Opinion: It Ain’t Hard To Tell Nas Knows When to Call On His Friends


| August 21, 2012 - 8:19 pm

Internetters. I suck my teeth at thee. All this info at your fingertips and these are the things that take precedent you muckrakers?

dream hampton tweeting that “I think Jay writes what he believes. Nas’ Untitled (Nigger) album was largely written by Stic of dead prez and Jay Electronica @JusAire” in response to @JusAire saying Jay-Z needs to make an album like Untitled should not have been anyone’s first inkling that Nas had help with the album in question.

Mind you, hampton never used the term “ghostwriter.” To verify dream hamptons “claims” Nas had assistance with his Untitled (Nigger) album one would just have to check the album sleeve to verify it was all there below the old english font song titles on the album sleeve for the world to see.

Save for the actual reference tracks that hampton alluded to, what she said was no big revelation. The credits on the physical album speak for themselves if you know how to read them properly. Stic Man and Jay Electronica are listed as producers and co-writers on a good number of tracks on Untitled. That said, everyone knows a real producer does more than just bang out a beat. He assists with hooks and lyrics and sometimes goes as far as to have hooks in place when artists arrive at the studio.

Nas is a solo artist without the benefit of the collective creative power of a group or at least the different perspective of a duo. Also there was a very specific theme to the album in question that Nas perhaps felt he needed to enlist their talents. Stic has said his contributions were done under Nas’ direction and that Nas wrote all of his own lyrics. The Electronica situation is a bit deeper and complex, but the reference tracks may have been done under Nas direction as well. Regardless, Electronica denied writing a thing for Nas via Twitter with “Nas is one of the Greatest Ever. never has and never will need a ghostwriter. that man’s pen and legacy is without question.”

It’s a bit disappointing as a fan that Nas needed help creating Untitled, but that’s mostly like big brother idol worship type of disappointment when you realize he’s not superman. Not much else other than that. I mean… he made Illmatic, B… Illmatic.

Hampton’s comment isn’t a slight or “attempt to tarnish Nas’ legacy” as the internet then squawked. Nevermind that Jay Elect is a close friend of dream’s (If I say dream, I meant Dream, Fresh not Hampton, I got a date with destiny I’m definitely not canceling and dream could be privy to things about Electronica’s career the general public isn’t. The fact that another close friend do Electronica, Frank William Miller, Jr. formerly of Hot 97 verified the claims only reaffirm what hampton said.

And again, all hampton was referring to was that Jay-Z wrote from the heart, whereas Nas may have hired some help to find a more revolutionary side of his heart. Whatever. That’s Nas’ discretion. There was a very particular overlying album theme that he may have needed help tackling.

Not exactly news when you understand the full role of a good producer/collaborator. Even less newsworthy if you factor in Electronica himself rapping, “Nas hit me up like why you taking long?” It may have been a reference to Electronicas own project but, it could just as well be in reference to Untitled contributions.

Couple that with the credits on Untitled and you don’t need dream to tell you Electronica and Stic.man wrote some of Nas’ shit. So Nas doesn’t write 100% his own shit. Cormega complained about the same thing in 1996 when working on It Was Written. Large Professor was editing Nas’ early rhymes into more digestible song structures. So I ask you… This is news?


**this is not an opinion of VIBE**