Ghostwriting vs. Songwriting

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  • Ghostwriting vs. Songwriting
  • 5
    #6170
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Bag of Ice
    Points: 733

    Post-Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘beef of the era’, the smoke is clearing, yet there lies one debate that lingers in the air. How relevant is an artist of any calibur that uses a ‘ghostwriter’?  A ghostwriter is basically a mystery person that writes a song or contributes to the writing of a song, that is claimed and performed by another person as their own. For AGES, musicians have hired songwriters or purchased songs from writers. Motown, one of the most legendary music labels of ALL TIME, had TEAMS of writers for icons of the culture such as The Jackson 5, Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and so many more. In the realm of R&B, Rock, Pop, Funk, and even Soul-songwriters play a big part in creating some of the biggest and greatest hits of all time.

    It’s only when it comes to hip-hop/rap, that stellar songwriting teams take a plummet. Hip Hop artists/rappers, gain their respect and relevency in the genre by their message, which is conveyed by lyrics which are firsthand accounts of their life, experiences, thoughts and viewpoints. To some, having a ‘songwriter’ kills the authenticity of the emcee’s word. With this being known, many artists use ‘ghostwriters’ that write or contribute to songs, without taking any credit. Many successful rappers, such as: Drake, Cardi B, Travis Scott, Kanye West etc are known to use ghostwriters for some of their biggest hits. Which leads me to my opinion about the whole thing.

    I don’t have any quarrels with artists that collaborate with songwriters to write a song or have someone write a song as long as the writer is given credit and the artist is also a self-authored lyricist.  There is a big difference between an artist that collaborates and an artist that consistently uses other peoples lyrics to find success and claim it solely as their artistic expression.

    Every since the Kendrick vs. Drake situation, artists of all genres are voicing their disdain for ghostwriters (which Drake is famously known to have). But what I am seeing is a lack of knowledge between the differences between songwriting and ghostwriting.  It is foolish to discredit an artist for collaborating with another creative to any regard. Using a songwriter is a matter of function and preference. But, but I feel it doesn’t diminish the credibility of the artist unless they are taking the credit and using that as their sole mode of creation.

    2
    #6226
    chubes
    HMFIC
    Rank: Frozen Foods Isle
    Points: 10390

    I fully agree with this sentiment especially in regards to the recent beef in the Charleston music scene where Tyrie caught heat for an old collaboration with Anfernee. I strongly disagreed with the hater’s take on that one.

    Our music scene is way too small to be pissed off that one artist collaborated with another.

    3
    #6234
    tylerclapper
    Participant
    Rank: Droplet
    Points: 16.25

    Sometimes it takes an army. Nothing wrong with that.

    https://genius.com/Travis-scott-sicko-mode-lyrics/q/writer

    3
    #6263
    Kaitheczar
    Participant
    Rank: Dew
    Points: 11.75

    I think this was well put, I do think there’s nuance to be recognized in the idea that Kanye and Drake have had songwriters but have always operated under the guise of being “emcees” and the “Best Rapper” so in the purists stand point they are nulled from that conversation and it appears more like they have ghostwriters because of the stoic nature they went forward with their pen and character.

    2
    #6272
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Bag of Ice
    Points: 733

    @Kaitheczar I can definitely feel what you’re saying: from the eyes of people sticking true to the essence of lyricism- people with ghostwriters can lay claim to being the best emcees. True. Very true. But how many actually claim to be the best? It’s one thing to put it in a bar in the spirit of competition and just the nature of the game and another thing to truly claim it. Kanye and Drake both use ghostwriters, yes, but they also have written a multitude of hits, bops, legendary tracks on their own. They have and exhibit, at a high level, every attribute of what it means to be an emcee or elite rapper. Will they ever be fully respected as that, probably not lol

     

    1
    #6273
    zymed
    Participant
    Rank: Dew
    Points: 4

    @Indigxld I feel like both Kanye and Drake have both claimed to be the best though. It’s apart of their whole demeanor. Especially Kanye. Andre 3000 has lyrics regarding ghostwriting:

    “After 20 years in
    I’m so naive I was under the impression that everyone wrote they own verses
    It’s coming back different and yea that shit hurts me
    I’m humming and whistling to those not deserving
    I’ve stumbled and lived every word, was I working just way too hard?”

    Not saying he’s the most reasonable voice in hip hop to listen to on the topic, but it’s a different perspective.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by zymed.
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