DJ Clark Kent Breaks Down What Ghostwriting Actually Means

DJ Clark Kent Breaks Down What Ghostwriting Actually Means

This goes deeper than Meek Mill versus Drake.

Published August 14, 2015

Meek Mill versus Drake has rekindled the conversation about ghostwriting in hip hop. But what exactly constitutes as ghostwriting if you’re name is on an album’s liner notes?

With so many open discussions through Rap Twitter, think pieces and interviews, the topic is still intriguing enough when a new talking head decides to speak on the matter. During this week’s episode of ItsTheReal’s A Waste of Time, they sat down with DJ Clark Kent to talk about the elements of ghost writing.

DJ Clark Kent is known for discovering Biggie and Jay Z, so he’s been in studio sessions where he’s witnessed first-hand one artist writing for another. It’s common knowledge that Biggie wrote rhymes for Lil Kim. The distinction between a ghostwriter and a songwriter is if you explicitly give them credit. If you don’t, they are considered a ghostwriter. The larger issue is if it all matters in 2015.


“I don’t know if it mattered ever because Rakim wrote ‘Summertime,’” he says. “The biggest Will Smith record ever. Nobody argued. They were like, ‘This s**t is f***ing amazing.’ But when you look at that, you look at it for what it is. It’s a song. The problem is when it comes to rap, rap is built off the braggadocio of how good you rhyme. Cool. That’s what rap is built off of. That’s not what making rap records is built off of.”

He adds, “The first rap record — half of it was written by Grandmaster Caz. He didn’t rhyme on the record. What are we talking about here? If the game that we play was built off a record that was written by who I say is the first best MC ever — so what are we looking at? What are we beefing about?”

Clark Kent also goes into detail about why Drake is an easy target in hip hop and what he has to do in case someone decides to step up to him. Later on, Clark Kent compares the rapping styles of Drake and Meek, noting that Drizzy’s pen is undeniable when you look at his Billboard-charting singles.

The podcast covers other things like Pharrell, what happened when Clark Kent introduced Shyne to Jay Z and much more. Listen to the whole thing here.

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(Photo: Terrence Jennings/Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis)

Written by Eric Diep


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