We're not just talking about Diddy's career, Ice Cube writing for Eazy, or Jay-Z penning Dre's "Still D.R.E." verse here. Some of your favorite rappers have had verses written for them. The idea that rap lyrics are authored by the person spitting them is central to hip-hop—but that doesn't mean it's always true. From hooks to bars, many of the biggest tracks in hip-hop history have been ghostwritten.

But that's nothing to be alarmed about. It's also nothing new—from the very beginning, when Big Bank Hank lifted Grandmaster Caz's verses for "Rapper's Delight," a rapper's verses were, like in any art form, a messy combination of circumstances and expression.