The now defunct Meek Mill Vs. Drake rap beef may have been lopsided in hindsight but one can not deny that it brought the discussion of rappers using ghostwriters to the forefront.
When prominent Drake producer Noah “40” Shebib sent out a series of tweets in defense of his friend and frequent collaborator, he did not outright deny Drizzy’s use of other writers. Instead, Shebib brought up the fact that rap is the only genre that frowns upon performers not writing their songs and added that Drake has a “skill to recognize other great songs.”
In a recent interview with Vlad TV, author, lecturer, and close confidant to Lil Wayne, Karrine Steffans breaks down how reference tracks are used by most artists and even drops the bombshell that Drake has written for the Young Money CEO:
Wayne told me that Drake had written some things for him. I was in the studio with Wayne listening to something that Drake had written ’cause Wayne can’t write like that. He’ll be honest about it. He only writes a certain way. Everyone has reference tracks. An artist will write something, leave it ’cause he doesn’t have time, go do something else, come back in a day or two and someone’s laid down the reference track to show them how that song can fit on top of that beat. Then, they go in there and they do it their own way, little better, put their twist on it, but no man is an island. It takes a village to create an album.
Steffans goes on to say that she never actually heard a reference track for the songs Drake crafted for Wayne, but Wayne was very open in talking on how the Toronto native helped him with the storytelling aspect of his rhymes.
“He was very honest; he says, ‘I don’t write that way. I don’t know how,'” says Steffans. “So Drake was just kinda showing him how to take his ideas and turn them into a story and to make that story come back around. That’s a skill. That’s a storytelling skill. Not everybody can do that.”
Steffans latest book, Vindicated: Confessions of a Video Vixen, Ten Years Later, is currently available online and at retail outlets..