The rumor that legendary hip-hop lyricist Nas used ghostwriters for his 2008 album Untitled (also promoted as N*****) has ignited a firestorm of controversy. But Dead Prez’s Stic.man and Jay Electronica, the alleged ghostwriters, have come out to refute the claims.
Jay Electronica took to Twitter to express his support of Nas and to throw water on the claim.
Nas is one of the Greatest Ever. never has and never will need a ghostwriter. that man’s pen and legacy is without question.
— ℒℴѵℯJay ELECTRONICA (@JayElectronica) August 15, 2012
Stic attempted to clarify his involvement with a post on Facebook.
“As far as the rumors about myself and jay electronika ghost writing for Nas, let me say this,” he wrote. Nas is one of the if not the most prolific original lyricist to EVER do it. My contributions to his album was a collaboration and an honor and under his direction of what he wanted to convey and say. Haters cant discredit that man’s genuis. Nas is the Don.”
Despite his attempt to dead the chatter, the Facebook post was not enough.
“It’s gone from the collaboration that we did with Nas, which involved producing, idea exchanging and writing hooks, which is one thing, to us being ghostwriters,” Stic told VIBE. “To me, ghost writing, as far as I know, is hiring somebody to write words for you to actually say. That didn’t happen.”
Stic.man then went onto specifics of his recording experience with Nas, pointing to the Untitled track “Sly Fox.”
“Even some of the songs we gave input on, in terms of hooks and phrases, it was Nas’ vision in terms of knowing what he wanted,” he explained. “He’s the one that came up with the concept for ‘FOX News.’ He wrote his verses. We just brainstormed about different aspects of FOX News (which became “Sly Fox”). Because that’s what a producer does.”
The controversy was first sparked by a blog post on RappersIKnow, in which the blogger claimed that underground lyrical heavyweight Jay Electronica told him he wrote Nas’ lyrics on the track “Queens Get The Money.” Veteran hip-hop journalist and Jay-Z book scribe Dream Hampton piled on the explosive allegation with the admission that she heard six reference tracks for the Untitled album featuring Stic.man.
“Nas’ “N*****” album was largely written by Stic of dead prez and Jay Electronica,” she tweeted on August 13th.
As for the sources of the allegations, Stic.man said he is baffled by all the uproar.
“People don’t understand what [traditional] producing is,” he contends. “I’m kind of still like, ‘Wow.’ I’m trying to understand what’s the big deal and where it’s coming from. It’s weird. I’m like, “Hmmm…what’s going on here?” —Keith Murphy, CBS Local