Since the recent Twitter explosion between Meek Mill and Drake has got people talking about who actually writes for who, we at Donuts have decided to put together some of our craziest finds in the blurry world of ghost-writing.
1) Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy With It
Actually Written By: Nas
First up, two ever-lasting figures who couldn’t have been more distant from each other.
Once upon a time, Hollywood superstar Will “The Fresh Prince” Smith was the poster-child of goofy, accessible Pop-Rap, while Nas had always been Hip-Hop’s underground hero, with ’94’s “Illmatic” widely considered the greatest album of the genre.
But, Nas did spend some time ghost-writing bangers for the big hitters of the industry such as Diddy and Kelis amongst others. Here, Big Willie Style got one of his biggest hits ever out of Nasty’s penmanship. If you listen carefully you can actually hear Nas’ distinct lyrical style all over the track. He apparently wrote verses for “Miami” as well.
2) Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.
Actually Witten By: Jay-Z
Jigga was quite the ghostwriter during his early years, and has written for the likes of Memphis Bleek, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim and many more.
“Still D.R.E.” is a classic, and the Doctor is well known for orchestrating the best of the best to write and produce his albums, with everyone from Kendrick to Eminem (who has done A LOT of Dre’s verses over the years) all pitching in at one time or another. It’s almost like a little internship you go through to get to the big leagues.
3) Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
Actually Written By: Grandmaster Caz
Now this is a controversial one. Hip-Hop’s first ever big group is actually hated by much of the Hip-Hop community for their selfish actions during their rise to the top.
Hip-Hop began in the streets, and by that I mean with street parties for the whole community, put on and DJed by legends such Kool Herc, DJ Red Alert and Grandmaster Flash, who incidentally used to famously scratch Chic’s “Good Times” record (which then appears in the title track on his album “The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel”).
“Rapper’s Delight” actually contains stolen verses from legendary MC Grandmaster Caz a.k.a. Casanova Fly, who used to provide vocals at the neighbourhood shindigs. It’s probably the most blatant piece of thievery you will ever hear, but if you didn’t know the backstory you’d never assume otherwise.
Caz actually used to use the late Big Bank Hank’s opening line “I’m the C-A-S-A, the N-O-V-A, and the rest is F-L-Y” as his signature sign off. I mean the dude’s name is right there, c’mon.
4) Notorious B.I.G. – Let Me Get Down
Actually Written By: Kanye West
Make of this one what you will, but it happened. The most hardcore of fans will argue till their death that Biggie was and still is the best lyricist in the game, with many of his songs originating from freestyles he spat off the top of his head in the booth. So why on earth would he need a ghostwriter?
Enter Kanye. Kanye who still back then rocked the red life preserver and backpack with the teddy bear. Young, hungry Kanye, who was THE closely guarded secret back in the late 90s, working for Diddy’s “Bad Boy Records”. Biggie died in ’97, and his post-humous album “Born Again” came out two years later, with collaborations aplenty .
Who knew Chicago native Yeezy was there as well, giving words, and beats, to the King of New York?
5) Bugs Bunny – Buggin’
Actually Written By: Jay-Z
You all remember this, don’t pretend you don’t. Space Jam’s infamous rap single from the big-eared Looney Toon head-honcho had serious street cred for a 9 year old back in the day, along with the Clarks light up shoes and tamagotchis.
And Jay wrote it. All of it.. Let that one sink in for a bit.