At this point the Drake (ghost)writing horse has nearly been beaten to death, but I think that old filly might just have one more mile left in her. Especially since now we're getting actual texts, not just vague accusations.
For those who haven't been following along so far, Mo G - aka the "Dance Moves like Mo G" guy, aka the originator of the "Left hand like Ginobli" line - has very publicly severed his ties with Drake and in particular Drake's manager and OVO co-founder, Oliver El-Khatib. While Mo originally threw some very wobbly roundhouse kicks that accused Drizzy of...I'm not quite sure, wearing the same jacket as him?...now he's providing some specifics. He had his voice sampled and was asked to do some writing for Views From the 6, has so far only been paid $500 for it, and now he's burning his bridge to the ground.
"After I did this shit Oliver put me in the studio and He said they need new hooks new flows and bars and shit..."
I feel like I've been explaining why the Earth is round for the last six months, but since this obviously continues to be an issue and Drake's music making methods are a legitimate public interest, let me take one more stab at breaking this down.
- Drake used a ghostwriter at least once. That's not an accusation, that's a fact. Quentin Miller wrote words and flows that Drake used without officially crediting him. That's the definition of a ghostwriter. That's not open for discussion or debate. End of story.
- Like many superstar artists, Drake also employs a giant songwriting factory that continually pumps out "new hooks new flows and bars and shit." That's also a fact. Majid Jordan has stories of sleeping in tents in the OVO studio writing hooks and melodies for weeks until they eventually came up with "Hold On We're Going Home." As long as those writers are paid and officially credited, that's songwriting, not ghostwriting, and it's not a problem. That's why "songwriter" exists as a job and that's how the music industry operates. When you get to be Drake or Rihanna or Adele or anyone that famous you literally can't afford to lock yourself in a studio for the six months (or more) it takes to come up with an album's worth of great material. You've got to play shows and make public appearances and go to meetings at Apple Music, etc. etc. At that level you're more of a CEO than just an artist - your real talent is in selecting the best work from your employees and then putting your stamp on it, packaging it and distributing it.
- Where Mo G falls on the songwriter vs. ghostwriter spectrum I don't know. If Drake has used some of his songwriting would he have been paid and officially credited? If so than that's not fucked up, that's just Mo turning down a songwriting job, which is understandable. Not everyone wants to work for a giant corporation. Making things this public feels pretty stupid though. If Mo thinks all this press is going to elevate his solo career he's wrong.
- How you feel about Drake using a ghostwriter and a big songwriting camp is up to you. As I wrote above, I consider Drake more of a CEO than an artist, he's a human brand, so I don't personally care much. Royce da 5'9" is right in that on a purely hip-hop level it disqualifies Drake from being considered a great lyricist, but I never looked to Drake for his artistry and lyricism. You're just going to have to make up your own mind.
I'd love to say this will be the last time I write about Drake and the difference between songwriting and ghostwriting, but I know that's not true. While a man can only spend so much time writing about Drake - I might have to switch to typing these articles only with my left hand like Ginobli for a challenge - ultimately I consider all this a good thing. People are obviously intensely interested in how the music they listen to actually gets made, and that is great. At this point Drake is something like the McDonald's of music, a massive entity feeding millions, and we all want to know how McDonald's makes the burgers we eat. Right?