Did Nas Use Ghostwriters on Untitled?

So word on these internets is that Gnozir employed stic.man of dead prez and Jay Electronica to ghostwrite portions of the Untitled LP. If you’ve been in or around the New York Rap industry for any signifigant amount of time, there’s a good chance you may have heard some variation of this rumor before. This specific revelation came about on Twitter after author and journalist dream hampton tweeted the following reply to a follower’s question about Jay-Z:

 

A short time later, fwmj from rappersiknow corroborated the story with a post about a first hand conversation he had with Electronica about some work he did for Nas.

I remember hearing something similar (it was about a certain song on a different album) during my tenure at XXL, but these kinds of rumors are pretty commonplace and are mostly taken with a heaping helping of salt. Who wants to believe that one of the greatest lyricists of all time used ghostwriters? Even on one of his lesser albums? I certainly don’t, and I’m a notorious Jay-Z defender and apologist.

Regardless of what any of us want to believe, this doesn’t look good for the Little Homie. Anybody can make up a rumor, but dream is pretty credible (yeah, I know she’s friends with Jay) and she’s mentioning a specific album and claiming to have heard as many as 6 reference tracks. Not to mention that I don’t hear any denials coming from the two guys she says did the writing either. As a matter of fact stic.man posted to Facebook a couple of hours ago and while he praised Nas as one of the most prolific lyricists ever, he did not deny that he wrote lyrics for Untitled:

As far as the rumors about myself and jay electronika ghost writing for Nas, let me say this. Nas is one of the if not the most prolific original lyricist to EVER do it. My contributions to his album was a collaboration and an honor and under his direction of what he wanted to convey and say. Haters cant discredit that man’s genuis. Nas is the Don.

Now, I’ve spent many hours on this site and others debating Jay-Z vs. Nas and arguing over Nas’ strengths and weaknesses with total strangers. I’ve spent many more hours debating those same topics in real life with actual people. So obviously this is a big deal for me. The thing is, I don’t want to win the argument like this. It’s like when your favorite sports team beats their arch rivals, but it’s the week your star player is out with an injury. Sure, it’s a win, but there’s an asterisk.

And that’s not to say that if Nas got some help on portions of Untitled that would discredit his whole catalog, because it wouldn’t. But if this is proven to be true, and it comes out that either stic, Electronica or anybody else wrote anything other than a chorus, that’s gonna be a big fat ugly asterisk next to The Little Homie’s career.

Here’s to hoping this is some kind of misunderstanding.

Sidebar: This is especially troubling because now everytime I listen to the genuinely amazing Life Is Good, this is going to be in the back of my head.

Related: Here’s a clip of Nas on Big Boy’s Neighborhood last week categorically denying that he ever used a ghostwriter.


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76 Responses to “Did Nas Use Ghostwriters on Untitled?”

  1. Captain Planet Says:

    Kanye’s Fashion sense has been severely overrated

    Yall got this nigga gassed up, now he’s wearing skirts

    SMH

    He just buys nice clothes, he doesn’t know how to wear em

  2. JJ Evans Says:

    The Shot Clock Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 4:52 pm
    This is what matters.

    Illmatic is Thriller to Hip-Hop.

    Nas was 20 when Illmatic dropped and guess who ghost-wrote that album? Awaits…. no one

    Drops MIC.

    ^

    yesterday i would agree with you but now how do we know?

    it slike when they catch a journalist plaigerizing. all their work gets the side eye now.

    or the asterisk as eskay say
    ^^^
    Nigga you stupid or something. NAS WAS 20 YEARS OLD. At that point no one even knew how great he was to help him ghost write..

    Nigga use your brain.

  3. sandusky Says:

    Shelton lee..stop rappin and go mark my sons papers…or else wer gonna hav some Serious words at the next parent teacher meeting regardin ur lyrics…

    I for one dont appreciate Mr Lee forcing his students to pen 16 bar verses for him. He should be ashamed of himself

  4. sandusky Says:

    Duh.
    I tried to told y’all the Cherry Wine track sounded like he either recorded it years ago or someone else wrote it.

    You stans need air *smh*

    ^ foh hoe stfu bitch

  5. JihaD Says:

    I mean Brandon, you call pull out all your masks- ayo, a, b, B, Indian Ron, Danny Ocean, etc… shit still doesn’t explain why you still haven’t actually got free pussy ever in your life.

    still doesn’t explain why, for someone who claims to be a rapper, doesn’t actually release anything but thinly veiled love letters to other men in a hip-hop comment section.

    Still doesn’t explain why you let your boss call you a nigger, then you came here to vent about how the hate in your heart was going to consume you.

    and it DEFINITELY doesn’t explain why you asked the “wack” rapper your obsessed with for help penning your bars.

    But keep cooking tho, I’ma keep trying to google your music…

    and I’m done…

    JihaD

  6. Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:

    This nicca Kanye taking strolls and shit. SMFH.

  7. A Chick Says:

    What’s so wrong with having a ghostwriter? lol

    I remember back when I thought Foxy Brown and Lil Kim wrote their own lyrics….oh and Kayne, *smh*

  8. why? Says:

    Elliot Wilson probably lurking reading the nah comments so he can write his YN opinion shit on rapradar.

  9. The Shot Clock Says:

    Nigga you stupid or something. NAS WAS 20 YEARS OLD. At that point no one even knew how great he was to help him ghost write..

    ^

    right AZ wasn’t with him. nas was a loner…he did all of illmatic in a room by himself and then emerged with the finsihed product and shocked the world.

    c’mon its entirely probable that he was receiving help.

    look illmatic is the best rap album ever..and imo gives nas a pass on his mediocre career since. but u gotta keep an open mind.

    niggas is so scared to question their idols.

  10. A Says:

    Orion’s Belt Sampler : ZipsquadMusic

    Stats for this track
    This Week
    Plays 1
    Comments –
    Favoritings –

    whos gassing him?

  11. sealsaa Says:

    Big’s dead

    That’s inspiration

    Nas is reciting the work of contemporaries

    ^^^
    JayZ stole Nas words (during their beef) (c) “Up All Night”
    ———————

    So, taking a dead niggas words without his blessing is ok, but collabing with a living breathing nigga on a track, and paying him for his words is more honorable? Stay reaching. Jay borrowed from Raekwon too on Never Change. Far as I know, Chef is still breathing.

  12. Captain Planet Says:

    why? Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Elliot Wilson probably lurking reading the nah comments so he can write his YN opinion shit on rapradar.

    ^

    Word.

  13. The Shot Clock Says:

    This nicca Kanye taking strolls and shit. SMFH.

    ^

    old niggas go for walks

    i’m just disappointed that he went and got a broad at the tail end of her prime. i expected it from wiz but not from Ye

  14. F YOU PAY ME! Says:

    smh

    idiotic ass niggas man

    you niggas take shit out of context

    A REFERENCE TRACK IS CONCEPT/VIBE OF A SONG

    NOT BAR FOR BAR LYRIC FOR LYRIC GHOST WRITTING

    YOU KIDDIN ME OR WHAT???

    yall think Nas was on some Dre shit for Untitled?

    ARE YOU SERIOUS!

  15. sealsaa Says:

    more honorable>less honorable

  16. Captain Planet Says:

    So, taking a dead niggas words without his blessing is ok, but collabing with a living breathing nigga on a track, and paying him for his words is more honorable?

    ^

    Jay didn’t act like the words were his

    Nas did

  17. Deen Says:

    Why didn’t stic just say Nas wrote all of his lyrics ?

    Why ?

    ^^^

    Because he didn’t. It’s called “co-writing,” which isn’t the same as “ghostwriting.”

    I can imagine Nas/Jay E/stic.man sitting around and batting ideas around for songs and trading lines on some of the more conceptual shit. Let’s face it, that album is kinda deep. Ain’t a thing wrong with trying to get shit right. Besides, Nas is a superior MC to both dem niggas (and everyone else for that matter).

    Not the same as Nas telling niggas to write him verses and paying for them on some Diddy shit.

  18. F YOU PAY ME! Says:

    i want to be clear

    yall who believe this shit

    you think stic.man and jay e BAR FOR BAR wrote ENTIRE verses start to finish for nas?

    Providing a topic, vibe, feel, and beat of a song does not equate to ghost writing…all this hoopla is unwarranted man

    seriously

    stop the disrespect

  19. A Chick Says:

    Anyways *yawns* how’s that new Rick Ross album?

    Need some new music…..

  20. A Says:

    zipsquad and Shelton is trash….hang it up And mark my sons papers yo

  21. F YOU PAY ME! Says:

    can imagine Nas/Jay E/stic.man sitting around and batting ideas around for songs and trading lines on some of the more conceptual shit. Let’s face it, that album is kinda deep. Ain’t a thing wrong with trying to get shit right. Besides, Nas is a superior MC to both dem niggas (and everyone else for that matter).

    Not the same as Nas telling niggas to write him verses and paying for them on some Diddy shit.

    ^

    Thank you

    End this dumb ass debate

    how can anyone with any intelligence be concious of Nas catalog and seriously believe he had whole verses written for him

    you kiddin me or what

  22. Captain Planet Says:

    Someone please tell me why stic didn’t just say Nas wrote all his lyrics ?

    Yall should be mad at him

  23. A Says:

    meltiiiiiiing shelton

  24. hood trill stunting aka trap day man Says:

    ghostwriter really needs to be defined.

    i look define it as someone who writes a whole song that is in turn recruited by another musical artist.

    if jay E or stic didn’t write whole songs for nas to repeat for recording all these bloggers, journalists &, spectators need to fall back.

    go pick up a puff album & critique the ghost writing on that.

  25. AFGun Says:

    i wouldn’t be surprised. nas always struck me as a phony

  26. BEZ Says:

    It don’t bother me either way. I wasn’t there so it’ll always be speculative.

    Jay Roundtable been accused of the same “crimes”. Which considering he can’t even finish a song or an album for that matter, how am I supposed to believe HE of all people ghostwrote for Nasty?

    Stic. Man, I’m sure he co-wrote. His writing technique is not as flexible as Nasty’s. Does anyone even read the liner notes of CD’s?

    Nope. We all download either legally or illegally.

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