Legendary Music Producer D-Dot had a lot to say on the Drink Champs Podcast from Tuesday regarding artists writing their own lyrics. The guests of the podcast were discussing the beef between Meek Mill and Drake from the root of the issue to the actual records to two prominent MC’s dissed each other.
The argument that was being made was that although lyrically it is widely believed that Drake’s “Back to Back” diss track was superior to Meek’s response track, “Wanna Know” but because Drake is known to have writers (which was Meek’s argument for why he shouldn’t be compared to Drake) he cannot really claim victory over the Philly rapper.
During the debate on DJ EFN and N.O.R.E.‘s podcast which featured special guests Comedian Tony Rock, Legendary rapper Ras Kass, and Philly music scene icon Charlie Mack, D-Dot went on a tirade about rapper’s writing their own lyrics.
“If I told ya’ll stories about some of the greatest rappers who had bars written for them…” D-Dot shouted three minutes past the one hour mark on the podcast. “The greatest rappers of all time had bars written for them.”
D-Dot did not specifically name any artists, but did describe a scene of a Roc-A-Fella studio session with Jay-Z, Beanie Siegel, Young Chris, and Memphis Bleek where the rappers more than likely bounced ideas off of each other.
“This is called production. It’s not called may the best man write the best verse…There’s no rule book to hip-hop.”
Ever since the beef between Meek and Drake, the argument of can you be considered great as a rapper if you have or had a ghostwriter has been widely debated in the culture. Charlie Mack argued during the podcast that the origins of hip-hop came from the ability to write your own material with Noreaga argues that a rapper cannot be considered top five if he has a ghostwriter.
However, as hip-hop has grown, new artists have not been shy about seeking someone else’s penmanship for a record. Rappers like Cyhi Tha Prince, Swae Lee and Styles P have made careers ghostwriting while artists like Kanye West, Drake, Puff Daddy, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Will Smith have been known to have bars written for them.
The ultimate question in rap is, what’s more important in a rap song, who’s saying it, or what’s being said? Would someone really feel differently about Drake’s Take Care album if they found out he didn’t write 100 percent of his lyrics? Probably not. Would Cyhi Tha Prince sell more records if the world knew how much lyrical content he contributed to Kanye West’s music? Maybe.
But the takeaway from D-Dot’s argument is that there are “no rules in hip-hop” which is 100 percent true and could even go a step further and say there are no rules to music as a whole — or art in general for that matter. A fan can have as many expectations from their favorite artists as they want, but at the end of the day when a fan hears a song they aren’t asking who wrote the lyrics, they’re deciding if the track is fire or if its not.
Watch the Full Episode Below: