Immortal Technique Says Nas Ghostwriting Discussion Is Not Constructive

By Lora Neng
August 29, 2012

Allegations that Nas’ “Nigger” album was ghostwritten by other music artists stirred a lot of controversy, which is not to say that such an incident is new to Hip-Hop. A few weeks ago, Dream Hampton tweeted that Stic of Dead Prez and Jay Electronica were the lyrical authors behind “Nigger,” the knowledge of which caused her to “shed thug tears.” The story was supported by Frank William’s recollection of a conversation with Jay saying as much. But rather than being drawn into the language of betrayal and accusation, Immortal Technique posed a different line of conversation.

In an interview at Rock The Bells, Immortal Technique suggested that a more constructive discussion could be had by thinking of rappers like actors. Rappers project a larger-than-life persona from having a perspective of the streets, but they don’t need the street cred of hustling and gangbanging to speak to that experience and to engage their communities. It’s a paradox where the glamorizing of Hip-Hop feeds unfair prejudice fueled by that tightly constructed image. Immortal challenges Hip-Hop artists to tell the story of the streets and conduct their careers as a positive example to the public.

Stic and Jay Electronica have, for their part, responded to the second-hand rumors by reiterating their admiration for Nas’ ingenious lyricism, saying, “Nas is the Don,” and that he “never has and never will need a ghostwriter. that man’s pen and legacy is without question.”

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