Poison Pen: When Ghostwriters Strike

Memphis Bleek admits that Jay Z inked songs for him.

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Is That Your... Song? - Ghostwriting was once a taboo in hip hop although we all know that it's been going on behind the scenes since rap's creation. Jay Z's magical pen has crafted hits for Dr. Dre and Foxy Brown over the years and Memphis Bleek recently revealed that Hov penned his verse on "Coming of Age" from the Roc boss's 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.Jigga definitely isn't the only phantom scribe. Read on for more.(Photo: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

T.I. Denies Helping Iggy Get "Fancy" - Nicki Minaj seemed to be throwing darts directly at Iggy Azlaea when she accepted her Best Female Hip Hop Artist trophy at the BET Awards in June and she insinuated that there are more rappers than we know who don't write their own rhymes. Iggy's mentor, Tip, has downplayed the accusations, saying he's not a ghostwriter. But he has crafted hits for other artists in the past, so maybe he has another name for it.  (Photos from Left:  Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/BET/Getty Images for BET)

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T.I. Denies Helping Iggy Get "Fancy" - Nicki Minaj seemed to be throwing darts directly at Iggy Azlaea when she accepted her Best Female Hip Hop Artist trophy at the BET Awards in June and she insinuated that there are more rappers than we know who don't write their own rhymes. Iggy's mentor, Tip, has downplayed the accusations, saying he's not a ghostwriter. But he has crafted hits for other artists in the past, so maybe he has another name for it.  (Photos from Left:  Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Kanye West and D-Dot - Kanye's been at the center of "ghost producing and writing" credits a few times before ? but in this case he was the one who supposedly wasn't getting credit. Kanye was a prot?g? of Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie and Yeezy hinted he ghost-produced for his mentor on his 2004 song "Last Call," explaining, "I was messin with D-Dot also. People ...started talking about the ghost production. But that's how I got in the game." D-Dot wasn't feeling the implications, telling XXL in 2011, "He didn't do right by his O.G... I didn't rob him. All that ghost production s--t he started and had the world makin' 'em think that he did everything.?  (Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images For BET, Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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Kanye West and D-Dot - Kanye's been at the center of "ghost producing and writing" credits a few times before — but in this case he was the one who supposedly wasn't getting credit. Kanye was a protégé of Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie and Yeezy hinted he ghost-produced for his mentor on his 2004 song "Last Call," explaining, "I was messin with D-Dot also. People ...started talking about the ghost production. But that's how I got in the game." D-Dot wasn't feeling the implications, telling XXL in 2011, "He didn't do right by his O.G... I didn't rob him. All that ghost production s--t he started and had the world makin' 'em think that he did everything.” (Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images For BET, Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Say It Ain't So, Nas - The rap world was shocked when allegations that Jay Electronica and stic.man of dead prez ghostwrote for Nas on his 2008 Untitled album surfaced. All three rappers denied the claims.  (Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet Rose, Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)

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Say It Ain't So, Nas - The rap world was shocked when allegations that Jay Electronica and stic.man of dead prez ghostwrote for Nas on his 2008 Untitled album surfaced. All three rappers denied the claims. (Photos from left: Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet Rose, Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)

Roscoe Dash Bombs on Kanye and Wale - Atlanta rapper Roscoe Dash went on a good-ol' Twitter tirade in 2012, claiming he wrote Kanye's "To the World" and Wale's "Lotus Flower Bomb" but didn't receive credit. Though he didn't write the entire songs, time revealed that he was part of the creative process and his gripe wasn't in vain.   (Photos from left: PacificCoastNews.com, Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images For BET)

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Roscoe Dash Bombs on Kanye and Wale - Atlanta rapper Roscoe Dash went on a good-ol' Twitter tirade in 2012, claiming he wrote Kanye's "To the World" and Wale's "Lotus Flower Bomb" but didn't receive credit. Though he didn't write the entire songs, time revealed that he was part of the creative process and his gripe wasn't in vain.  (Photos from left: PacificCoastNews.com, Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images For BET)

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Twista Calls Out...MC Lyte? - Responding to the Nas ghostwriting controversy in a 2012 interview with MsDramaTV, Twista sparked controversy with: "Hip hop started with artists who didn't write their lyrics," he said. "If you study back and look at the first rap songs that came out, some of the rappers didn't write lyrics for some of their songs. I know there are songs, like LL [Cool J] helped MC Lyte write certain songs, or this person helped this person. Always in hip hop that's been going on." (Photos from left: Phil McCarten/PictureGroup, John Amis/PictureGroup, Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

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Twista Calls Out...MC Lyte? - Responding to the Nas ghostwriting controversy in a 2012 interview with MsDramaTV, Twista sparked controversy with: "Hip hop started with artists who didn't write their lyrics," he said. "If you study back and look at the first rap songs that came out, some of the rappers didn't write lyrics for some of their songs. I know there are songs, like LL [Cool J] helped MC Lyte write certain songs, or this person helped this person. Always in hip hop that's been going on." (Photos from left: Phil McCarten/PictureGroup, John Amis/PictureGroup, Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

Prince Blesses the Bangles - At the height of his epic '80s awesomeness, Prince wrote the breakthrough hit "Manic Monday" for girl group the Bangles  ? but for some reason he used the pseudonym "Christopher" in the credits. Then again, this is one of the least strange things Prince has done. (Photo: ABC)

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Prince Blesses the Bangles - At the height of his epic '80s awesomeness, Prince wrote the breakthrough hit "Manic Monday" for girl group the Bangles  — but for some reason he used the pseudonym "Christopher" in the credits. Then again, this is one of the least strange things Prince has done. (Photo: ABC)

Diddy Did It - Diddy makes no secret of the fact that he uses ghostwriters and ghost-producers: "Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks," he famously rhymed on "Bad Boy 4 Life." His heartfelt letter to B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You" was actually written by former Jay Z associate Sauce Money. Meanwhile, Pete Rock has claimed that Diddy ripped off the beat for Biggie's "Juicy" from him. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Diddy Did It - Diddy makes no secret of the fact that he uses ghostwriters and ghost-producers: "Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks," he famously rhymed on "Bad Boy 4 Life." His heartfelt letter to B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You" was actually written by former Jay Z associate Sauce Money. Meanwhile, Pete Rock has claimed that Diddy ripped off the beat for Biggie's "Juicy" from him. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Large Professor Schools Eric B. & Rakim - The veteran Queens rapper-producer is widely recognized as an uncredited producer on Eric B & Rakim's third album, 1990's Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em. "I wasn?t on the professional side, like, ?Show me the contracts,'" Pro told Complex years later. "I was just in there doing beats. I had no contractual obligations with Eric B., because that?s who had me in there... It wasn?t like, ?You?re going to get credited for this and that.?"  (Photos from left: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images, Courtesy of RakimandEricB.com)

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Large Professor Schools Eric B. & Rakim - The veteran Queens rapper-producer is widely recognized as an uncredited producer on Eric B & Rakim's third album, 1990's Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em. "I wasn’t on the professional side, like, ‘Show me the contracts,'" Pro told Complex years later. "I was just in there doing beats. I had no contractual obligations with Eric B., because that’s who had me in there... It wasn’t like, ‘You’re going to get credited for this and that.’" (Photos from left: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images, Courtesy of RakimandEricB.com)

The Mis-Crediting of Lauryn Hill - Just a few months after her Grammy-winning blockbuster solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, came out in 1998, Lauryn was sued by New-Ark, a group of musicians and producers who worked on the album with her. The lawsuit claimed that the crew wasn't properly credited for co-writing and co-producing the majority of the album; it was settled out of court for $5 million in 2001.  (Photo: Curtis Means/NBC NewsWire)

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The Mis-Crediting of Lauryn Hill - Just a few months after her Grammy-winning blockbuster solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, came out in 1998, Lauryn was sued by New-Ark, a group of musicians and producers who worked on the album with her. The lawsuit claimed that the crew wasn't properly credited for co-writing and co-producing the majority of the album; it was settled out of court for $5 million in 2001.  (Photo: Curtis Means/NBC NewsWire)

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"Airplanes" Had a Co-Pilot - In 2012, Christine Dominguez sued Kinetics and One Love, the production team behind B.o.B.'s smash single "Airplanes," claiming she helped co-write the song but didn't receive credit or compensation.  (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images for Heineken)

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"Airplanes" Had a Co-Pilot - In 2012, Christine Dominguez sued Kinetics and One Love, the production team behind B.o.B.'s smash single "Airplanes," claiming she helped co-write the song but didn't receive credit or compensation.  (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images for Heineken)

Ghostwriter's Delight - Rap's first ghostwriting controversy started with Sugar Hill Gang's 1979 classic "Rapper's Delight." Group member Big Bank Hank lifted his rhymes from the Cold Crush Brothers' Grandmaster Caz, whom he used to manage. You can even hear Hank spell out "Casanova Fly," Caz's nickname in the track. Caz never received credit ? or a single dime ? despite the song's continued worldwide success. (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com)

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Ghostwriter's Delight - Rap's first ghostwriting controversy started with Sugar Hill Gang's 1979 classic "Rapper's Delight." Group member Big Bank Hank lifted his rhymes from the Cold Crush Brothers' Grandmaster Caz, whom he used to manage. You can even hear Hank spell out "Casanova Fly," Caz's nickname in the track. Caz never received credit — or a single dime — despite the song's continued worldwide success. (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com)

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Dr. Dre  - Dre has used an all-star roster of ghostwriters for his rhymes throughout his career — The D.O.C., Eminem, Ice Cube, Jay Z, Royce Da 5'9". However, he's also been dogged by accusations that he doesn't give co-producers — including Big Hutch, Warren G, Daz, Melman and Scott Storch — credit for their contributions.  (Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Jesus Walks...With a Ghostwriter - Kanye's many monologues (or "rants," if you will) are all his own, but it's no secret that he uses ghostwriters for his music. One of his first hits, "Jesus Walks," was co-penned by Rhymefest.   (Photos from left: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images, Paul Natkin/WireImage)

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Jesus Walks...With a Ghostwriter - Kanye's many monologues (or "rants," if you will) are all his own, but it's no secret that he uses ghostwriters for his music. One of his first hits, "Jesus Walks," was co-penned by Rhymefest.  (Photos from left: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images, Paul Natkin/WireImage)

Keri vs. Beyonc? - Even the almighty Beyonc? has had to deal with ghostwriter scandals. "If I Were a Boy" was written by San Diego singer-songwriter BC Jean, who only received credit after legal wrangling. Meanwhile, some have suggested that Keri Hilson, who's been credited as co-writer on some Bey songs, was taking shots at her client with these lines from the 2008 song "Turnin' Me On": "You can dance, she can sing, but need to move it to the left," Keri sings, possibly referencing Bey's "Irreplaceable." "Go 'head tell these folks how long I been writing your songs?check the credits." (Photos from left:  John Ricard/BET, Enrique RC/PacificCoastNews.com)

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Keri vs. Beyoncé - Even the almighty Beyoncé has had to deal with ghostwriter scandals. "If I Were a Boy" was written by San Diego singer-songwriter BC Jean, who only received credit after legal wrangling. Meanwhile, some have suggested that Keri Hilson, who's been credited as co-writer on some Bey songs, was taking shots at her client with these lines from the 2008 song "Turnin' Me On": "You can dance, she can sing, but need to move it to the left," Keri sings, possibly referencing Bey's "Irreplaceable." "Go 'head tell these folks how long I been writing your songs…check the credits." (Photos from left:  John Ricard/BET, Enrique RC/PacificCoastNews.com)

Two Words: Milli Vanilli - Hey, it could be worse for some of your favorite artists. Milli Vanilli used ghost everything.  (Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

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Two Words: Milli Vanilli - Hey, it could be worse for some of your favorite artists. Milli Vanilli used ghost everything. (Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images)