Canadian rapper and singer Drake is known for being one of the most decorated hip-hop artists in the world. With tracks such as ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘In My Feelings’ being certified hits, he is renowned for his fantastic songwriting capabilities. However, one of his tracks has 21 songwriters in the credits.
Hip-hop fans and rap artists often insist that to stay true to the art form, the emcee should only write lyrics and songs. However, we are increasingly seeing tracks that feature more than one songwriter. Sometimes, the most legendary singles are written by someone else without listeners even knowing.
Dr Dre’s 2001 single ‘Still Dre’ was penned by the Brooklyn lyricist Jay-Z, and few knew this until it was unveiled by Snoop Dogg years later. Still, sometimes, songwriting credits appear when a vocal sample is used. This is the case with one of Drake’s most well-known tracks.
Drake’s 2018 single ‘Nice For What’ was produced by multiple artists: Murda Beatz, Noah “40” Shebib and Corey Litwin and samples the 1998 single ‘Ex-Factor’ by Lauryn Hill. Funnily enough, ‘Ex-Factor’ also contains a sample and features elements from the song ‘Can It Be All So Simple’ by The Wu-Tang Clan.
As such, the writing credits compiled and did so fast. The song also clips on the intro and bridge from Big Freedia and icon of the New Orleans bounce music scene. This meant he also had to be credited. In an interview with the esteemed magazine, The Fader, Freedia stated, “I was super excited about my voice being at the beginning of the song…they sent the track for me to approve it and I was like, ‘Sh*t, I don’t care what I say on it, long as I’m on it.”
Drake wrote the song in his house, according to Murda Beatz, who worked with Drake on the track’s construction, but the multiple samples meant it couldn’t be solely attributed to the Toronto native.
As such, the song features songwriting credits for every member of the nine-piece Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill and all the writers who contributed to ‘The Way We Were’ by Barbara Streisand, such as Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch. You can listen to ‘Nice For What’ in the video below.