Hip-hop DJ and activist Jay Smooth called for rappers to be allowed the same freedom to work together that lyricists in other genres enjoy, as he weighed in on the debate over whether Nas, one of rap’s preeminent MCs used ghostwriters years ago.
“For the hip-hop world, this is a cataclysmic, earth-shattering revelation,” Jay said on his webseries Ill Doctrine Monday. “According to the rules of the traditional hip-hop purist, no MC is ever supposed to recite any lyrics that somebody else wrote.”
Blogger Frank Miller Jr., aka “FWMJ,” then corroborated Hampton’s statement on his blog, Rappers I Know, saying he received a phone call from Electronica saying he was writing for Nas.
According to MTV, Nas denied the allegation in a radio interview.
“You know who is my ghostwriter?” Nas said. “My friends, people I meet on the street. People say something and I get something from that. Somebody will say something and that sparks something in me.”
The allegations come about two months after Nas’ appearance in rapper/actor Ice-T’s first directorial effort, The Art of Rap, which takes pains to show the craft of rap lyricism as a singular pursuit and frames Nas as one of the masters of the genre.
Things took a nasty turn when Hampton accused producer Just Blaze of saying she should be “bled out” on her tumblr.
“I am done with hip hop and men who collude to silence women,” she wrote. “And done with women who are happy they’re not me.”
Blaze defended the Aug. 15 tweet (“You give us up one more time .. I’ll bleed you…real quiet..and leave ya here”), a line from the sci-fi movie Predator, by tweeting, “I’m pretty sure you don’t follow me. If you did you’d know I quote random 80’s movies all the time.”
In addressing the revolving door of accusations, Jay Smooth was quick to defend both Hampton and Miller’s credibility, while saying he would not have brought the ghostwriting issue up himself.
“They’re not just gonna make this up out of thin air,” he said. “There might be some gray area as far as what, exactly, they’re describing in terms of the collaboration that went on, but they’re not just gonna make this up out of nowhere.”
At the same time, he asked why even collaborating in the first place would automatically stain Nas’ 15-year career, when renowned artists like Duke Ellington or Billie Holiday were known to have worked with others or performed someone else’s songs.
“Why do we hold rappers back from that freedom and tell them they always have to do things one way?” Jay asks. “Is that a rule that really helps everyone make the best music they can make, or is that a rule that helps us fill out our scorecard when we’re playing Rapper Fantasy Sports and arguing about who’s the greatest? The purpose of any rule or tradition in an art form should be to ensure that you have the best art you can make.”
Jay Smooth’s commentary, posted Monday, can be seen below.
Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increasing while departing to France for the G7 Summit
President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.
"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.
In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.
"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.
Bill Maher presents ’25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller’ on Real Time
The host of HBO's "Real Time" presented "25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller" on Friday.
"In high school, I was voted 'Most Likely to Comb My Mummified Mother's Hair,'" was one item.
"I think tacos are stealing jobs from hamburgers," was another.
"I'm a Cancer. I don't know my astrological sign," was a third.
"The worst part about my car smelling like wet dogs, is that I don't own dogs," was a fourth.
Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’
HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.
"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.
"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.
"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."