In a pretty fascinating article done by the Guardian UK’s blog system, Jack Arnott takes a close look at the nature of hip hop and the ghostwriting behind it.
We all know that ghostwriting happens, but I guess a lot of us don’t quite understand just how prevalent it is. Arnott notes that Nas was the ghostwriter behind Will Smith’s classic opus “Gettin Jiggy wit it“. Not something you’d usually associate with the “If I ruled the world” star, no?
What’s even crazier is the fact that Puffy’s I’ll be Missing You, an ode to Notorious, was ghostwritten by Sauce Money. I especially like Arnott’s burn of Kanye:
“Kanye West’s Jesus Walks – co-written with Rhymefest – is just as difficult to stomach given the size of Kanye’s ego. Consistently mentioning himself as a “Top 5 MC”, you have to ask whether Common or Talib Kweli would ever spit someone else’s rhymes.”
I fully get his point, which is that it’s kind of hard to allow this to happen because hop hop is so big on image. Everyone wants to keep it real, but only kind of. Too many people are buying lyrics these days. And the ghostwriters don’t get that much credit.