By Carter Maness
Nas is unquestionably one of raps greats, but a series accusations that he used ghostwriters on his 2008 album Untitled is currently shaking-up the hip-hop world.
Frank Miller Jr., who runs the website Rappers I Know, has specifically recounted a conversation with Jay Electronica, claiming that Elec was commission by then-Def Jam president Jay-Z to ghostwrite for the storied Queens MC. Miller felt letdown by Electronica’s revelation that he specifically penned the track “Queens Get The Money,” mirroring the reaction many fans experienced once these accusations started spreading on Twitter on August 13.
“The day Jay called me at work to tell me he was ghostwriting for Nas was a hard day for me,” he wrote, adding that he was also happy to see the rapper, who is clearly influenced by Nas, rising through the rap world.
Last week Nas responded to the allegations with a blunt denial. “No,” he said during an interview on Power 106. “You know who is my ghostwriter? My friends, people I meet on the street. People say something and I get something from that. Somebody will say something and that sparks something in me.”
Veteran journalist Dream Hampton, who carries much fan trust in the rap world, echoed the allegations and said Jay Electronica was a reliable source and that she had personally heard reference tapes for six of the album’s songs. “I think Jay writes what he believes,” she wrote. “Nas’ N—-r album was largely written by Stic of dead prez and Jay Electronica.”
Update: Sticman of dead prez added this message on this Facebook page: “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.”
Do you think Nas, one of hip-hop’s great lyricists, used a ghostwriter? If he did, does that change your opinion of his work? Let us know in the comments.