Off Topic Should Rappers Write Their Own Lyrics?

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It's a never-ending debate as to whether or not rappers should write their own lyrics or have them done by a ghost writer.

Ice Cube was quoted recently with saying, "As far as emceeing and being a rapper, you should write your own stuff.”

In other genres of music, it's common practice to have a songwriter write for the artist and it's widely accepted, of course. The issue is with Rap music. Rappers are expected to write their own lyrics and if they don't, they get clowned.

But is that right? I think so.

Ghostwriting In All Its Glory

Now don't get me wrong - I completely understand if a rapper gets someone else to help them with their lyrics, but to write the whole thing? Nope. This is because Rap music is based upon rappers that are speaking their minds and telling the listener what his/her life is like - the struggles, hardships, and also the fun times. So how can someone else just walk into a room and hand said rapper some lyrics? "Here are your lyrics, sir. It's about how hard you had it growing up in the hood".

WTF?

It's different with music production. If I'm working on a beat and another beatmaker or producer tells me I should change this or that, it's actually welcomed criticism because it will only enhance my beat. The same can't be said for Rap lyrics. How can someone write lyrics for a rapper and tell that rapper's story? Unless it's just regular stale lyrics like:

"I got enemies, got a lotta enemies
Got a lotta people tryna drain me of my energy
They tryna take the wave from a nigga
Fuckin' with the kid and pray for your nigga"

- Drake "Energy"

Straight up garbage like that can be written by anyone. This is why there's been all sorts of drama lately between Drake and Meek Mill, where Meek called out Drake, saying he didn't write his own lyrics:


As you can see, this is a perfect example of how people react to a rapper not writing his own lyrics (not that I consider Drake "Hip Hop" anyway, but that's a whole other issue).

It's All About Staying True

I was going to quote a Rap song from years ago to show the difference in style of lyrics from then until now but it's not about that (plus I don't know if those lyrics were ghost written either). Back in the day I'm sure there were plenty of rappers that had their lyrics written for them as well but we didn't hear about it like we do today with social media.

From a record label's point of view, I understand. They want a song to be recorded and they don't care how it gets done, just as long as it sounds great and can sell and go viral. So if that means that there needs to be 10 producers and 20 ghostwriters, then so be it.

However, from the point of view of a Hip Hop fan - hell no! How weird would it be if you saw a rapper freestlying in a cypher and it's lyrics that someone else wrote? It's like if there's a cypher and everyone's reciting lyrics to popular songs. Makes no sense.

And that ain't Hip Hop. What do you think?
 
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TjombaBeats

Mister Miyagi Beats
Battle Points: 25
If you can rap really good you got skills and eventually writing is part of rapping. Let's say the writing skill sucks but your rap skills are very good i still think your rap skills suffer just because your writing skill is not on the same level. I have more respect for a rapper that writes his own lyrics and records it instead of letting some other dude write his lyrics and eventually use that to record. With rapping comes writing.. Even with rapping you will have to practice the same goes for writing.
 

Primz

ILLIEN
Battle Points: 281
Thats the difference between underground deep rappers and mainstream artists. You will not hear cannabis at a club jumping off over Drake. I think it depends on your objective as a 'rapper'. Rappers are Rappers and entertainers are different. We seem to be still stuck on the days of PAC and Biggie but hip-hop has moved on. People want catchy, that is what sells records. End of the day, the deep rappers faded into the background.
 

OGBama

Cool Black Woman. Cig Blit Energy.
I @Primz always believed a rapper should be both catchy and entertaining but when I say entertaining I mean in the move the crowd sense not make a minstrel out one's self for on social media and/or mainstream news outlets sense.
 

Primz

ILLIEN
Battle Points: 281
I @Primz always believed a rapper should be both catchy and entertaining but when I say entertaining I mean in the move the crowd sense not make a minstrel out one's self for on social media and/or mainstream news outlets sense.
i agree, but isint the whole point to make money out of it? Having a passion without the commercial success just means we broke lol
 

OGBama

Cool Black Woman. Cig Blit Energy.
What @2GooD Productions age and year did you find out? I figured in my late teens it was/is fraudulent when rappers weren't ever really rich.
 

TjombaBeats

Mister Miyagi Beats
Battle Points: 25
Thats the difference between underground deep rappers and mainstream artists. You will not hear cannabis at a club jumping off over Drake. I think it depends on your objective as a 'rapper'. Rappers are Rappers and entertainers are different. We seem to be still stuck on the days of PAC and Biggie but hip-hop has moved on. People want catchy, that is what sells records. End of the day, the deep rappers faded into the background.

But some did stay. There is one rapper who even teamed up and made a dutch rap about exactly this problem. Some rap just for fun and some rap for money and fame. But i'm always on the lookout for them underground rappers it's like they rap for fun and you can definetly tell in their raps they practiced allot or didn't every ear is different ofcourse but for me it's nothing more than fun making beats. But what i ussually do like allot is seeing the rapper his progress through time and practice. I made a couple of raps never posted them but i do keep them on my mp3 from time to time like listening to them. It's when you actually start rapping you see what kind of work it can be just to get that rap good on a beat. twisting words scratch them off or leave them be. I never expected rapping on a beat to be so much work you can't see all you know there's some nice rap artists out there who shared their rap while making it could take up several times in a studio just to get that rap perfect on the beat. And shape the beat on the rap or the other way around.
 
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Moderator
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 800
But some did stay. There is one rapper who even teamed up and made a dutch rap about exactly this problem. Some rap just for fun and some rap for money and fame. But i'm always on the lookout for them underground rappers it's like they rap for fun and you can definetly tell in their raps they practiced allot or didn't every ear is different ofcourse but for me it's nothing more than fun making beats. But what i ussually do like allot is seeing the rapper his progress through time and practice. I made a couple of raps never posted them but i do keep them on my mp3 from time to time like listening to them. It's when you actually start rapping you see what kind of work it can be just to get that rap good on a beat. twisting words scratch them off or leave them be. I never expected rapping on a beat to be so much work you can't see all you know there's some nice rap artists out there who shared their rap while making it could take up several times in a studio just to get that rap perfect on the beat. And shape the beat on the rap or the other way around.
exactly, horses for courses. Hip Hop used to be so diverse that there was something for everyone. Now you have to dig for the good stuff.
 

Fade

The Beat Strangler
Administrator
*** illest o.g. ***
Battle Points: 1
Yeah I had no problem listening to a tape with Ice Cube and the next track being De La Soul. It was all good.

I don't think there's video of KRS doing that,is there? I remember reading that and was lmao.
 

OGBama

Cool Black Woman. Cig Blit Energy.
The @Fade @2GooD Productions something for everyone is still around, just have to dig as always, but the everyone part is questionable if you know how Hip Hop was painted into the youth culture box hence record labels in the past saying when rappers were 25 they were old. GTFOH with that as I since my late teens separated youth culture from adult participation. My advocacy for adult themes/participation in the music is why, even when I don't listen to much, I'm a Hip Hop lifer with a critical view. Other genres I love equally are R&B/soul (the classic shit not this Auto Tune trash and some contemporary like Gregory Porter, etc.), Rock (I'm just now digging into Black Rock), Funk, some Jazz, Gospel.
 

Fade

The Beat Strangler
Administrator
*** illest o.g. ***
Battle Points: 1
Yeah but it's just not the same. Plus it just sucks that nowadays everyone says "you just have look". I don't want to look! I want it to be the main music, not some random underground stuff that music fans ignore.
 

OGBama

Cool Black Woman. Cig Blit Energy.
I've @Fade gotten to a point where when/if I do find some potentially good tracks, etc. I barely have time to listen and enjoy. I always wanted every genre in Black music to co exist, albeit with separate charts e.g. Billboard merging R&B/Hip-Hop charts should have never happened.
 

Raninthacut

Beatmaker
yes and KIND OF no. i dont write my lyrics unless the beat calls for it. I freestyle, but as for ghost writers? I think the ghost writers should start rapping lol
 

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