Travis Scott’s Drake-assisted 2018 “Sicko Mode” single is undoubtedly his biggest record as an artist. With Grammy nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, Collaboration and Best Beat wins from HipHopDX, the song marked Scott’s first entry atop the Billboard 100 and earned a 7x-platinum plaque from the RIAA.
But apparently, it was created with more help than most fans initially realized.
On Sunday (August 16), Twitter stumbled upon CyHi The Prynce’s government name (Cydel Young) amongst the laundry list of songwriters and contributors for the hit record (A Tribe Called Quest and Onyx members are credited for their attachment to samples) and went crazy.
The G.O.O.D. Music lyricist’s name shot straight to the top of Twitter’s trending topics, spawning a wave of conspiracy theories, memes and opinions.
CyHi is credited as a writer on 4 tracks off Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD
3 tracks on JIK
3 tracks of Kanye & Cudi's KSG
5 tracks on Ye
12 tracks on TLOP
CyHi is making BANK behind the scenes…
— Hip Hop By The Numbers (@HipHopNumbers) August 15, 2020
Word around the street is that CyHi The Prynce singlehandedly wrote most of Travis Scott's hit songs off of Astroworld ?
Some snippets of his Astroworld reference tracks leaked. This one is for Sicko Mode.
— Squirt Reynolds ? ➐ (@SquirtReynoldss) August 15, 2020
Y’all should’ve known Cyhi was writing for Travis Scott cuz you think Travis even knows who Papoose is
— Ahmed??/Justice for Breonna & Elijah (@big_business_) August 16, 2020
Kanye West has had writers throughout his entire career and he’s an icon. If you think CyHi writing 4 songs for Travis Scott is going to tarnish his name in any way, you’re sadly mistaken. ?
— Da Kid Gowie (@DaKidGowie) August 16, 2020
People are really just know finding out that CyHi wrote for Kanye, Travis Scott, & artists associated with GOOD Music.
I can't blame the decline in physical albums because Genius has all of this information available online too.
Give CyHi his flowers pic.twitter.com/FQv5XSgUpw
— An Account About Hip Hop (@checktherhyme1) August 16, 2020
It’s still a bunch of y’all who are seeing CyHi trending & still don’t know how crazy his pen is…
And that’s the disappointing part
— the Gold Fanged Medjay ? (@iampatjunior) August 16, 2020
In a 2018 Complex interview, CyHi was explicitly asked how he contributed to Travis’ Astroworld, and he alluded to being a member of the inside council.
“Once you put out a rap album and you’re getting 50, 60, 100 grand a show and you’re this household name, the only next level to go is to compete with Adele and Sam Smith and whatever gospel choir or alternative rock group is up for Album of the Year,” he explained. “Those guys aren’t in there by theyself. It’s 30, 40 people–you got trumpet players, lyricists, writers.
“We’re starting to treat rap like that, like it has to be that important. But [knowing] what minds to put into the room is what makes you a great producer. Instead of just having your homeboys from the crib that’s just in there smoking weed, chilling, playing video games, you’d rather put up a flight for a guy like me, that’s going to make sure the shit sounds dope.”
Although long associated with Kanye West’s musical rollouts, CyHi has played a low-key role most of his career. His 2017 critically acclaimed debut album, No Dope On Sundays, peaked at just No. 65 on the Billboard 200 and fans accused Ye of ignoring the promotional process.
However, as Twitter users began to bleed the Travis and CyHi conversation into ghostwriting allegations for the Astroworld closer “Coffee Bean,” renowned Drake producer Nineteen85 entered the chat to clarify his first-hand experience.
“Lies,” the Canadian artist stated on Twitter. “He wrote Coffee Bean as soon as I played the beat. Wrote it in front of me.” He later co-signed a tweet that explained how easy it is to obtain a writing credit.
Lies. He wrote Coffee Bean as soon as I played the beat. Wrote it in front of me https://t.co/1sJQ30aaBz
— Nineteen85 (@Nineteen85) August 16, 2020
— Nineteen85 (@Nineteen85) August 16, 2020
Neither Travis nor CyHi have responded to the ghostwriting claims as of press time. See below for more reactions.
Cyhi has a whole writing credit on “Sicko Mode” … these reference tracks aren’t that spicy ? pic.twitter.com/oKkQoLgfav
— Riley Wallace (@specialdesigns) August 16, 2020
I’m seeing mad Travis Scott slander because reference tracks CyHi The Prynce made for SICKO MODE & COFFEE BEAN leaked
— Mr. Self Destruct ? (@cosmicwarriorXX) August 16, 2020
Fans tryna expose Travis Scott claiming he didn't write Astroworld after Sicko Mode reference track from Cyhi the Prynce leaks ? pic.twitter.com/WGxmEVDkhg
— Bobbalam (@bobbalam2) August 16, 2020
CyHi did refs for a lot of Travis' Astroworld songs but nobody will care since its Travis but yall remember how everyone freaked out when Drake had ghost writers
— Liam (@706Liam) August 15, 2020
1.) We already knew Cyhi pen works he's written for Kanye for years.
2.) We already knew travis had writers Tory Lanez told us that.
3.) Cyhi barely drops music so we know he's got some clients.
— Trappadonna's Ghost ? (@80FiveIsDead) August 16, 2020
I remember people would call me crazy for not buying into the Travis Scott hype and then today I found out that Travis Scott's biggest song was written by CyHi Da Prince… What a time to be alive.
— brandon mitchell (@Barack_Obiscuit) August 16, 2020
Travis Scott not writing his own lyrics lowkey makes him a better lyricist because he don’t rapping about shit. I’m kind of disappointed with Cyhi
— Rick Fontane (@SuperAubrey3000) August 16, 2020
Writing for Ye, Hov, Travis… Cyhi really a GOAT
— Kanye's Best Protege (@realJackMboya) August 15, 2020