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:

    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.

    ^

    That’s alls I’m saying …

    * Golf Clap *

  2. JihaD Says:

    @ brandon

    Have you let anyone know your boss calls you a nigger outside of this site?

    Do you let the whores you purchase on backpage listen to your raps about another man?

    Did that imaginary asian woman you SWORE was gonna enroll you in college ever get the papers together?

    like, this is real life i’m asking you about– the shit you cant ignore when you forget to pay your cricket bill.

    JihaD

  3. Captain Planet Says:

    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. – stic.man.

    ^

    He could have easily laid all the rumors to rest

    But he didn’t

    * Sees cloud formations *

  4. tHe kiD fRanKiE Says:

    Life was good

  5. Captain Planet Says:

    Untitled ( Till Jay E tells me what to write )

  6. JJ Evans Says:

    Yall niggas are stupid.

    It’s a collaboration dawg. If ever been to studio with rapper and producers they give each other lines and shit.

    You can easily say Kanye West ghost wrote for Jay-Z.

    YALL NIGGAS IS IGNANT including Eskay.

  7. rex hussla Says:

    *sees future*

    Dream Hampton says some shit like “I left my phone at a gas station, I didn’t write those tweets” at about 7pm EST

  8. verses Says:

    stfu ekay

  9. sandusky Says:

    youtube.com/user/jihaDaNinja

    how u fail to get 200 views on a video jihad ??????

  10. JihaD Says:

    @Brandon

    So you not gonna answer those questions?

    OK

    youtube.com/watch?v=G2ppEX2d1do

    youtube.com/watch?v=rsESib8Int8&feature=related

    youtube.com/watch?v=pvggrXN9WKo

    youtube.com/watch?v=AG6SZ-Dv9OA

    Now, while your adding those #’s up, lemme go search for those B sinatra songs…Wait..

    JihaD

  11. The Shot Clock Says:

    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.

    ^

    thats an admission folks

  12. Captain Planet Says:

    Queens Get the Money ( While I try to read stic’s chickenscratch )

  13. Mel Kiper III Says:

    HE’S A PHONY!!!

    A BIG FAT PHONY!!!

  14. cOLD Says:

    so now a collaborative effort and ghostwriting are the same thing?!?

    rooight.

    an you call yourselves journalist. May I suggest first begining with the definition for ghostwriter.

    next is fact checking the sources.

    a writing instructor once told me, a scribe without citations is pure rhetoric. lastly taking quotes out of context should be deemed punishable.

  15. Captain Planet Says:

    My contributions to his album was a collaboration and an honor and under his direction of what he wanted to convey and say.

    ^

    This is as close as you could get to saying who wrote that shit without shitting on a nigga

  16. The Shot Clock Says:

    respect to eskay for writing on it instead of ducking it tho.

  17. Captain Planet Says:

    I dunno who else we can get

    stic had a chance to squash it and he didn’t

    Nas obviously has reasons not to be credible

    And Jay E is harder to reach than the American Dream

  18. Harlem World Says:

    cosign doing expensive drugs and wild sex with azaelia banks

    shes creeping into my top 5 wannabones

    nhjic

  19. sandusky Says:

    youtube.com/watch?v=G2ppEX2d1do

    youtube.com/watch?v=rsESib8Int8&feature=related

    youtube.com/watch?v=pvggrXN9WKo

    youtube.com/watch?v=AG6SZ-Dv9OA

    these numbers are horrible. are you ready to make that sacrifice?

  20. Captain Planet Says:

    Ooochie Wally ( I think that’s what Nature wrote )

  21. JihaD Says:

    *Still looking*
    *Sees no B Sinatra album, videos, or mentions*
    *Googles*
    *Finds nothing*

    Damn, your really going nowhere… not fast, not slow. Just stuck…

    Shit is funny.

    JihaD

  22. Deen Says:

    I respect Eskay’s measured approach to this fiasco, but claiming that Nas will somehow have an asterisk if these allegations are true is ridiculous. Niggas co-write/collaborate shit in the studio all the time. To varying degrees of course.

    Cormega told us a long time ago that he gave Nas the “Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…” line off “Affirmative Action” years ago. That goes beyond writing a hook. That’s an actual bar. If you wanted to trip over this stupid shit, you could have done that back in 98.

    Jay has spent a nice amount of time sharking flows and “paying homage” to niggas, but that never seems bothered anyone.

    I’m not buying any of it. I don’t care how credible dream is. Folks with credibility don’t deflect from the original topic by throwing other niggas under the bus with zero proof.

  23. Harlem World Says:

    who produced that purple kisses track

    that beat is heavenly

    im in the matrix right now

  24. Hoskins Says:

    This changes nothing niggas.

    Did people really think producers sat in a studio silent??

  25. JihaD Says:

    Deen Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 4:38 pm
    I respect Eskay’s measured approach to this fiasco, but claiming that Nas will somehow have an asterisk if these allegations are true is ridiculous. Niggas co-write/collaborate shit in the studio all the time. To varying degrees of course.

    Cormega told us a long time ago that he gave Nas the “Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…” line off “Affirmative Action” years ago. That goes beyond writing a hook. That’s an actual bar. If you wanted to trip over this stupid shit, you could have done that back in 98.

    Jay has spent a nice amount of time sharking flows and “paying homage” to niggas, but that never seems bothered anyone.

    I’m not buying any of it. I don’t care how credible dream is. Folks with credibility don’t deflect from the original topic by throwing other niggas under the bus with zero proof.

    ^

    I’m a writer not a biter for myself and others…

    JihaD

  26. sandusky Says:

    who wrote jihads rhymes????/?

    dr suess or mother goose?????

  27. The Shot Clock Says:

    I’m not buying any of it. I don’t care how credible dream is. Folks with credibility don’t deflect from the original topic by throwing other niggas under the bus with zero proof.

    ^

    My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can’t see at all

  28. sandusky Says:

    Did people really think producers sat in a studio silent??

    ^ is this a zipsquad session??????

  29. Harlem World Says:

    this is what happens when you fuck with phony niggas like jay elec

    cant keep their mouths closed like some bird

    i was saying just yday on nah how nas sounds like az on a lot of tracks on firm album

    but never thought he actually wrote the rhymes for him

    jigga >>>>

  30. Bricktop Says:

    he did not deny that he wrote lyrics for Untitled:
    ^
    Lol. What does this even mean?
    I don’t deny killing Malcolm X.
    Lmao!

  31. Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:

    NahSir > _____

  32. Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:

    SHUNG!

  33. JihaD Says:

    Damn, so Brandon, you what? 28? and still working on… what?

    Education?

    Moving up in your place of business?

    Rapping?

    Your life makes no sense, cept for you adopting the moniker of a convicted pedophile… you acknowledging that you scope lil boys cheeks at the park near your projects is just further proof you some type of faggot, doe.

    But keep doing you– I’ll keep searching for B Sinatra music that doesn’t exist. Keep googling us- I appreciate it.

    JihaD

  34. why? Says:

    Oh shit.. the blogfather typing like its old nah again?

    Anyways Nas still the GOAT. Shit can’t be worse than camel stealing bigs lyrics right? Right?

  35. JJ Evans Says:

    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.

  36. Captain Planet Says:

    Anyways Nas still the GOAT. Shit can’t be worse than camel stealing bigs lyrics right? Right?

    ^

    Big’s dead

    That’s inspiration

    Nas is reciting the work of contemporaries

  37. Deen Says:

    LOL @ this “Sandusky” screenname.

    Niggas is crazy mane…

  38. cOLD Says:

    I respect Eskay’s measured approach to this fiasco, but claiming that Nas will somehow have an asterisk if these allegations are true is ridiculous. Niggas co-write/collaborate shit in the studio all the time. To varying degrees of course.

    Cormega told us a long time ago that he gave Nas the “Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…” line off “Affirmative Action” years ago. That goes beyond writing a hook. That’s an actual bar. If you wanted to trip over this stupid shit, you could have done that back in 98.

    Jay has spent a nice amount of time sharking flows and “paying homage” to niggas, but that never seems bothered anyone.

    I’m not buying any of it. I don’t care how credible dream is. Folks with credibility don’t deflect from the original topic by throwing other niggas under the bus with zero proof.

    ^ GATTT! well said Deen.

  39. 7v5a7 Says:

    First, I appreciate Eskay speaking on the subject…
    2nd, How is Stic man’s quote an admission hat he wrote Nas entire verse?

    “My contributions to his album was a collaboration and an honor and under his direction of what he wanted to convey and say.”

    It reads too me that it was a collab on tracks, but he didnt give details to his involvement (production or writing).

  40. JJ Evans Says:

    cOLD Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 4:49 pm
    I respect Eskay’s measured approach to this fiasco, but claiming that Nas will somehow have an asterisk if these allegations are true is ridiculous. Niggas co-write/collaborate shit in the studio all the time. To varying degrees of course.

    Cormega told us a long time ago that he gave Nas the “Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…” line off “Affirmative Action” years ago. That goes beyond writing a hook. That’s an actual bar. If you wanted to trip over this stupid shit, you could have done that back in 98.

    Jay has spent a nice amount of time sharking flows and “paying homage” to niggas, but that never seems bothered anyone.

    I’m not buying any of it. I don’t care how credible dream is. Folks with credibility don’t deflect from the original topic by throwing other niggas under the bus with zero proof.

    ^ GATTT! well said Deen.
    ^^
    Ditto.

  41. JihaD Says:

    Deen Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 4:49 pm
    LOL @ this “Sandusky” screenname.

    Niggas is Pedophiles mane…

    ^

    I’m saying.

    JihaD

  42. Captain Planet Says:

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

    Why ?

  43. Leroy Green Says:

    Word.

    Jigga man been plagarized Chris Wallace rhymes repeatedly.

    But Nas is the hip hop God…so findin a singlen chink in his armor is a big deal to some.

    It doesnt knock him from the throne tho.

  44. Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:

    25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8pc5bIbej1qargt4o1_1280.jpg

    ^

    This can’t be life.

  45. The Shot Clock Says:

    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

  46. Captain Planet Says:

    A lot of niggas gon need to be put on suicide watch when Nas comes out and says yes he did receive a lot of help on the NIGGER album especially for the deep political and social issues

  47. 7v5a7 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”

  48. A 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…

  49. Captain Planet Says:

    Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8pc5bIbej1qargt4o1_1280.jpg

    ^

    This can’t be life.

    ^

    Ye looks like he’s going to P.E.

  50. A Chick 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*

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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

  54. 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

  55. 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

  56. Yasser Pair-a-gats Says:

    This nicca Kanye taking strolls and shit. SMFH.

  57. 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*

  58. why? Says:

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

  59. 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.

  60. A Says:

    Orion’s Belt Sampler : ZipsquadMusic

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

    whos gassing him?

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. 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!

  65. sealsaa Says:

    more honorable>less honorable

  66. 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

  67. 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

  68. 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.

  69. A Chick Says:

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

    Need some new music…..

  70. A Says:

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

  71. 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

  72. Captain Planet Says:

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

    Yall should be mad at him

  73. A Says:

    meltiiiiiiing shelton

  74. 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.

  75. AFGun Says:

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

  76. 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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