The Great Disappearing Act 2: The Ghostwriter Follow-Up

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Last week, I wrote an article on ghostwriting and ghost-producing in the music industry. I suppose I was living under a rock and forgot to mention the entire feud between Drake and Meek Mill in July about – you guessed it – ghostwriting.  In hip-hop especially, something that we appreciate most about artists is their creativity when it comes to writing lyrics. What began this entire debacle was actually Drake and Mill’s collaboration, “R.I.C.O.”, on Mill’s latest album, Dreams Worth More Than Money. Mill accused Drake of using ghostwriters on his verses for the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgRrxFsX538

 

It is no secret that even in hip-hop and rap ghostwriting has always existed, from Dr. Dre openly admitting to using others’ lyrics penned for him, to artists like Skillz who have made a career almost exclusively out of ghostwriting for others. Meek Mill is making the point that Drake is definitely one of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry today, but how can we bestow that title upon him if he isn’t even writing his own material?

While I completely empathize with Mill on this one, I can’t argue about the big picture of being a rapper here-and-now. It’s not only the lyrics that count, there’s also delivering strong hooks, themes, imagery, and the overall impact you make on your listeners and how many people will hear your record. Drake definitely has the better standing in the industry than Mill even if Mill does have a stronger “pen” game. And I haven’t even mentioned the back-and-forth dis tracks flying between the two.

Thinking about it, ghostwriting never seemed to be a problem until we found out it was happening. Does it even matter if artists like Drake are still getting our attention? Whose side do you take on this feud?