HIP HOP GHOSTS
July 26, 2015
When Meek Mill accused Drake of enlisting writers to help pen his rhymes this week, the Philly MC left hip-hop fans with more questions than answers. Then, when Hot 97’s DJ Funkmaster Flex played an alleged reference track for Drake’s “10 Bands” on the radio Wednesday, things got even crazier. Rappers with writers is nothing new; artists like Dr. Dre, Diddy and Kanye West are all known to have used writers in varying degrees. Still, for an MC like Drake, who is widely regarded as one of the game’s top lyricists, the accusations are shocking and could be damaging.
Most fans don’t know the politics of rappers with writers, and that’s because in hip-hop a ghostwriter is supposed to remain quiet. They very rarely speak out — until now. On Thursday, I sat with a well-known rapper, who moonlights as a ghostwriter for multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning and iconic hip-hop artists. This writer, who we will refer to as Aaron (in order to protect his identity), walks us through the process of ghostwriting and explains why hip-hop fans are freaking out about the new Drake rumors.