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Topic: Who Would Of Thought
Submitted By: 1boss
Date Submitted: 01-22-14

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10 Songs Hip Hop Songs With Famous Ghost Writers That People Never Knew About

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: 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 bringCase 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’.

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