Blog Archives

Ghostwriter of the Week: Xzibit

It’s no secret that Mr. X to the Z has done some ghostwriting, most notably for the good doctor himself, Dre. It really then comes as no surprise then that he would’ve ghostwritten for Snoop also, but Snoop has never been a slouch on the mic and has written most of his own tracks over the course of his 20+ year career.

X’s ghostwriting was provided for Snoop on what would be his second last single for Master P’s No Limit Records, the Dr. Dre produced Lay low from 2000. Of course Snoop and X collaborated two years prior on the incredible Bitch Please – also produced by Dre and featuring Nate Dogg.

Snoop’s two album stay on No Limit was met with indifference but did yield this great single and listening back to it now I reckon you can pick that Xzibit penmanship.

Q-Tip @ The Red Bull Music Academy – Lecture.

I was listening to Mobb Deep’s The Infamous recently and thinking about the impact A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip had on it’s overall sound. While Havoc’s understated and minimalistic production was beginning to find it’s stride in 1995, i think it’s Tip’s contributions from production to mixing that are often overlooked.

This lecture with The RBMA in New York discusses all that and more. He speaks at length on Mobb, Nas, Tribe and his own solo work which I’ve recently started gaining a strong appreciation for – yeah, I’m a little late I know. His musicality is without question and listening to him break down his process in the studio is inspiring.

From playing the assembled crowd the original DJ Premier produced demo of Nas’ Memory Lane to working with Norah Jones and discussing everything from pause tapes to his own DJ career and NY club culture, this is well worth your time.

Tip’s fingerprint is no more evident on The Infamous than the incredible Drink Away The Pain, providing both production (a three bar loop?!) and a memorable guest spot.. This is still probably my favourite moment from the second Mobb album!

Ghostwriter Of The Week: Jay-Z

According to Ben Baller – LA DJ, jeweler and former Death Row affiliate – Beyonce’s husband not only wrote Dr. Dre’s Snoop assisted hit “Still D.R.E.” but also recorded a ghost version for the good doctor to make sure his flow and cadences were all on point. Ben Baller also stated that the above mentioned recording was firmly in his possesion, Still Dre performed by Jay-Z… While its no secret to anyone that rap’s first billionaire has a habit of calling in producers and attaching his name to their work, the thought of a version of “Still D.R.E.” being performed by Hov interests me no end, or more to the point, hearing Hov perform “Still D.R.E” would interest me no end!