I came across this clip on SnapChat where Gillie was on his podcast Million Dollaraz Woth of Game talking about rap. What peaked my interest in this video was that he stated that it’s OK to get help. Not only is it OK to get help but the fact that most artists get help. He even goes on to ask, “Why when it say written by, does it never just say his name?”. Let’s breakdown some of the most iconic hit songs to see if there’s some truth to Gillie’s words.
In any other genre ghost writing is the norm. Look at Beyonce’. She has collaborated with so many songwriters including her husband Jay-Z. One example is Halo which was written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. If Beyonce’ can have help. Why can’t rappers? Look at one of the most iconic artists ever, Elvis Presley. He’s always had ghostwritters who has helped him create some of his biggest records like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (two black guys who everyone says Elvis stole the songs from). But If Elvis can have help/steal songs. I think you see the pattern here.
DRAKKKEEE!!!!! Everyone remembers the Quinton Miller controversy with Drake and Meek Mill. But in actuality the less talked about part of making a hit track is that often it’s not just one person. There’s usually a writing team. Drake even let it be known that on his new album “Her Loss” (which is a collaboration album with fellow artist 21 Savage) him and 21 Savage both wrote bars for each other. But it doesn’t stop there. GloRilla has one of the hottest runs going on and her new single “Tommorow 2” is an example of that. When you look at the ‘Written By’ section on Genius It features GloRilla, Cardi B, Macaroni Toni (who is the producer) and Pardison Fontaine who is a known ghostwriter for Cardi B. Coincidence. I think not. But again, this is one of the biggest hits of the year.
But ghost writing has to be new right? Back in the day everybody wrote their lyrics. Wrong! Here’s a few surprising songs that had ghost writers. Everybody remembers Will Smith’s hit single “Gettin Jiggy With It”. But did you know that Nas actually was the ghostwritter behind this hit? Yes Nas. When you’re talking pure hip-hop, it doesn’t get more hip-hop than Nas. But like his album said. It was written. Also everybody remembers Still D.R.E. A classic west coast hit that featured Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg together rapping once again. But did you know that this track was written by Jay-Z??? What?? An east coast rapper ghost writing for a west coast rapper. Now that’s one hell of a plot twist. And I can go on and on. It doesn’t matter what generation you're in. A hit is a hit. And most likely that hit took people to help write it.
It’s really only in hip-hop that there is this stigma against getting help when it comes to writing a song. But the question really comes down to. Would you rather have a hit? Or would you rather say, I wrote a song on my own”? Only the artists can answer that question. Because to the millions of fans still streaming the song, it doesn't matter. In the interview Gillie went on further to say that, "Do you have a hit record? Because at the end of the day, That's all that fuckin' matters. Nuthin else matters!"
Do you agree?
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Also watch the episode of Millon Dollaz Worth of Game below: