The #1 rule of ghostwriting in rap is not to talk about ghostwriting in rap. Freddie Gibbs and Kendrick Lamar are not only two of the most exciting up-and-coming performers in the game, but dynamic writers as well, so it’s no wonder that others would enlist the two rap rookies to pen lyrics. Not that Gangsta Gibbs or K. Dot would reveal their list of clients.
“Shhh, don’t tell nobody,” Gibbs joked on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live” when asked if he has ever writing lyrics for another MC.
Still, show host Sway Calloway pressed on. “Is it a written agreement, is it a verbal agreement?” he asked.
“It’s a money agreement with me. If your money ain’t talking, I’mma talk. I’mma bust you out and say, ’Yeah, I wrote that for him,’ ” Gibbs replied before admitting that he has lent his pen to about five different artists since his rise through rap’s ranks.
Kendrick was even more cryptic. Since his name started buzzing in late 2009, Lamar has been rumored to have written lyrics for some of the game’s biggest artists, but nothing has ever been confirmed.
When Game dropped his R.E.D. Album on August 23, however, both Lamar and Jay-Z protégé J. Cole received writing credit on “Drug Test,” a song neither of them appeared on vocally. Instead, the song features Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, singer Sly and, of course, Game.
“Yeah, we had some work to do with that,” Kendrick confirmed before explaining the process. “With writer’s credit, it can be anything from a melody, to just an idea thrown into the air. As long as they give you the credit for it, it doesn’t initially have to be the writing though. … I just threw a few ideas in the air.”