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Lil Wayne

Does Lil Wayne Use Ghost Writers the Same Way as Drake?

What exactly is Weezy's version of "Collaboration" between friends?

With the recent accusations made by Meek Mill that Drake doesn’t write the entirety of his verses and what seems like proof from the Funkmaster Flex Quentin Miller reference track leak, people are starting to dig into the practices of using ghostwriters or credited “collaborators” by other major artists including Kanye West and Lil Wayne.

Inevitably, if you become a big enough star in Rap, especially if you’re known as a great lyricist, people will wonder if you have a ghostwriter. Artists have been using and falsely accused of using ghostwriters for years. Some artists use ghostwriters openly. Many artists have admitted to writing for big names such as Dr. Dre and Diddy, who are both more known for organization and production rather than their lyrical abilities. But when artists such as Lil Wayne and Drake, rise to the top of Rap on the back of awe-inspiring lyrics, people naturally start to wonder if the lyrics are all coming from the named artist’s noodle. Most of the time these rumors are exactly that, rumors, but many times where’s there’s smoke there’s fire.

We’ve decided to compare the writing credits of five songs from Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” album to five popular Weezy songs. Those songs are: A Milli, 6’7’, Love Me, Rich as Fuck, and Grindin’. The songs have to be from songs of officially released albums as the writing credits of mixtapes and free albums are not always released.

When you read the list below you will see that both artists work with about the same number of people for each song. However, most of the artists listed in the credits of Lil Wayne’s tracks are producers, many of which he has little contact with. Every time a beat is sent from one producer to another and small changes are made to it, that producer gets a writing credit. When looking at songs like “A Milli”, the only listed credits are Bangladesh for the production, and the sample/lyric reference from A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Jones-Muhammad. The rest of the songs follow suit, Lil Wayne with the rapping, multiple producers, and then the required credit to the writer of the original sample. There are no consistent Quentin Miller’s popping up, or miscellaneous writers that Wayne has connections to. If Weezy is having other people help him with his lyrics, they are definitely not getting credited on the songs. Which means either Lil Wayne writes all of his lyrics himself (which is our belief), or he is using the traditional sense of Ghostwriters in which they get compensated but not credited.

Drake’s writing credits tell a different story. Quentin Miller appears on four of the tracks listed below as a writer. Quentin is not known as a producer so it is unlikely that he is doing any production work on the beats, especially since Drake’s primary producer and friend Noah Shebib “40” recently stated he had only met Quentin Miller one time. Along with Miller is Canadian poet Kenza Samir who Drake stated he writes with. 

"She's a great girl and a phenomenal poetry writer. We just sit together and come up with the best way to say things. Actually, me and her did [the lyric] 'love people and use things and not the other way around.' It's cool to get another creative mind in there, just someone who's thinking solely about the words and not the melodies and placement. It's nice to read her poetry sometimes, I'll take from that."

Aside from Quentin Miller, there are no other consistent credited artists that appear in the credits. There is a wide variety of producers and samples, but as far as regular contributors to his lyrics, that doesn’t seem to be public knowledge. It seems that the main difference between what Drake is and what Rap purists want him to be is his approach and collaborative approach. It’s tough to judge the situation without being in the studios and seeing what actually goes down. It’s tough for people who hear the “10 Bands” reference track from Quentin Miller that includes many of the lines Drake spits in his album version of the songs, and not wonder how many lines from other songs were not actually written by Drake. People idolize Drake for more than his persona and his style; they take his lyrics to heart and feel a connection with him. If fans are unsure about who they are connecting with it can lead to a disconnect between Drake and his swarms of loyal fans.

Based on the writing credits alone, it’s ludicrous to act as if Drake is not the main creative force behind his own music. While his style of bringing in collaborators is different from that of Lil Wayne’s “step up in the booth with ammo” approach, it is one that is used by many artists including that of Kanye West and Jay Z. It does appear that Drake gets some legitimate help in writing his rhymes, but he also is a great orchestrator with a great talent for making complete albums that his fans love. Unless there is a much deeper conspiracy with many more lyric creating artists other than Quentin Miller (as has possibly been suggested by Meek Mill and Kendrick Lamar), it does not seem likely that Drake’s reputation of greatness will be traded for one of a fraud anytime soon.

Writing Credits Comparison


Legend: (A. Graham, J. Brathwaite, Q. Miller, B. Bush & T. Mosley)

10 Bands: (A. Graham, Q. Miller, M. Samuels, A. Feeny & R. Thomas III)

Know Yourself: (A. Graham, Q. Miller, M. Samuels, A. Hernandez & J. Scruggs)

Used To: (A. Graham, D. Carter, Q. Miller, K. Samir, E. Oshunrinde & M. Giombini)

6 Man: (A. Graham, Q. Miller & N. Shebib)

Lil Wayne:

A Milli: (Crawford, Shondrae L / Carter, Dwayne / Fareed, Kamaal / Shaheed Jones-Muhammad, Ali)

6’7’: (Carter, Dwayne / Pankey, Peter / Crawford, Shondrae / Burgie, Irving / Attaway, Greg)

Love Me: (Williams, Michael Len / Hogan, Asheton Terrence O’Niel / Carter, Dwayne / Wilburn, Nayvadius Demun / Graham, Aubrey)

Rich as Fuck: (Williams, Tyler / Carter, Dwayne / Epps, Tauheed / Seetharam, Nikhil Shanker)

Grindin’: (Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Graham, Matthew Samuels, Anderson Hernandez, Noel Fisher)

Drake’s Collaborators:

J. Brathwaite: Producer located in Canada

Q. Miller: Rapper in WDNG Crshrs

Benjamin J. Bush

Tim Mosley (Timbaland)

Matthew Samuels (Boi1da)

Adam Feeney (Frank Dukes) Toronto Producer

Anderson Hernandez (Producer Vinylz)

Joshua Scruggs (Skysense): credited for writing for Meek Mill (Been That Nigga) and Ludacris

Kenza Samir: Poet from Toronto who has collaborated with Drake multiple times. Helped Drake come up with the line “I wish you could learn to love people and use things.” And “Isn't it amazing, how you talk all that shit and still we lack communication.”

Ebony Oshunrinde: Producer also known as Wondagurl, discovered by Travis Scott and made her name by producing Jay Z’s “Crown” when she was just 16 years old.

Marcello Giombini: Italian Composer from the 60’s

R Thomas III: Unknown, no information

Lil Wayne’s Collaborators:

Crawford, Shondrae L: Bangladesh

Fareed, Kamaal: Q-Tip

Shaheed Jones-Muhammad, Ali: Member of A Tribe Called Quest with Q-Tip

Pankey, Peter: Corey Gunz

Burgie, Irving: Great American classic songwriter who wrote 34 songs for Harry Belafonte

Williams, Michael Len: Producer Mike Will Made It

Hogan, Asheton Terrence O’Niel: Listed with writing credit on many songs including No Flex Zone, Future songs, and more.

Wilburn, Nayvadius Demun: Future

Epps, Tauheed: 2 Chainz

Noel Fisher: Young Money in-house producer Detail

Seetharam, Nikhil Shanker: Young, Canadian, Indian-born producer who has worked on multiple young money songs.