How did your time in the headlines shape the direction of the album?
It most definitely made it a more personal record, it made it a more—I don’t want to use the word serious, but more a topic-driven record. I had a lot of time to just sit by myself, so I had a lot more things I wanted to address. That’s what I did on this LP. I spoke on different things. One of them goes by the name of “Ghostwriter.” I finally wrote a record telling the way it feels for me to be a ghostwriter, and not only a ghostwriter, but one of the biggest in the rap game. Because of my own personal success I’ve always been able to keep that in the shadows. On this record, I just felt it was so current. It was needed.
As for the debate itself, Renzel is quick to point out the value of both sides of the argument:
Ghostwriting was a big topic this year with the feud between Drake and Meek Mill. Do you think that having someone write rhymes for you is necessarily at odds with being an authentic artist?
It depends on really the point you’re looking at. If you’re a battle rapper on the block, the emcee battle challenger, not writing your rhymes could really hurt you. When you’re an artist where maybe the focus is really the talent and the different things you bring to the game, I believe it’s more understandable. Someone who may have another vision or just ideas that are priceless versus someone who’s like, “I’m basing my entire career off the words I’m finna tell you right now over this 30-second period.” I’m not speaking to anybody in particular, but let’s say for instance if you was DMX and had a ghostwriter, it’d maybe change the [perception] versus if you was will.i.am. I think that’s more about the music, the records.
Speaking of the reason ghostwriting is once again a hot topic, Funkmaster Flex recently took another shot at the 6 God for reasons not entirely clear.