It's fair to say that Drake's third studio album, Nothing Was The Same, wouldn't have been what it was without the Midas touch of Noah "40" Shebib. The two have been inseparable since the 2009's So Far Gone, and every project afterward has built upon their legacy of turning Toronto into a city that people respect from a rap standpoint.
In public, the two are seemingly polar opposites. Drake was born for the spotlight, while 40 prefers to stay in the background as he plans his next major move. After Drake's recent cover story with Vibe, the 30-year-old producer spoke at length with the publication about their relationship inside the studio. He's pretty candid, too, even admitting to not liking "Wu-Tang Forever." On the flip side, he also shares that Drake did not want to include "Marvin's Room" on Take Care.
In between all things Drake, 40 talks about being influenced by Cam'ron and his style of music. "Yo, Cam’s the best," he said. "Cam’s music is so R&B. That’s my influence. Fuck everybody. I love those R&B/rap crosses. Especially if they’re done gangster enough—it’s this juxtaposition that I’ve always loved."
He also addressed the posthumous Aaliyah album, which he and Drake received backlash for in 2012 when they were revealed executive producers. "The world reacting to Drake’s involvement so negatively, I just wanted nothing to do with it. That was a very sad experience for me," he says. "I was naïve to the politics surrounding Aaliyah’s legacy and a bit ignorant to Timbaland’s relationship and everybody else involved and how they’d feel."
According to 40, he was seven songs into the project before he realized it wasn't going to work out. "Tim said to me 'Don’t stop, make the album.' I think that was Tim taking the position of, 'I’m not going to stop you. If you’re not going to do it, that’s your decision.' But ultimately, I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t like the stigma. We released ['Enough Said'], but I was seven songs deep. [Aaliyah’s] mother saying 'I don’t want this out' was enough for me. I walked away very quickly."
Read the full interview here, where 40 also talks about his production on Nas' Life Is Good album.
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