Rapper and Ghostwriter Mad Skillz Discusses Artists Not Writing Their Own Lyrics and More

For decades, Virginia lyricist Mad Skillz has been a ghostwriter for some of your favorite MCs. While he keeps his clients close to the vest, he has a lot to say about the taboo topic. The rapper opens up to XXL about the stigma surrounding writing for other rappers, what the new generation thinks and the leaks that get people talking.

I got into [ghostwriting] by accident. So, I can't really speak for anybody else's journey of how they end up in these sessions with these well-known rappers. Sometimes, it might be somebody hearing a song or hearing a few things. You might hear somebody, you want to sign them, and then see them, and then don't want to sign them. Like, Oh, he might have the talent, but he ain't really marketable, or he's not what I was looking for. But the pen, you know, the pen is always something that can help get you to the next level.

I wasn't paying much attention to anything outside of being in front of the microphone, and being in front of the camera. And then I realized that, you know, it was the people that weren't being seen were pulling some strings. I was like, Oh, I could do that. I don't gotta be in the front all the time. That's how it happened for me. But, I don't know how a person would get into ghostwriting right now. You can't even really come up to somebody like, "Yeah, I'm a ghostwriter." That s**t sound crazy.

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