Behind the scenes ghostwriting has been going on for years, but since recent allegations against Drake swarmed the internet calling him out, it is a topic bulldozing its way into the forefront of the hip hop music scene. The music industry has evolved tremendously over the last 15 years and so what was seemingly a "hush hush" secret, is now under attack. Oddly enough, it is not the critics or even the fans throwing these "lyricists" under the bus, but other artists who are looking to finally be heard while destroying the superstar's and their ironclad street credibility.
However, way back in the days of the Motown movement amid the success of the Barry Gordys, Marvin Gayes and Smokey Robinsons of the world, there has always been back-end, highly intelligent minds plugged into the mainstream subconscious of average everyday Americans and other target demographics to drive sales of music track releases. In pop culture, there is a continual force mimicking a current trend and feeding the mass public what they crave from their artists. Hip-hop is no different. Whether it is hard heavy hitting beats or lyrics with a millennial message, producers create the sound influenced by the underground and transitioning it mainstream. It's the circle of life in the music industry. Fans become comfortable with the genre and the lyrics which they listen to thinking its original content straight from the mind of someone just like them.
But when artists are called out for not being the mastermind behind the biggest radio hits, the crossover oftentimes results in social media battles, public declarations of selling out and other harsh name calling. Even these entertaining and epic Twitter wars resort to becoming a mainstream part of business. Bottom line, artists do not inspire and create alone. I don't understand why this is breaking news, or that the cat has been let out of the bag that some of our favorites get help with lyrics, hooks, production, etc. Regardless of ghostwriters, this is the music blasting at the clubs, pulsating on our commutes home and so on...
On The Rise
When an artist experiences the "come up", there is a team of professionals who lead them to prosperity and multiply their fan base. Protection and consistency is key in the game, but once they have gone from rags to riches, their status ultimately changes while their image must remain to validate the needs of the fans. Hip-hop and rap artists attract their own community in the beginning before all of the fame and money, then society expects for them to keep it hood even after getting out of lesser circumstances or the conditions that they are accustomed to.
After speaking with underground, yet on the rise member of YBM music, Efficial shared his thoughts, "Personally if you are considered one of the greatest right now and to be put on blast for not being the lyricist that you're thought to be, you deserve some of that backlash for not giving at least some credit to the minds behind your music..."if someone is writing for you". We are artists and at the end of the day that's our job to be creative and make a masterpiece amongst other things! If you are not behind that art, let it be known, especially as a "Rap Artist". It's okay to have help but to steal or have someone ghost write for you and hide it ain't the business, the fans won't respect that at all. These people pay for a piece of our mind and lives, so why portray someone else in your art and pretend it's you? This is just my opinion and can only speak for me and me only. I feel as if we should be open about the hands in the making of what we do. It's too many people hindering others because they want all the lime light!!! Let them shine you already have yours! Bottom line is I have no problem with ghost writing at all, but let it be known! It's not taking away from your ability, it's just being 100% with yourself and others. Drops mic."
It is important to stay true to yourself but allow people into your camp that can enhance your craft and broaden your horizons by thinking outside of the box. Maybe then you will increase your odds of success and establish your position in the industry. When you become a successful artist, we call it 'THE GIFT (being able to share your artistic talent with new fans) AND THE CURSE (keeping it real with the fans that help you get where you're presently at). All great artists have been at that crossroad wondering which direction to go, leaving many to turn back in fear of the unknown while others plowed ahead and found a comfortable medium within themselves to appeal to the majority and not just the minority…