July 21, 2015 will go down as one of the most epic nights in the history of ghostwriting in Hip Hop.
After the social media rant Nicki Minaj went on against MTV and the powers that be, which prompted a brief back-and-forth between her and America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, the denizens of Twitter thought that they had gotten more than their share of juice for the day. But, alas, Nicki and rapper Meek Mill’s Bonnie and Clyde act proved to be more fact than fiction in what has to be the biggest moment of rap of the year thus far.
Apparently, Meek Mill had a little time off from his hectic schedule, while promoting his recently released “Dreams Worth More Than Money” album and had more than a few interesting things to say. After throwing shots at Nicki’s ex-boyfriend, Safaree for what he deemed a feminine dance move, he then directed his ire toward rap superstar Drake, alleging that he has ghostwriters and didn’t even write his own feature verse on the their latest collaboration, “R.I.C.O.”
The allegations shocked many, but a few people, most notably Atlanta rapper OG Maco, backed up Meek Mill’s claims, pointing out an unknown artist by the name of Quinten Miller, who’s name appears in the credits for various tracks on the rappers latest release, If You’re Reading This Its Too Late. But according to an anonymous source with close ties to the OVO clique, Drake getting a little assistance on the writing side is a regular occurrence and a known fact in Toronto music circles. The source, who we’ll refer to as Mike, has been working in the Toronto music scene for over ten years and has a long-running history with the upper-crest of the OVO brain-trust, as well as various artists affiliated with the collective, past and present.
Contrary to popular belief, while everyone is focusing on Quintin Miller, according to Mike, the main person of interest should be Hush, a close confidant of Drake who’s been name-dropped on various tracks by the rapper, most notably on his his Lil Wayne collaboration, “Miss Me” (“Neeks got the weed, Hush gotta gun”). “Hush is a rapper known here as Young Tony,” Mike reveals. “Hush is known as Hush because he’s paid Hush Money. His name is Young Tony. Drake’s “personal trainer” is a rapper by Roxx who used to be a part of JD Era’s crew. Boi 1da’s manager is a rapper by the name of Ken Masters. Everyone around him was/is a rapper. You will see the same name appear on a great deal of his songs credits. This is all known stuff.”
The plot only thickens from there, as Mike alleges that Hush also lent his talents to Drizzy’s 2010 collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Moment For Life.”
“Hush wrote Moment For Life,” Mike claims, before dropping a quite interesting tidbit and discloses that the reason for Hush’s services on the song was due to a few lines that a certain rap titan may not have taken kindly to. “The original version contained a Drake written verse dissing Kanye.”
After pressing for additional info on this bombshell, Mike only offers vague details. “As for the Moment for Life thing…that happened when an artist I know popped into a session Noel (Noel Cadastre, one of Drake’s engineers) invited him to. Noel played the track and OVO Hush aka Young Tony spoke after the verse was played and said “I gotta go back in an change all of that,” referring to the lines that may have been seen as taking shots at Kanye. While some listeners noticed a slight change in Drake’s content after the release of Take Care, Mike says that Drake tapping from talent dates as far back as the period when he was recording his breakthrough mixtape, So Far Gone, particularly the song that jump-started his career. “This started from ‘Best I Ever Had’…’Get it from the back until you fucking bra strap pop’ was written by Young Tony [aka Hush]. This was mentioned to my people by his ex manager T-Slack.”
Mike also brings up the screen shot Media Takeout posted in 2010 of Drake DM’ing his writer (OVO Hush aka Young Tony) that he needs the session, further evidence that Drake’s alleged usage of ghostwriters and additional pens is nothing new.
As far as his reasons for speaking up now, he says since the avalanche of evidence could be pouring out any day, he felt the need to set the record straight for the sake of the fans that may be confused or unsure of the situation. “Everyone knows these [are] facts here. There is a revisionist history that is taking place and it isn’t right.” While many may take Mike’s claims with a grain of salt, he maintains that his words are nothing but truth and insists that Drake is by no means a complete Milli Vanilli and does have a great pen of his own. “Drake is however the best songwriter I have ever been in a room with,” Mike willingly admits, but feels his standing as an songwriter is a bit inflated giving the fact many would assume he writes his verses completely on his own.
Regardless of where fans may fall on how using a ghostwriter affects your credibility, it looks like Drake has taken a page out of Kanye West’s book and expanded his creative process to include various hands in the mix and it seems to be working wonders for his career, given the fact that’s he’s hip-hop’s brightest shining star at this moment in time. Oh yeah, and according to Mike, The 6ix that Drake is frequently running through was actually a term allegedly created by a Canadian named by the name of Jimmy Johnson. “Jimmy Johnson aka Jimmy Prime, he came up with the phrase “The 6ix”. It was to be the name of his album…Drake took it without telling him. His crew is called Prime and they are affiliated with OVO.” When asked if Jimmy Prime would confirm this claim, Mike admits he doubts he would given his status in the OVO circle would be at stake, but says that Drake’s appropriation of the term is no secret to those close to the situation. “[I] Don’t think he’ll say Drake stole it but I’m pretty sure he’ll say he conceived it.”
So there you have it. Only time will tell how these allegations will affect Drake and his position as the top dog, if at all, but it looks like the Champagne Papi’s littered album credits surely won’t be on the hush moving forward.