dream hampton, FWMJ, Nas, and Nas’ Stans: A Powder Keg

by Stacia L. Brown

Just a few months beyond the Twitter beef that shall remain unnamed, dream hampton finds herself at odds with her mentions again. This time, it’s over allegations that Nas uses ghostwriters. She isn’t the only person making the claim. Lyricist and blogger FWMJ also wrote a lengthy post about the time Jay Electronica called him while he worked at Hot 97 and told him he’d be writing lyrics for Nas’s “Queens Get the Money”:

When it’s public knowledge that the ‘greatest lyricist’ of our era, has ghost writers, what does that mean? Like, he has the ability to write crazy raps, but it’s like doping in the Olympics, how can we ever trust the good results again? This ain’t pop music, so it matters if you write your own raps or not. For at least 6 albums, that was the only currency Nas had; his lyrics. How long has he been using ghost writers?

I had an existential crisis that day. I was happy for Jay Elec, but he basically speared a childhood music hero and make a sock puppet out of him.

Both dream and FWMJ have found themselves the targets of some vicious attacks and threats as a result of their claims. Jay Electronica and Stic.man of Dead Prez, who hampton asserts wrote content for Nas’ Untitled/Nigger album, have denied ghostwriting for Nas, citing their contributions as credited collaborations. Nas himself has also weighed in.

Apparently, to assert that a rapper known for his lyrical prowess has gotten outside help with his writing is to discredit his entire oeuvre. So the claims have deeply rankled Nas fans and caused a great deal of online animus.

What do you think? Are the denials of all three lyricists in question enough proof for you? Should ghostwriting be this serious in hip-hop? Why do fans and writers feel it necessary to “out” performers who violate unwritten artistic or social codes?

  • http://blu-bloggington.blogspot.com/ Nightfall

    If the words of a 2 bloggers/writers are enough to be believed then the denial from the actual artists in question should believed as well. I don’t see what any of the MC’s named would have to gain from this.

  • Jenese

    you miss an important element of the story here: why dream revealed that nas allegedly used a ghostwriter. she was discussing harry belafonte’s very valid criticism of jay-z’s lack of social responsibility. after offering up jay-z’s quiet donations to charities and his lone verse on minority report about hurricane katrina as a counterargument, she was asked why jay-z never did an album like nas’ untitled (nigger album). she responded by saying nas largely didn’t write the material as if that somehow discredits the fact that nas has used his platform to discuss socially responsible issues.

    it then created a firestorm and deflected attention away from jay-z’s shortcomings. even if nas used ghostwriters (which all parties deny), he has demonstrated at least a modicum of social responsibility in his lyrical content (“i can” being a shining example) while jay-z has paled in comparison. instead of acknowledging that, dream went for the jugular by bringing up an irrelevant and unsubstantiated claim. then, when the reaction was unfavorable, like someone who throws a stone and hides their hand, she pretended to be shocked and appalled by it.

  • Tbones

    Why would i believe the words of a no name blogger and a wanna be hiphop journalist who in d process of answering a Jay question got defensive thus slandering Nas in d process. Why wld I believe a so called hip ho journalist that doesnt knw d difference between ghost writing n getting ghost writing credits?

  • http://twitter.com/isistheblogger isistheblogger

    I thought she was done with twitter after the situation with her daughter? Now there is another beef? Sigh…

  • Tbones

    Cosignee, in the process of tryna defend jay who will all knw shes tight with, she slanders Nas in d process by insinuating that Nas should not get credit for d Untitled album cos it was largely written by Stic.man n J.elect who both deny it. Yet she swears its d truth but has not proof. I really dnt knw abt twitter laws both this kinda stuff deserves to be taken to court for slander n defamation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.wooten.58 Craig Wooten

    I don’t know dream but I’ve known Frank for close to ten years and he is nothing but honest, sometimes to his detriment. The fact that Nas had help writing on the Untitled album was not a big secret (stic in his statement confirms that he did indeed collaborate in the writing process with Nas.)

    Further, the link people keep inaccurately re-posting of Nas talking about ghostwriting is in no way a response to the current allegations. That interview took place over 2 weeks ago.

    The comment that Jenese made should be the real focus of this conversation though.

  • d_nicegirl

    My point exactly! Frankly, I stopped following her a while back because she tends to be very negative. Almost mean spirited.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    This sounds about right, I am a Jay fan but dream’s jocki riding of him is annoying.

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