The last two days have been Storytime With Steve Stoute as the longtime music and advertising exec revealed that Pusha T actually wrote the McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle and, now, that Nas indeed wrote on Will Smith's "Gettin Jiggy With It."
This is not breaking news, certainly not to the serious hip-hop lover. We'd heard this rumor for years now; one of hip-hop's most intricate lyricists ever gettin jiggy with his pen was too juicy of a tidbit to stay buried. But Stoute moved the story from rumor to something like fact by confirming Nas' (hesitant) participation in the smash single's creation.
Will had a couple people write for him. But when we really needed to finish that thing up, we brought Nas in. He'd write some of it, then he'd hate himself, then he'd keep writing. I was like, 'Nas, there's publishing money in this. This is a real thing. Just don't listen to the gettin' jiggy with it part, listen to the rest'
That's pretty clear and direct, case closed. Nas wrote on "Jiggy." Except that it doesn't quite line up with Nas' own account of what happened, which he offered up during a Reddit AMA two years ago:
"Alright, let's clear this up once and for all. I hung out with Will in the studio. And watched him write it. It was a fun studio session, and I said a line or two or three to him. It wasn't that serious. Will Smith wrote that song. But seriously, I watched him have fun making that record on his own, and Will is a true MC."
This is obviously pure speculation - believe me, you'd know if I was in the studio with Nas and Will Smith - but I'm more inclined to believe Stoute's account. I can't see any reason why he'd lie, or shade the truth, while I can easily see Nas both not wanting to be associated with the song and not wanting to stir up trouble with Will Smith. And so Nas covering his ears but still writing on "Jiggy" becomes him just hanging out in the studio, contributing "a line or two or three."
But if the response to yesterday's McDonald's story is any indication, if he did indeed play a real role in writing that song, he doesn't have to hide. Ten, fifteen years ago a rapper would have been labeled a sell-out and blasted for something like that, but times have changed. We hear that Pusha wrote "I'm Lovin It" and think it's awesome such a street rapper managed to infiltrate a corporate boardroom, and if Nas could both write "NY State of Mind" and a pop radio smash I think hip-hop would now largely celebrate him for it.
We might even go psycho when his new joint hits.