Does It Matter if Rappers Don’t Write Their Own Lyrics?

Paul Cantor
May 8, 2015 · 5 min read

Collaboration and authenticity aren’t mutually exclusive

Back then, whether or not an MC wrote their own rhymes was a productive conversation to have, because everything was about authenticity
and keeping it real.

In a way, the genre was self-policing, doing away with acts who couldn’t really hack it on their own. But it was still a genre that hadn’t really gone mainstream, and commercial appeal had far less to do with whether a song was radio-ready than whether an artist was believable and accepted. You could pat yourself on the back for writing your own rhymes, because the stakes were far lower. Even then though, a lot of artists were using ghostwriters and collaborators.


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