Sharing Lyrics vs Ghostwriting
“Life’s a Bitch,” but God-forbid the bitch divorce me
I’ll be flooded with ice so hellfire can’t scorch me – Nas: Affirmative Action
I know people who have this lyric tatted on them. Im not surprised they
chose to get it tatted. Its a powerful lyric, typical of the lyricists coming
out of QB around that time,such as Nas, Cormega, Nature and several others.
Most listeners dont know that it was Cormega who gave Nas this lyric.
Nas and Cormega are both credible ghostwriters. Cormega ghostwrote a lot of
stuff for Foxy on the Firm Album. But neither use ghostwriters, he is more
likely to have borrowed the line from him.
Sharing or borrowing lyrics is more common then people might think.
Big L, Cam, Mase and Bloodshed would sometimes borrow each others lyrics.
For example, Camron gave Ma$e the first verse to Feels So Good.
Drake and Lil Wayne sometimes share whole verses.
Even the Wu, would throw lines to each other in the studio.
It Was Written features several lines that Nas and Cormega used to share
around the time of The Firm.
Ghostwriters are usually paid an upfront fee or through the artists publisher.
They receive no credit in the liner notes.
Sharing lyrics is used to get the creative juices flowing (ll), especially when an artist is suffering from writers block.
The first line of a verse is always the most difficult.
However,its unlikley that you will get paid for sharing lyrics and you certainly
won’t receive any credit for it. This also helps to show that sharing lyrics is
fairly common and that neither the artist ot lender expects any credit to be given for it.