, or artistry involved in producing and performing hit songs.

What to read next:

  • Can AI Write Poetry? (Answered with Examples)
  • How Long Does It Take To Become a Writer? (SOLVED)

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How Kanye West Changed the Way We Think About “Ghostwriting” in Rap

Do you really care who wrote "Black Skinhead"?

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

{ "id": 133160718 } I can dig rappin'! But a rapper with a ghostwriter? What the fuck happened? — Kendrick Lamar , "King Kunta"
{ "id": 133160717 } Let's just not even discuss it, man. — Drake , "10 Bands"

Quentin Miller isn't Drake 's ghostwriter. Not quite. Miller is credited on all the songs he's co-written with Drake, including six tracks from If You're Reading This It's Too Late as well as Drake's verse on "R.I.C.O." from Meek Mill 's Dreams Worth More Than Money . If Miller were a ghostwriter in the truest sense, he'd be a rumored contributor with no public record of his involvement with these songs. Instead, Quentin Miller has bylines and headlines to his credit.

Since Hot 97 host Funkmaster Flex leaked Miller's reference track for Drake's "10 Bands," the dramatic value of this controversy has taken on new undertones, and a new life. As a matter of art, however, the reference track isn't a game-changing revelation. It never is. As I've noted in earlier discussions, the very first hit rap single, the Sugar Hill Gang 's "Rapper's Delight," features uncredited lyrics that Big Bank Hank stole from Grandmaster Caz . More than a quarter century after Biz Markie  dropped "Vapors" and "Just a Friend,"  Big Daddy Kane  spoke at length to Combat Jack about ghostwriting many of the Biz's rhymes. Even lyrical titans Nas and Ghostface have confronted rumors of ghostwritten verses and otherwise uncredited influences.

Rappers have employed ghostwriters since 1979. The real creative shift is in rappers' willingness to extensively credit their co-writers in liner notes, and in public.

The successful rappers that are most famously supported by ghostwriters are, ironically, producers. Since 1987,  Dr. Dre  has workshopped songs with  Ice Cube , the D.O.C. , MC Ren , Eminem , Royce da 5'9" , Kendrick Lamar , and even Jay Z . The Notorious B.I.G. , Ma$e , Sauce Money , Loon ,  Rick Ross,  and others have written for Puffy.  From College Dropout through Yeezus ,  Kanye West has worked with Malik Yusef ,  Consequence , CyHi da Prynce, Lupe Fiasco ,  Pusha-T , and most recently Travis Scott . Not only do Dre, Puffy, and Kanye employ a rotating cast of ghostwriters; they employ ghost-producers, too. There's a couple decades worth of ghost-producer controversies as well.

When the Quentin Miller story exploded Wednesday morning, my colleague Angel Diaz pulled up the liner notes from Jaÿ-Z's debut album, Reasonable Doubt , and noted that most of the songs are listed with only three or four credited songwriters: the rapper, the producer, and the artist(s) sampled. Contrast this simple billing with the liner notes from, say, Kanye's Yeezus or Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late —two albums that credit as many as six writers and three producers per track, with bits of vagueness as to the extent of any one collaborator's involvement.

Kanye's recording sessions for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy were a famously star-studded and collaborative affair. RZA , Nicki Minaj , Rick Ross , Mike Dean , Justin Vernon , and Amber Rose   variously contributed to the songwriting, production, and overall inspiration of Kanye's most critically acclaimed album . MBDTF features some of the very best rapping of Kanye's career, and those songs aren't diminished by my knowing that not just one, but several geniuses work-shopped them into being. According to RZA, the album was very much a group effort. "They get up every morning and eat breakfast together—his whole crew. They talk about yesterday, the next day, and the present," he said during an interview at the Red Bull Music Academy. "They plan. They sit there and they talk what they’re going to do, what they did, and how to make the music better.

Arguably, Kanye's latest reliance on co-writers is a worrisome sign that the man and his talents are stretched thin. But back at the start, Kanye wasn't just a budding superproducer who, like Dre and Puffy, rapped as a sort of sideshow. Kanye's origin story and debut raps underscore the ambition of someone who, in his earliest stages, was eager to be the best rapper alive. His drafting songs with so many co-writers throughout the years isn't a contradiction of that ambition, it's a grand revision of what it even means to be a dope rapper. And now a generation of rappers that have matured in Kanye's shadow have internalized his example.

This so-called "Kanye model" of songwriting— gathering 20 musicians in a studio to hash out a solo track —is a resurgence of the Motown model, in which doo-wop quintets and R&B soloists sang arrangements written by songwriters behind the glass. Many of Kanye's collaborators are on-record (and off-) describing Kanye's studio dynamic. "I’m just there to vibe," CyHi  told HipHopDX in discussing his involvement with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch The Throne . "I’m just there for whatever they may need me for. There are a lot of creative minds in the room."

Soul singers employ ghostwriters.

Pop singers employ ghostwriters.

"Don't compare rapping to singing," warns one observer via Twitter.

Hip-hop is exceptional. It welcomes musicians who are otherwise underrepresented in popular culture. It values their stories, and even their embellishments, as unique truth. And so authenticity in perspective is crucial to the genre. To some extent, ghostwriting dilutes and confuses hip-hop's premium on marginalized perspectives. Street rappers' loud, proud, persistent obsession with authenticity, while occasionally tiresome, is a credible rebuttal of pop music's outsized influence on hip-hop, or at least on the most globalized strains of hip-hop that can still thrive in the Hot 100.

When OVO producer Noah "40" Shebib  says that Drake "isn't just a rapper" but "also a musician and a producer and a creator," he's begrudging that obsession with singular authority and organic truth. It feels cynical to say that he's right; but he's right. When you're hearing songs as grand as Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride," Puffy's "Victory," or Kanye's "Black Skinhead," the small print of their respective liner notes is an afterthought, if not entirely moot.

Justin Charity is a staff writer for Complex. Follow him  @BrotherNumpsa .

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Drake, Meek Mill and their bitter feud about ghostwriting in hip-hop

ghostwriting in rap

To the benefit of hip-hop fans, rappers Drake and Meek Mill have been feuding since last summer by exchanging “diss tracks,” songs through which they toss verbal barbs at each other. These include Drake’s single “Back to Back.” The headline-grabbing battle began when Mill took to Twitter to accuse Drake of using a ghostwriter to write his featured verse on Mill’s “R.I.C.O.” He hasn’t let the claims go since.

“This is hip-hop/You ain’t write it, don’t record it,” Meek raps to Drake on his latest diss track, “ All The Way Up Remix ,” which he dropped Wednesday. ( The song contains strong language .)

https://twitter.com/MeekMill/status/623700698509758464

The charge might sound odd. After all, much of American music is based off artists (a) playing other artists’ songs or (b) employing a ghostwriter.

The most well-known example of this is Elvis Presley, whose estate is consistently the first or second highest earning on Forbes’s annual  Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list . As rock critic Chuck Klosterman wrote in the New York Times, “Like Frank Sinatra, Elvis did not write songs; he interpreted songs that were written by other people.” While Wikipedia certainly shouldn’t be taken as gospel, it has a nifty chart  of Elvis’s songs and their writers, which highlights this fact.

The Beatles followed a similar path. Before changing the direction of rock music through the songwriting of Lennon and McCartney, the band’s first two records, “ Please Please Me ” and “ With the Beatles! ” contained almost as many covers as original songs.

Even more straightforward, Sir Elton John has spent more than 50 years with Bernie Taupin as a songwriting partner, Rolling Stone reported . Taupin often writes John’s lyrics. Pop stars from the Supremes to Beyoncé to Kelly Clarkson to Rihanna all have hits written by other people, according to Billboard .

So, why does Meek Mill care if Drake wrote his own verse?

If any other rapper was exposed on ghostwriting allegations, they would've been finished.. Drake is above the rules of hip hop — The First. (@Seepeppa) May 3, 2016

Hip-hop strays a little from rock or pop insomuch as rap tends to be driven by personal narratives. Unlike those genres, part of rap’s appeal, as Goodwin College English professor  Matthew Hodgman wrote in the Journal of Sociological Research , is the idea of its authenticity. Artists speaking about their own experience earns them credibility.

After all, no one actually thought Elvis Presley had spent much time in a jailhouse, but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of listening to “Jailhouse Rock.” But it would be jarring to think Jay Z had fabricated his childhood in the Marcy Projects in “Where I’m From.”

“The difference between what is and what is not ‘real’ is at the crux of rap authenticity configuration,” Hodgman wrote, going on to say of Eminem, who is white in a mostly black genre,  “The authenticity of Eminem’s art lies in his ability to honestly represent a black urban lower class space.” 

This idea is seen throughout rap lyrics. “I rap and I’m real/I’m one of the few here,” Jay Z raps on “Real As It Gets.”

In some ways, a ghostwriter is the antithesis of credibility. On last year’s hit single “King Kunta,” Kendrick Lamar raps, “I can dig rappin’/But a rapper with a ghostwriter? What the f— happened?”

It becomes reading from a script, rather than portraying one’s own experience.

@Drake will never be able to change core Hip Hop culture. Ghost writing is and will always be a taboo #views #pnd — The Orator (@TheOrator_UK) May 2, 2016

“We expect it to be personal, we expect it to be from the heart and straight from that individual’s experience,” underground U.K. rapper Jehst told  the BBC in 2014.

Grandmaster Caz, who became famous at the beginning of rap’s development in the 1970s, strongly agreed. He also  told BBC in 2014, “It’s a travesty, anybody who calls themselves an MC and doesn’t write their rhyme — no way you can even stand in the same room as an MC if you don’t write your rhyme, plain and  simple.”

But ghostwriting in rap, taboo as it might be, isn’t uncommon. In fact, Caz is rumored to have written several of the verses on the SugarHill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which is considered the genre’s first recorded song, Complex reported .

It’s just kept secret.

“I think I set a rate, every bar a thousand dollars,” MF Grimm, a California-based ghostwriter who reportedly wrote dozens of verses throughout the late ’80s for which he received no royalties and no credit, told Forbes last year. “Everything I did was off the books.”

That isn’t to say rap ghostwriters aren’t paid well. Forbes reports they typically receive between $10,000 to $20,000 for each anonymous contribution.

The view about ghostwriters may be changing, though, at least in some circles. As rapper N.O.R.E. told rap blog HipHopDX in 2013, “At first, I used to be like, ‘Yo, B, if you’re not living that lifestyle, you shouldn’t speak about it,’ ” N.O.R.E. said. “Now, the way I feel like it, I really respect entertainment. I really respect the artistry.”

And, as Vibe noted  in 2013, most of the genre’s superstars, from Kanye West to Dr. Dre, are rumored to use ghostwriters —  who are frequently rumored to be other well-known rappers.  In fact, North Carolina rapper King Mez gave an extended interview with Pitchfork  last year in which he openly discusses ghostwriting for Dre on his newest record, “Compton.”

Oh, and for the record, Drake all but admitted to Fader last year that he has used a ghostwriter. “I need, sometimes, individuals to spark an idea so that I can take off running,” he said, adding,  “Music at times can be a collaborative process, you know? Who came up with this, who came up with that — for me, it’s like, I know that it takes me to execute every single thing that I’ve done up until this point. And I’m not ashamed.”

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Songwriting Advice

Ghost writers rap.

  • May 8, 2023

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In the world of rap music, authenticity is key. With countless rappers boasting about their skills and struggles, it’s essential for the lyrics to reflect the artist's true experiences and emotions. While most rappers are known for their personal storytelling, there's a hidden aspect of the industry that often goes unnoticed: ghostwriting. For years, talented wordsmiths have been crafting bars for some of the biggest names in the business without public recognition. Let's explore the secret world of ghostwriters in rap and how Lyric Assistant can help create your next hit song.

Ghost Writers Rap Table of Contents

The history and legitimacy of ghostwriting in rap, notable ghostwriters and their impact, how lyric assistant can help you write your next song, embracing the secret sauce of songwriting, try lyric assistant - #1 song writing assistant.

The practice of ghostwriting has been around since the earliest days of rap music. Sugar Hill Gang's 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight," often credited as the first commercially successful rap song, was predominantly written by Grandmaster Caz, who never received proper recognition for his contribution. In the years to follow, numerous well-known rappers either openly or secretly employed the talents of ghostwriters to bring their songs to life.

The legitimacy of using a ghostwriter in rap music is a subject of debate. While some argue that it detracts from the authenticity and credibility of an artist, others view it as a natural part of the creative process. After all, many top singers in other genres rely on songwriters for their hit tracks.

Big-name artists such as Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, and Kanye West have been open about their use of ghostwriters in the past, and their careers don't seem to have suffered for it. On the flip side, when rappers like Meek Mill outed Drake in 2015 for having a team of ghostwriters, this news shook hip-hop fans and fueled heated conversations about the importance of writing one's own lyrics in rap.

Some successful rappers built their careers by starting as ghostwriters for other artists. For instance, Jay-Z has penned tracks for Dr. Dre, Foxy Brown, and Puff Daddy before becoming a household name. Kanye West also wrote songs for various artists before his solo debut. More recent examples include talented lyricists like Childish Gambino and Frank Ocean, who have written verses for other artists while solidifying their positions in the industry.

The impact of ghostwriters runs deeper than just chart-topping hits. Many of these unsung heroes contribute to shaping the sound of the rap game, crafting lyrics that resonate with audiences and guide the direction of the genre.

If you're an aspiring rapper looking to craft your next hit, look no further than Lyric Assistant. This innovative technology offers the perfect solution for generating unique lyrics tailored to your preferences.

Start by selecting your desired genre, topic, and overall structure for your song. Next, input the names of artists you'd like your track to emulate. Within minutes, Lyric Assistant gets to work, delivering a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that captures your vision, voice, and style.

Using Lyric Assistant doesn't mean abandoning authenticity. Instead, view this tool as a collaborative partner, offering a foundation upon which to build and refine your lyrics. With Lyric Assistant by your side, you'll find endless inspiration, giving you the confidence and ability to create the perfect song that reflects your true emotions and experiences.

Ghostwriting in rap music may always be a controversial subject. However, one cannot deny the incredible talent and influence these hidden wordsmiths have had on the industry. As you set out to create your next hit song, consider turning to Lyric Assistant – the perfect tool to help you manifest your lyrical vision into reality. Embrace the power of collaboration and the creative process, and let your talent shine.

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ghostwriting in rap

Why Using A Ghostwriter Is Such A Big Deal In Hip-Hop Music

There’s a lot of confusion among casual rap listeners as to why Meek Mill decided to call out Drake for using a ghostwriter.

Why does it matter when other genres use multiple and/or different artists to write songs all the time?

The truth is, not all is fair when it comes to the pen and pad, and hip-hop holds its artists to a higher standard than other genres of music.

If you consider yourself a “lyricist” as Drake does, having a ghostwriter is the ultimate offense.

Of course, there’s no verification this is even true, but the controversy does speak to hip-hop's cultural values.

This genre highly regards lyrical authenticity, a problem many other categories do not have to face.

Songwriting for R&B, pop or pretty much any genre that isn’t hip-hop is a little different.

Performing songs written by other people isn’t really considered “ghostwriting.”

In those cases, as the “ghost” prefix indicates, someone wants the original writer to go unknown, uncredited or, at the very least, kept under wraps.

With most singers, it’s simply considered songwriting. There’s no shame in knowing Jermaine Dupri wrote songs for Usher and Mariah Carey, or that Ne-Yo has penned hits for Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Chris Brown could care less if you knew Ty Dolla Sign wrote “Loyal.”

Why? Because traditionally, whoever was the better songwriter at a label would handle that task, just as Smokey Robinson did for Motown.

He wasn’t “ghostwriting” for The Temptations; he simply had a gift for language that fit the legendary group’s sound. After all, a singer’s main claim to fame is singing.

Can she stay on key? Does he have a decent vocal range?  Will the group emote what’s needed for the listener to feel their pain, joy or whatever?

These are the standards we hold singers to, and if they also happen to be great songwriters, even better.

That’s not exactly how hip-hop works.

Just as singers are judged for singing, rappers are judged by their ability to rap, which is a lot more than just rhyming a few words.

Can they use sophisticated word play? Creative similes? Profound metaphors?

Do they have attention-grabbing delivery? Are they able to switch flows as needed? Can they handle a wide range of subject matter?

Rappers who consider themselves lyricists would answer “yes” to all of these, and it would be a complete violation for you to spit someone else’s lines.

Rap’s reverence for authenticity, or, at the very least, perceived authenticity (What's up, Rozay?), doesn’t allow for an artist to pay another to tell his or her story.

Like I said before, this mainly applies to rappers who are highly respected for their lyrical prowess.

Something tells me if a story broke about Soulja Boy not writing his own sh*t, no one would bat an eye.

It’s the reason no one cares if Jay Z wrote for Dr. Dre, or if Nas wrote for Diddy. Dre and Diddy are not lyricists. Diddy proudly proclaimed, “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks!”

He’s not even in denial about it. But what about someone like Drake? J Cole? Big Sean?

It’s unacceptable because such a large part of an artists' appeal is their ability to rap at a certain caliber.

Sure, coming up with a catchy hook may require some assistance, but the meat of a rap song, those prose-rich verses, need to come from the rapper's own brain and the rapper's own pen.

It’s the reason Nicki Minaj so proudly states she writes her own raps (especially because female rappers have always been accused of having men ghostwrite their rhymes), or why it was such a big deal when rumor spread that Jay Electronica and Stic.man of Dead Prez wrote for Nas.

This is a problem pop and R&B stars don’t have, but it is a huge deal in the rap world.

Compton’s Kendrick Lamar even shames rappers who use ghostwriters on “King Kunta”:

“I can dig rapping, but a rapper with a ghostwriter? What the f*ck happened? (Oh no) I swore I wouldn't tell But most of you share bars like you got the bottom bunk in a two-man cell”

Lamar is simply sharing the general distaste hip-hop has for rappers who don’t write their own material, which is why Meek going off on Drake is such a big deal for rap fans.

Meek has since apologized, and we don't know whether or not it was a true statement. Either way, he knew accusations of ghostwriting would strike a nerve.

Within hip-hop, it may just be the one line a true lyricist can’t cross.

ghostwriting in rap

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The power of ghostwriting in music

  • 18 July 2023, Tuesday

Ghostwriting has been a common practice in nearly any creative field, from literary and journalistic works, through visual arts, to, of course, music.

Are you considering becoming a professional music ghostwriter? Or are you new to the topic and would like to learn more? Either way, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about ghostwriting. Let’s dive into it!

What is ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is an unofficial term that refers to being hired to write a content piece that is credited to someone else. The content piece may be an article, nonfiction or fiction book, memoir, medical report, scientific research, or lyrics and song melodies. This means that while the ghostwriter is the one scribbling, composing, or simply creating the work of art, officially, someone else, often a celebrity or a respected public figure, is credited as the author.

A professional ghostwriter is usually a freelancer who goes from one project to another. While a ghostwriter can be hired for numerous reasons, it is usually due to time constraints or lack of discipline, experience, and skills of the credited author.

In the music industry, ghostwriting has been common in practically any genre, whether it’s classical music, pop or rap, and hip hop. In fact, ghostwriting could be traced back to the 18th century, when the one and only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was paid to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons.

Nowadays, ghostwriters are most regularly hired in pop, electronic music, and, most notably, hip hop and rap, where, to make a mark, one has to impress with catchy beats and profound, raw, authentic lyrics. In fact, hip-hop-related ghostwriting has been a pretty hot topic for years now.

Back in 2015, Canadian rapper Drake was alleged by his American counterpart, Meek Mill , that he used ghostwriters during the songwriting session for their song R.I.C.O. Later on, other Drake songs on which the artist was reportedly getting help from ghostwriters resurfaced, while Mills received support from other artists, most prominently Funkmaster Flex and, later, Pusha T .

Although the case’s only result was a bitter feud between the artists, each of whom responded with their own diss track (as it was never proved that Drake did in fact used ghostwriters), Drake was not by far the only well-known musician to be accused of making use of ghostwriters. In 2018, rapper Cardi B was also rumored to have used help to write her songs (and has categorically denied the accusations).

The Dutch DJ Martin Garrix , on the other hand, has admitted that he himself was hired to ghost-produce other artists’ music in the past and was actually signed to Spinnin’ Records thanks to that.

Ghostwriting can be other things, too

While what we mentioned above is what’s traditionally believed to be ghostwriting, it can, at least theoretically, be experienced in different forms, too. Key to ghostwriting is that there's a level of misinformation about a specific content piece or work of art, that aims to benefit someone — either their reputation, credibility, or work balance (or all three of them) . This means that just like one doesn’t get credited for the work they’ve done, someone else’s name can simply be added to a work’s credits.

In different countries, they also have different names to refer to an activity that is similar to, or basically the same as ghostwriting. In an article published on Vice, American A&R executive Chris Anokute , who’s worked at Island Def Jam, Capitol, and Universal Motown, said that while the concept of ghostwriting is rather prevalent in the USA (specifically in comparison to the UK), it is not common for major labels to get someone to ghostwrite for them in the usual sense — as this is considered illegal.

Instead, labels will make so-called ‘work for hire’ arrangements, in which someone's involvement in a song is simply bought out. The way this works is that the label pays out for the song and becomes the owner of the song’s copyrights. This is regarded as a business transaction where the original author is simply hired to write a song for someone else. From a legal perspective, the song was therefore not credited to them in the first place and thus it’s not considered ghostwriting.

The benefits of ghostwriting

You may be wondering why someone might want to become a ghostwriter when it literally means that something you create won’t actually be yours. However, ghostwriting may actually be rewarding if you’re doing it for reasons suitable to you.

First of all, ghostwriting can pay incredibly well and for those who can truly establish themselves in the profession, it can become a crucial part of how they earn their living. Generally, a hired ghostwriter will charge per hour with rates usually ranging from $50 to $200 . However, it’s been reported that ghostwriters for well-known rappers can earn from $5,000 up to $50,000 or more per rap they write.

Moreover, even though the songs you write, whether melodies, lyrics, or both, are not credited to you, you may well build your reputation in the industry (maybe secret but valid) as someone who is really good at songwriting. You can create valuable connections and expand your list of clients while doing something you love and earn great money for it.

As we’ve mentioned in the case of Martin Garrix, it’s also not impossible to turn from a ghostwriter into a releasing artist yourself. It very much depends on your needs and priorities — in the end, chances are that as a ghostwriter you may be earning more money than as an artist releasing their own music.

Last but not least, ghostwriting usually comes with a great amount of flexibility. Not in the sense that you can dictate your conditions and do what you want to do when you want to do it (although with great reputation this may be possible, too) but rather in terms of your location. All you need for ghostwriting is a laptop and an internet connection, which means you can work from almost anywhere in the world. That’s not so bad, is it?

The disadvantages of ghostwriting

Now, these were the great advantages of becoming a ghostwriter but one has to know about the drawbacks of it, too. It’s true that you can earn a lot of money as a ghostwriter. However, if your dream has been to become an artist who releases music and gets heard, ghostwriting may not be the right choice for you.

It will give you the opportunity to be part of the music industry but seeing other artists take your hard-crafted work and make it their own may have a negative impact on your artistry and mental well-being in the long run.

This applies especially if a song you write that is credited to someone else eventually becomes a huge hit. Also, bear in mind that after you give your song to someone else, however much you’re paid for it, you will most likely not be able to earn any royalties from it. This, too, may be somewhat painful if the song gets massive.

One must also understand that ghostwriting is not about simply writing a song you like and then giving it to someone else. Instead, ghostwriters are required to produce a product that meets the needs and expectations of their clients, which can sometimes be extremely challenging. We all know how frustrating it is at times to finish something you‘ve worked on for hours just to be told later that it needs to be revised or, even worse, completely rebuilt.

Unfortunately, this is something you may experience quite often when you become a ghostwriter. There are also other factors to consider other than the expectations of your clients. Every artist and their artist brand is different, meaning they have different styles, exhibit different defining characteristics, and target different audiences. It’s therefore important that you know how to write content, both melodies, and lyrics, that may not particularly resonate with you as an artist or that showcases a style that is distinct from yours.

How to become a professional ghostwriter

1. start by working on your writing skills.

This one should be pretty natural for you, especially if songwriting is something you love and want to do in your professional life. There are many ways to work on your writing skills. There is a great amount of teaching material available on the internet for free, whether it’s blog articles (including ours ), academic articles, or YouTube videos. Listening to different genres, studying diverse styles of musicians out there, exploring various fields of the industry, or reading books (especially poetry) can definitely help, too!

If you want to feel more committed to the craft, you can also enroll in creative writing or songwriting classes. Websites like Skillshare , MasterClass , or Udemy can offer you some hands-on courses to enhance your skills as well as your creativity.

It may also help to just write stuff down. Get into the habit of dedicating some time of your day to simply putting down your ideas. Not everything you write will be of high quality but it may teach you how to rhyme better, develop a flow in your lyrics (or melody) or simply express yourself better.

Often it is the case that we have an idea we really like but forget to write it down or don’t know how to articulate it (so we don’t even try). However, producing content, whether it’s good or bad, is exactly what can help you practice your skills and improve.

Also, you never know what one simple idea can eventually yield! Having your ideas, concepts, and thoughts written down on paper allows you to go back to them at any time. This may be incredibly helpful, especially when inspiration deserts you and you have deadlines to meet. Suddenly, the stuff you wrote before can come in incredibly handy, providing you with existing material you can use or helping you discover new ways of saying what you want to say.

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2. create your online presence.

It’s difficult to learn about someone’s skills, abilities, and ghostwriting services if there’s no information about it whatsoever. Just like other artists have their websites, you need to create your own, too. Make people aware of what you have to offer and make it easy for everyone to know how to contact and hire you.

Also, don’t be afraid to directly state on your website that you work as a freelance ghostwriter. There will be a lot of people happy to receive that information without having to ask you about it.

If you’re focused on writing lyrics, it may be a good idea to add a blog section to your website, to put your writing skills right into the spotlight. Should you be good at writing melodies, creating beats, or producing music, showcasing audio snippets on your website may be a good idea, as well (or at least stating that you have demos available for those that are interested).

Just like a website, establishing a social media presence is necessary, too. Your social media accounts should act as an extension to your website, allowing you to further showcase your skills, by promoting your blog posts or demos. You can also create posts with quotes and testimonials (if possible) to build credibility.

3. Mingle with people from the music industry

Getting yourself out there can help you establish some connections beneficial for your career as a ghostwriter. You can attend concerts, open mics, and specialized industry events like conferences or fairs (if possible) to meet important people.

It’s also never been easier to connect with people online. If you come across musicians that you are inspired by or feel they could be a good match for your artistry, you can drop them a message or slide into their DMs.

Wherever and however you meet people, don’t necessarily try to get anything from every interaction. Sometimes it’s simply enough to show up, introduce yourself and connect. Sooner or later, something valuable may start blossoming.

4. Put in the work

Now, this one certainly applies to any type of work and profession. However, one cannot stress enough how the quality of work you deliver may influence your career. Be also sure to always be on time, pay attention to your clients, and try to make it easy for them to work with you.

Don’t forget that word of mouth is a powerful tool that can lead to both an increase or decrease in the job opportunities you’re presented with. In the latter option, there’s no doubt that both your reputation and wallet will eventually suffer.

Although it may have a rather negative connotation, ghostwriting is and has been a serious profession both in and outside the music industry. In this article, we have therefore covered all the crucial information about ghostwriting, from the benefits and disadvantages to the ways one can become a ghostwriter in real life.

Whether you’re considering getting a ghostwriting job yourself, or are just interested in improving your songwriting skills, check out our articles on the ultimate songwriting tips or the top songwriting softwares in 2023 .

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Hip Hop, Rap & RnB Ghostwriters: Best & Affordable Services Review

Hip Hop, Rap & RnB Ghostwriters: Best & Affordable Services Review

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Jaron

Ghostwriting services   are a smart way for artists to get over a hump or overcome writer's block. There is no shame in using a ghostwriting service as an artist. In fact, many popular artists do it all the time. 

Following our research, here are some top ghostwriters for the best and most affordable service. Whether you are a   Hip Hop ,   Rap , or   R&B   artist, these ghost writers will be sufficient for you. 

Freelance Ghostwriters

The most common way that artists find ghostwriters is through freelance platforms. Due to the nature of ghostwriting work, freelancers are in a unique position to provide artists with a strong, affordable option. 

Freelancers work based on contracts and can take on many clients. Subsequently, they can work with many artists who are looking for a ghostwriter and write many types of songs for them. There are freelancers who specialize within different genres of music, giving artists a nice array of options to choose from.

Fiver is a great platform to hire some of the best and most affordable ghostwriters. There is actually an official category for this on the Fiverr website, with many of its sellers having outstanding reviews. 

The platform has developed immensely, there are many services that you can browse through, and a wide range of sellers varying in both quality and cost. 

Below we will list the top 5 ghostwriters on the platform who can help take your artistry to the next level!

Songwriting By Trwtlo

They have had so much success locally, they have decided to bring our business to Fiverr! With a perfect 5 star rating and over 300 reviews, its safe to say that they are legit. They specialize in the Hip Hop and RnB genre.

This gig offers:

A 10 Second Revision/ 2 Bar Verse for $5.

One 16-bar verse OR hook for $35.

A (Up to 3 verse) full song for $120.

These are their standard prices for customers that already have the beat that they would like their song to be written for. They will also find the beat for you, for an additional $25. In return, you will receive both written lyrics and a reference track.

If you have any questions about ownership, or wanted to hear some of their past work, feel free to send a message before placing your order.

Lyrics By Slimaginations

This is another seller with a perfect 5 star rating. They have over 40 reviews and come highly recommended. They do however want to be contacted before your purchase so they can get a good feel on what you are looking for.

One 16 Line verse, two 16 Line verses with hook or two premium 16 Line verses with hook crafted to perfection. Their writers can touch the largest range of topics in the industry.  Some of the genres they have written for include; Battle Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Pop, Rock, Country, Spoken Word, and Rock. 

Get the commercial use license for the verse and use it anywhere! Commercial use privileges are included in the Premium option or you can add a Gig Extra. 

Rap Lyrics By Grafezzy

Grafezzy has a 4.8 star rating with almost 300 reviews! He specializes in Rap music and lyrics. He has a harder style compared to the other writers we have featured so he is one to work with if you are into the harder side of rap music.

Melodic Rap/Hip Hop Lyrics By Joshuadaniel618

Joshua has a 4.9 star rating with over 100 reviews! He is very versatile but I would say his strongest material is his melodic new age style. His prices are slightly higher than some of the previously mentioned ghostwriters but from the sample works on his page and the reviews, its safe to say he is worth every penny.

Rap And Hip Hop Lyrics By Lindonmusic

LindonMusic is another ghostwriter with a 5 star rating and over 150 reviews. He has a very versatile style and is well suited for any type of song you would need. The sample works and reviews really speak for themselves.

We have given you direct links to some of the best ghostwriters that the internet has to offer. All of these artists are fully capable of bringing your ideas to life in the form of incredible lyrics.

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ghostwriting in rap

IMAGES

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VIDEO

  1. The Sad Truth About the Ghostwriter Industry

  2. Recording a horrorcore rapper 😬 #studio #shorts

  3. Royce Da 5' 9" "The Throne Is Mine" Prod By Dr.Dre (Rare)

  4. DRAKE'S RESPONSE TO MEEK MILL ACCUSING HIM OF GHOSTWRITING! 🤯 #shorts

  5. ghostwriter

  6. Lil Wayne Vs Gillie Da Kid Full BEEF Analysis #trending #viral

COMMENTS

  1. The secret ghostwriters of Hip Hop

    By Sarah Thompson BBC News The practice of ghostwriting is one of rap's biggest taboos, and yet many of its greatest hits were ghostwritten. So who are Hip Hop's ghostwriters and what place do...

  2. How To Become a Ghostwriter for Rappers (Ultimate Guide)

    July 20, 2023 | 7 min read Ghostwriting Writing Ghostwriting in the rap industry refers to writing lyrics for rappers who may not have the time, skills, or creativity to pen their songs. As a rap ghostwriter, you can work closely with renowned artists, contribute to chart-topping hits, and significantly impact the music scene.

  3. A History of 56 Verified Hip Hop Songs Written By Ghostwriters

    Album: Sugarhill Gang Released: September 16, 1979 Ghostwriter: Grandmaster Caz For real? The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" is the earliest, notable case of ghostwriting in the hip hop industry. It's also the most egregious example.

  4. 10 Rap Hits and Their Ghostwriters

    01 of 10 Foxy Brown - "Get Me Home" Foxy Brown. Johnny Nunez/Getty Images Artist: Foxy Brown (ft. Blackstreet) Song: " G et Me Home " Ghostwriter: Jay Z Foxy Brown's confidence and seductive mic presence are undeniably hers.

  5. The Secret World of Ghostwriting in Hip-Hop: Unmasking the Invisible

    The world of hip-hop and rap is full of stories, controversies, and creativity. But behind the glamorous stage performances and chart-topping hits, there lies a hidden world where ghostwriters weave their magic. Ghostwriting has always been a controversial issue in the rap industry, raising questions about authenticity and artistic integrity.

  6. How To Become a Ghostwriter for Rappers (Ultimate Guide)

    Audio Interface Stands (for music)

  7. Why Ghostwriting Is Good For Hip-Hop

    We want to hear your verse come from your brain." But putting good music above all else suggests a level of sophistication among hip-hop listeners who can discern between the product and the...

  8. Phantom Rappers: Inside The Business Of Ghostwriting

    When Meek Mill took to Twitter to accuse Drake of not writing his own lyrics for a verse on Mill's "R.I.C.O." this July, it sparked a rally of diss tracks between the duo and reignited a ...

  9. The Phantom Pen: The Prevalence of Ghostwriting in Rap

    A recent fallout lead to a leak of information by West's former collaborator and cousin of hip-hop legend Q-Tip, Consequence, who told the media of his involvement in lyric writing. This claim ...

  10. XXL Presents… Hip-Hop's 10 Greatest Ghostwriters [Poll]

    10. Royce da 5'9" (Tie) 10. Rick Ross (Tie) 10. Rick Ross (Tie) Known Clients: Trina, Diddy, Dr. Dre Ricky Rozay's resume includes gold albums, crew construction and block bangers.

  11. Seven Ghostwritten Songs Every Rap Fan Should Know

    We hand picked seven of the most famous ghost written songs, with the likes of Jay Z, Nas, and Ice Cube all penning songs for other MC's. Song: "Boyz N Da Hood". Artist: Eazy E. Ghostwriter: Ice ...

  12. Skyzoo Explains How Ghostwriting Works In Rap & Why He Won't ...

    In this clip from next week's "People's Party with Talib Kweli," Kweli and co-host Jasmin Leigh talk with actor and rapper Skyzoo about ghostwriting and why he doesn't use the N-word. Talib Kweli...

  13. 10 ghostwritten hip-hop tracks

    Artist: Dr. Dre Song: 'Still D.R.E.' (1999) Ghostwriter: Jay Z. Dre's habitual use of ghostwriters has never really qualified as a secret, and the list is long: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Royce Da ...

  14. Which Rappers Use Ghostwriters? (Info on 30+ Rappers)

    A rap ghostwriter is someone who writes songs for a rapper but is not credited on the finished product, so as not to steal glory from the star. Which rappers use ghostwriters? Let's look at a comprehensive list of which rappers use ghostwriters and which do not. Rappers Who Use Ghostwriters (This post may have afilliate links.

  15. The Ghostwriters Behind Your Favorite Rappers

    We frequently hear the argument about hip hop artists that have ghostwriters pushing the pen behind their hottest songs as being compared to pop singers havi...

  16. How Kanye West Changed the Way We Think About "Ghostwriting" in Rap

    More than a quarter century after Biz Markie dropped "Vapors" and "Just a Friend," Big Daddy Kane spoke at length to Combat Jack about ghostwriting many of the Biz's rhymes. Even lyrical titans ...

  17. The History of Ghostwriting in Hip Hop

    "For as long as there has been hip hop, there has been ghostwriting"In this video I take a deep dive into the hip hop industry and how ghostwriting has shape...

  18. Drake, Meek Mill and their bitter feud about ghostwriting in hip-hop

    Ghostwriting in rap, taboo as it might be, isn't uncommon. Some ghostwriters reportedly receive between $10,000 to $20,000 for each anonymous contribution. Accessibility statement Skip to main ...

  19. Ghost Writers Rap

    Ghost Writers Rap - Lyric Assistant Songwriting Advice Songwriting Advice Ghost Writers Rap In the world of rap music, authenticity is key. With countless rappers boasting about their skills and struggles, it's essential for the lyrics to reflect the artist's true experiences and emotions.

  20. Why Using A Ghostwriter Is Such A Big Deal In Hip-Hop Music

    Lamar is simply sharing the general distaste hip-hop has for rappers who don't write their own material, which is why Meek going off on Drake is such a big deal for rap fans. Meek has since ...

  21. The Power Of Ghostwriting In Music

    18 July 2023, Tuesday Ghostwriting has been a common practice in nearly any creative field, from literary and journalistic works, through visual arts, to, of course, music. Are you considering becoming a professional music ghostwriter? Or are you new to the topic and would like to learn more?

  22. Ghostwriting: Rap's Messiest Secret

    HipHopDX 1.41M subscribers Subscribe 547K views 6 years ago #DXBreakdown Please watch: "J. Prince Talks Drake & Pusha T Beef, Rap-A-Lot Records, & New Book | Soulful Sundays" • J. Prince Talks...

  23. Hip Hop, Rap & RnB Ghostwriters: Best & Affordable Services Review

    There is no shame in using a ghostwriting service as an artist. In fact, many popular artists do it all the time. Following our research, here are some top ghostwriters for the best and most affordable service. Whether you are a Hip Hop, Rap, or R&B artist, these ghost writers will be sufficient for you.