There's a stigma surrounding ghostwriting that has plagued many prominent rappers. Yet those who operate in the spiritual realm often remain unsung heroes. For Royce Da 5'9", who spent time in his early career writing for artists like Diddy and Dr. Dre, the act of ghostwriting proved immensely beneficial to both his career and creative process alike. Now, with his confidence at an all-time high, Royce Da 5'9" has taken an Instagram trip down memory lane to shake one of the stigmas surrounding ghostwriting. 

"I wrote this," declares Royce, sharing a stream of Diddy and Christina Aguilera's nostalgic single "Tell Me." "I’m not bragging just not being private tonight. Don’t categorize me, I’m special ... I like to do things just because I’m not supposed to." As of now, the track has amassed over sixteen million streams on YouTube; if you listen back, you can actually hear some Royce-isms in Diddy's flow.

Royce also highlighted another one of his notable writing credits, Dr. Dre's 2001 closer "The Message." Revealing that he was only 19 when he penned the emotional tribute, Royce actually opened up in-depth about his process working for Dre in our exclusive retrospective on the making of 2001: "When I’m laying it, Dre is just staring at me through the glass of the booth. I’m like, he must not like this one. When I’m done doing the verses, he went quiet for a minute. That’s when he told me about his brother.” 

Look for Royce to lay waste to the game on February 21st, when he fires off The Allegory for all to hear. Where does he rank among your list of greats? 

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I was 19 🥱 Aight I’m done. Love y’all ✍🏾✌🏿

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