30May/100

…want me to write you some raps g, just ask me.

An alternate title of this could be: The Children of the Corn, Junior M.A.F.I.A. & Deceased Ghostwriters. And this is where a lesser person, or perhaps a funnier, more well written one would make some joke about artists who have died, ghosts and ghostwriters. Maybe something about how they are actually, truly ghostwriters now. I’m sure there’s a brilliant pun in there somewhere.

Oh, how clever.


But I really wanna talk about this. I’m not the first to say that just about all we ultimately have left from a lot of people is their music and with MCs that basically boils down to written work, their lyrics. A lot of ghostwriting that was done years ago is still largely unknown to the public and I’m not talking about how Big Daddy Kane wrote for Biz Markie or how The D.O.C. helped write for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg or even how Ice Cube was writing for Eazy-E.

No, this is not just about the MCs who wrote their own rhymes as well as rhymes for others, but about those ghostwriting MCs who are no longer living. There is definitely a connection here between the N.W.A.-era west coast and hip hop as a whole today though; reference tracks are now more popular than ever, particularly thanks to Dr. Dre and his Detox project.

What’s a reference track, you ask? A reference track is when not only does someone else ghostwrite the lyrics, but they also ghost spit it, delivering the lines over the (or a) beat, showing the credited artist how to re-record the track in their own voice. It’s essentially rap-by-numbers, you don’t have to write, you don’t have to know how to flow, you can simply just copy what the writer says. Obviously these reference tracks are usually demo quality and to preserve anonymity they aren’t supposed to be heard by the larger hip hop community, but a few have inevitably shown up online.

Junior M.A.F.I.A.


I’m going to talk about two instances of ghostwriting that are less well known than Notorious B.I.G. spitting reference tracks for Lil’ Kim’s Queen Bitch (192 CBR) and Lil’ Cease’s verse on Player’s Anthem (192 CBR), which itself has become almost as general knowledge as Sean “P____” Combs using ghostwriters throughout his whole career. My focus is mostly going to be on the two departed members of the group The Children of the Corn. I encourage you all to help add on though.

It was Bloodshed’s birthday on the fifth of this month, Biggie’s was on the twenty first and Big L’s is today, the thirtieth. What’s one thing these three New York MCs each have in common besides early deaths, having been born in May and the letter b? You guessed it; they were all ghostwriters, at least to some degree.

Lamont “Big L” Coleman: Born May 30th, 1974, Died February 15th, 1999.
(Photo courtesy of Diggin’ in the Crates affiliate Marquee.)


Here’s a Big L verse from the original Flamboyant freestyle, featuring Royal Flush (192 CBR):


“Yo I’m a young teen with dumb cream,
I refuse to be unheard or unseen, I shine like the sun beam.

All you niggas better come clean before my gun scream,

rap’s a fun thing, only roll with one team:
Flamboyant Entertainment. That’s who I came with.
I pack a nine and once I aim it, I gotta flame it.

Push a blue eight, got props from here to Kuwait.

The one your crew hate, hear me on the next Clue tape.

They call me C-Town, I snatch mics like a rebound,

pack a three pound, that’s my prerog’ like B. Brown.

I rip shows in large arenas, like the Garden in Meadowlands,

got nothin’ but love for all my ghetto fans.

On one three nine and Lenox eyes get shut.

The Danger Zone, where guys get stuck.

Where all the pies get cut.

Try to front we gon’ size you up.
Like Corleone’ll grab the chrome and throw five in yo’ gut, what?”

And now here’s C-Town on the posthumous Big L track, Still Here (V2 / VBR):

“I be that young teen with dumb cream,
I refuse to be unheard or unseen, I shine like the sun beam.

All you niggas better come clean before my gun scream,

rap’s a fun thing, only roll with one team:

Flamboyant Entertainment. That’s who I came with.

I pack a nine and once I aim it, I gotta flame it.

Push a blue eight, got props from here to Kuwait.

The one your crew hate, hear me on Big L new tape.

They call me C-Town, I snatch mics like a rebound,

pack a three pound, that’s my prerog’ like B. Brown.

I rip shows in large arenas like the Garden in Meadowlands,

got nothin’ but love for all my ghetto fans.

On one three nine and Lenox eyes get shut.

The Danger Zone is where pies get cut.

Where all the guys get stuck.

Try to front we gon’ size you up.
Like Corleone’ll grab the chrome and throw fiv
e in yo’ gut.”

It sure sounds like L’s protégé, the guy who would’ve been a future member of The Wolfpack (along with L, Jay-Z and Herb McGruff) on Roc-A-Fella Records, was getting some extra help with his writing.

Derek “Bloodshed” Armstead: Born May 5th, 1976, Died March 2nd, 1997.


I recently had a chance to talk with Derek “Bloodshed” Armstead’s half brother Brian about his brother’s life and near the end of the interview, he said this:

“…As a fan, go back to Crush on You by Lil’ Cease and Lil’ Kim and listen to Lil’ Cease’s part. You can hear that Cam and my brother wrote it. It is typical Bloodshed and I can’t remember the exact lyrics but ‘CDs with crazy bass, keep my ladies laced, don’t be fooled by the baby face’ was the end of my brother’s bars. If you listen to the beginning of that part you can definitely hear his style when it says something about sea breeze…” ~ Brian Armstead

This next one doesn’t have a reference track but for comparison, here’s (Murda Mase,) Bloodshed and Cam’Ron, then Killa Kam, on the Children of the Corn song Doin’ It (192 CBR).

And here’s Lil’ Cease and Lil’ Kim’s Crush on You.

It has long been said that Cam, Mase and of course Big were some of Sean Combs and Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s most prominent, well known ghostwriters. Particularly (according to Lil’ Cease) that Biggie wrote the entirety of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s ’95 debut album, Conspiracy, not just Cease’s verse on Player’s Anthem and also that Cam’Ron wrote Crush on You for Kim and Cease, right down to the hook.

Not only has the latter story been confirmed but also that Bloodshed was ghostwriting with his cousin Cam and that he contributed lines to this song as well. In ‘97 Bloodshed was killed in a car crash exactly one week before Biggie was shot. But in ‘95 / 96, they were both writing lyrics for the same people. That makes at least three outta the five MCs from Children of the Corn writing for Biggie Smalls‘ people (and every MC in the group but McGruff is now known for having ghostwritten in the nineties).

Which makes me wonder, what else is already out there that we just don’t know about?

Killa Kam, Herb McGruff, Bloodshed, Big L, Jim Jones & Murda Mase



Peace to Biggie, Big L and Bloodshed and props to BigLOnline, Blood’s brother Brian and D.I.T.C. affiliate Marquee for the photos, videos and information.

The Big Sleep

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