Let’s All F**king Relax About This Nas Ghostwriting Sh*t
August 19th, 2012
Yo, relax for a minute. Hey, I said RELAX. FUCKING RELAX!!!
If you were to scroll through Twitter today, you’d think video of Ace Hood writing “Triple Beam Dreams” had surfaced. Across my timeline all I see is “The God is dead”, “Nas is a fraud” and “Someone probably wrote all of ‘Illmatic’ too” tweets.
As is so often the case in the interwebs era though, small events get magnified into insane portions. Let’s all take a deep breath and go over what actually happened.
1) Some random dude who used to work at Hot 97 wrote that one time Jay Electronica called him and said he was ghostwriting for Nas. We have no idea if random dude is lying about the call, or if Jay Elec was lying when called random dude, or what Elec really meant by “ghostwriting”.
2) Dream Hampton decided to chime in and claim that:
And then there’s that “largely” word – largely? If you look at the liner notes for “Untitled”, Stic is given writing credit for the three tracks he produced, and Jay Elec is given writing credit for the one track he produced (as is standard practice). There’s a world of difference between writing an entire album and producers getting writing credit on four tracks.
To recap, two (essentially) random journalists have claimed, without any proof, that maybe Jay Elec and Stic contributed to the writing on “Untitled”. The only “proof” I’ve seen is a lot of folks claiming that “Queens Get the Money” sounds a lot like Jay Elec’s writing style. (These claims are usually preceded by some version of “I’ve listened to more Jay Elec/Nas than anyone ever, so I know…)
It’s not like Nas was Plies before this track, it’s a pretty short jump from “One Mic” to “Queens Get the Money”. It’s perfectly reasonable to think that one of the greatest writers to ever live could pretty easily adapt his flow and writing to be influenced by the people around him.
Here’s what we do actually know.
Nas has gone on record (before this whole thing exploded) insisting that he’s never used a ghostwriter, saying, “You know who’s my ghostwriters? My friends, people I meet on the street, the things I read. I hear people say something and I get something from that. I could just be having a conversation…somebody will say something and it will spark something in me. I get it from everybody.”
But if we just relax and don’t get caught up in all the internet craziness, here’s our worst case scenario: Jay Elec wrote a song for Nas one time. If that’s the worst case scenario, I can live with that. Some small measure of “did somehow else write this?” will be in the very back of my head when I hear Nas from now on, but right now that small measure is completely unfounded and I’m doing my best to just ignore it.
In other words, at least for now, just fucking relax and keep listening to Nas’ music. He’s still one of the best to ever do it, and he’s done far too much for Twitter rumors to discredit that legacy.
UPDATE: Jay Elec weighs in: