#3. Nas Co-Wrote Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
Nasir Jones, commonly known to the world as Nas (or Nasty Nas, Nastradamus, Esco, Escobar ... take your pick), has spent nearly two decades performing feats of badassery that have become the stuff of legend.
When East Coast rap seemed all but dead, his debut album, Illmatic, helped shift the balance of power back to New York. It is widely considered to be one of the most perfect rap albums ever made, and the guy was only 20 when he wrote and recorded it (with all of one special guest appearance, which was completely unheard of at the time and still is today).
When his own career seemed all but dead, he decided to take on the biggest rapper in the world, Jay-Z, and made a mockery of the man. The respect gained from knocking Jay-Z off his high horse immediately put him back in the good graces of the music-buying public.
A recent cease-fire secret handshake marked an end to hostilities.
When Nas announced at a show in 2007 that an upcoming album would be called Nigga, Bill O'Reilly threatened one of his famous boycotts over the title.
In response, Nas challenged O'Reilly to a debate live on The O'Reilly Factor, but only after announcing that he was shelving the Nigga title in favor of the far more retailer-friendly Nigger.
"That could work."
What we're saying is that Nas has as much street cred in the rap world as anybody. So we apologize if what we tell you next shatters that illusion into a million tiny little radio-friendly pieces. Here goes:
Nas co-wrote Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."
Yes, Nas is in large part responsible for absurd lines like this ...
Ciga-Cigar right from Cuba-Cuba/I just bite it/It's for the look/I don't light it/Ill-way the an-may on the ance-day oor-flay/Giving it up jiggy/Make it feel like foreplay.
Sadly, his work on "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" stands as the only Grammy Award-winning project and Billboard No. 1 single of Nas' career. A song that has become synonymous with corniness in all facets of pop culture, from being a terribly overused sitcom punchline to being a goddamn Banjo-Kazooie achievement, is the crowning jewel in Nas' career as far as mainstream success goes.
"A fucking Grammy? You serious?"
This is exactly why Americans shouldn't be allowed to vote.
#2. Neil Young Wrote the Insanely Cheesy '70s Classic "Lotta Love"
If you grew up any time prior to the 1990s and aren't familiar with Nicolette Larson's breakthrough (and only) hit, "Lotta Love," your parents either didn't own a radio or didn't have enough casual disco sex. Whatever the case, give it a listen now if you'd like ...
If you don't like, just keep these lyrics in mind ...
It's gonna take a lotta love/To get us through the night/It's gonna take a lotta love/To make things work out right/So if you are out there waitin'/I hope you show up soon/Cause my heart needs relatin'/Not solitude.
Go ahead and sing those lyrics in the most '70s-sounding voice you can summon. We know that makes absolutely no sense, but still, pretty corny, right? Now try to wrap your head around this ... that inane slice of '70s cheese was written by this guy:
That's Neil goddamn Young, the man often credited as the "Godfather of Grunge." A man known for the kind of violent and unhinged guitar solos that often end with guitar strings being forcibly removed from the guitar.
A man so legendarily grumpy and uncaring that he quit a 1976 tour with Stephen Stills well before it was over by simply sending him a note that said, "Funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach, Neil." That guy. He alone wrote one of the sappiest "adult-oriented rock" songs of all time. And the story of how Nicolette Larson got her hands on it is just one more testament to Neil Young's legendary assholish tendencies.
Larson had beat the odds and made a friend in the surly rock legend when she provided background vocals on Young's 1977 album American Stars 'n Bars. While riding around Neil's ranch with him at the wheel of an almost certainly beat to shit truck, Larson popped in a cassette that was just sitting on the floor. It turned out to be a demo version of "Lotta Love." Larson was taken with the track, and Young said that she could have it. Score! Except not really!
Nicolette Larson, widely regarded as the "Godmother of Swedish Death Metal."
Either Young didn't remember that he gave Larson the song or he just eventually fell in love with it himself and decided he didn't give a shit. Whatever the case, despite promising the song to Larson, Young recorded his own version of the song.
Next, in a move that perfectly represents his often inexplicably dickish nature, Young released his version of the song on the exact same day that Larson released her version. For his part, Young probably didn't even remember recording the song by the time the album it was on (Comes a Time) was released.
As for Nicolette Larson, she was planning on releasing her version as the lead single of her debut album. In other words, it was kind of a big deal. But it was a big deal that now had to wait while it was determined if Young intended to release his version as a single. It would be a full two months before Larson was able to release her version of the song.
Future performances of the song included the lines, "So if you are out there waitin',
I hope you show up soon. Except for you, Neil Young, you're a jerk."
When asked to comment on the matter, we're guessing Young said something along the lines of, "Hey, what's for lunch?" and then went back to not giving a shit.
#1. Cee-Lo Green, Busta Rhymes and Sir-Mix-a-Lot Wrote the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha" (Kind Of)
When it was released in 2005, most people were too busy wishing that the person who decided the Pussycat Dolls should venture into music would be exiled to a prison island to be even remotely concerned with who wrote their debut single, the disgustingly catchy "Don't Cha" (aka "Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me").
The Pussycat Dolls at a landmark rally for radical feminism.
Honestly, even if anyone looked into it they might not have noticed anything special with the list of names. Thomas Callaway, Anthony Ray, Trevor Smith ... just a bunch of names that you probably won't recognize until we run them through the stage-name filter, which we'll do right now. Here's the list again, translated into a bunch of names you should absolutely recognize:
Wait ... what? How were those three even in the same room at the same time in 2005? Is Sir Mix-a-Lot even alive anymore? It doesn't matter, because he didn't actually have any part in writing the song, other than the fact that the chorus of "Don't Cha" is lifted from a Sir-Mix-a-Lot song called "Swass." So that explains his name being on the list. Busta Rhymes makes the list because he decided street credibility is for fuckfaces and wrote a rap for the song.
So what's Cee-Lo's excuse? How did the man who famously made a song called "Fuck You" into a radio anthem and helped legitimize Southern hip-hop in the '90s as one-fourth of legendary Atlanta rap outfit Goodie Mob come to write a song about how you wish your girlfriend was as hot as him? It's a pretty simple story, really. Green wrote the song with the intention of giving it not to the Pussycat Dolls, but rather to a female protege named Tori Alamaze.
And he did! And she recorded it! And released it as a single! And was then promptly dropped from her record label never to be heard from again!
Understanding that a song with this kind of historical significance just could not go unappreciated by the general public, all involved parties ignored the fact that the song failed to turn water into wine the first time around and decided to see if the Pussycat Dolls would have better luck with it as their first single.
The Pussycat Dolls performing their hit single "Human Centipede (of Luv)."
And the rest, as they say, is shitty music history.
For more of pieces of work that came from unsuspecting sources, check out 8 Famous Movies Made by The Last Person You'd Ever Suspect. Or learn about The 5 Most Famous Musicians Who Are Thieving Bastards.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover what Sir Mix-a-Lot wrote for Ke$ha.
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