The venerable Black Thought, co-founder of the equally legendary Roots Crew, made it up to Hot 97 for an interview following the release of his most recent project, the 9th Wonder and the Soul Council-produced EP Streams of Thought Vol. 1. With the project clocking in at just under 20 minutes of pure bars and no hooks, it only seemed right for Ebro to ask Thought to weigh in on the subject of ghostwriters.
"I don't take issue with it because I'm tryin' to write for more people,” Thought told Ebro. “I think if that's what you do then, you know, it's all good.”
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Sure, but Black Thought did add one caveat: “I think you can't be top five if you don't write what you're saying.”
Of course, an artist as lyrically dense and thematically sharp as Black Thought would take issue with idolizing any rapper who doesn’t write their own verses. While he admits to rapping choruses written by writing partners, noting that it’s merely part of their flow, he swears he has never spit a verse that’s been written by another pen.
Where hip-hop prides itself on authenticity, Black Thought’s stance simply works to uphold that core tenet of the genre. The good news, though, is that Black Thought is currently available to guest write your verses, an offer that should not be taken lightly.
Unless, of course, you're aiming to be the best.