40-drake-pharell-vibe

Drake's Producer Noah "40" Shebib Explains How They Created Their Sound and Most Personal Records

With all talks of Take Care’s leak aside, Drake’s second full-length album can't come any sooner. The reason Take Care is so sonically pleasing, filled with warm and deep spiritual remnants of R&B, is this partnership between Drake and his producer, Noah "40" Shebib. His blueprint is all over the album, crafting a sound that is dramatic, moody, and somber for Drake to paint clever pictures of his life. 40 to Drake is like Young Guru to Jay-Z; an engineer/producer/rapper combo that doesn’t quit at making immaculate music.

In an recent interview with GQ, the 28-year-old from Toronto reveals the backstories on some of Drake’s most famed and personal songs, as well as sharing classic tastes in R&B.  A close friend and responsible for one-half of Drizzy’s music, 40 also reveals their first meeting and introducing his sound to him.  --Eric Diep

When the two initially connected musically:

Good call, what was the Aha moment? We musically connected first with R&B. So, it was a couple years we had worked together and I think when he started venturing into R&B, the first one was "Brand New" which I didn't actually write, D10 wrote the beat for it, but I worked heavily with them and helped him produce the record. As far as me and Drake were concerned, we started experimenting with other songs that were very R&B. I think, you know, "Successful" was the most significant turning point where he took one of my beats and worked on it, and that as well as the Shoe Still in a Vegas moment where we discovered that sound, that abstract world we were taking rap music to, between me and him, and that was all pretty transparent. The crazy thing about Drake's career is it happens quickly. "The Motto," a new single he leaked on the Internet, I finished mixing 48 hours ago. That song was created last weekend. The immediacy of how fast we create the music and it goes to the world, that's never happened before, ever. That's the result of technology. There's a transparency there where as soon as we discover the sound, the rest of the world heard it. It happened very quickly. The timeline is laid out in the releases.

Sharing similar tastes in R&B influences:  Noah "40" Shebib: 

I could go on forever, you know? I had a very distinct taste for R&B music, growing up listening to it my entire life and I love producing it first and foremost. It was everything from SWV and Jon B to Silk and Playa and any you could possibly think of. Even Tank, that intro off Sex, Love, and Pain, that kind of slow R&B vibe that lasts, somehow a line came out of "Best I Ever Had." We're always surrounding ourselves with music like that. Even on Take Care you'll see a lot of '90s R&B samples, you know? A lot of different artists from the R&B world of the '90s—we're trying to keep that prominent, like the last album with the Aaliyah stuff. I've been an Aaliyah fan since I was a kid—me and my sister—so that stuff comes up as well. That Timbaland/Ginuwine era, too.

The point 40 introduced his sound to Drake: 

 We star ted working together strictly on an engineer/artist basis. I didn't step forward with my stuff for a very long time. We'd dabble here and there, but that wasn't my place. What happened for me was I didn't know what—I was tired of hearing a Jermaine Dupri record and going home and trying to make a beat like that and make it as good and not understand why I [wasn't] a successful producer. I think you'll find that in a lot of people's emotional reactions to the industry, if you have talent and are good at what you do. At some point I stopped producing and focused on engineering before I met Drake because I like the technical aspect of it and being hands-on and the recording and mixing and electrical engineering behind it, like the mathematics. I focused on that. It came to a point where Drake, in summer of 2008, while working on Thank Me Later, which became So Far Gone, but by September we decided let's make a mixtape and we turned it into So Far Gone between January and December of 2009. That summer, 2008, when we were working on the beginnings of the album-to-be, he was looking for producers and he looked so far and so wide. We must have been listening to thousands of records with him trying to find the answer. Of course, nobody had the answers and we'd come back to the drawing board. And at the end of the day, it was us sitting there, going What do we do next? After a while, I had just said no so many times, there was one option left. I knew what I had to make. I had seen him say no to so many people, there was only one thing left he could say yes to. He said no to everything else in existence. So I started making that one thing that no one else had played yet, and that ended up being So Far Gone.

The story about creating “The Calm” off So Far Gone:  

He rapped that story out a couple times. Lyrics can be interpreted as you want, but his life is transparent through his lyrics, and it's pretty brutally honest and it's scary how much is there. He explained the story a couple times, briefly about this album. It was a crazy, crazy night. That was when we were living in an apartment building in Toronto, downtown, Apartment 1503 15 Fort York Boulevard. He says 1503, two couches and paintings, and he goes on to talk about that apartment where we did all that music, on the new album. He was distraught one night and showed up with $1,000 worth of champagne and I'm cussing at him because we're all broke and trying to make this shit work! Meanwhile, he's renting Phantoms and shit. It's all documented. He shows up with all the liquor and he's drinking and we're trying to start working and he gets into a real argument with his uncle, and he went out on the balcony and started yelling at his uncle and I'd never seen him that distraught or emotionally beat up about something. He just came back in the room and said, I need to rap. Make me something. In 45 minutes, I made "The Calm" and he wrote those bars as I made the beat. Over the next five or six hours, that record unfolded in its entirety.


(Read the full interview at GQ)

From the Web

More on Vibe

DJ Khaled speaks on stage for Pandora x DJ Khaled: Father Of Asahd Sound Of Summer Kick-Off on May 22, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media

DJ Khaled's 'Father Of Ashad' Has Been Certified Gold

DJ Khaled has struck gold with his new album, literally.

The producer's 12th album Father of Ashad has been certified gold, selling an equivalent of 500,000 records. In a press release to VIBE, Khaled's team says the album is the “the fastest full-length record to be minted gold this year”  by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The RIAA also confirmed the news on their site, adding it to its most recent gold and platinum honors for the month of June.

The album is also one of only three full-length projects of 2019 to be certified gold. The others include Tyga's Legendary and Sebastian Yatra's FANTASÍA. 

Khaled's streams from the album reportedly exceed half-a-billion, with singles like "You Stay" with J Balvin and Meek Mill as well as "Jealous" with Chris Brown heating up radio.

The producer was a heap of drama last week when his sportsmanship was questioned after he lost the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 to Tyler, The Creator's critically-acclaimed album, IGOR. Both projects were tied to fan merchandise with Tyler selling IGOR lawn signs and Khaled, cases of energy drinks. After Khaled's album debuted on the chart after Tyler's, rumors swirled that he would take legal action against the publication.

While there seems to be no proof of a lawsuit, Khaled did celebrate on social media the album's No. 1 position on the Hip-Hop/R&B Albums chart.

Continue Reading
EMPIRE

The Hamiltones Gift The World With Debut EP And Fresh Cover Of "Old Town Road"

Grammy-nominated viral group, The Hamiltones have finally released their debut EP, Watch The Ton3s and it has that raw, original R&B sound.

They first gained notoriety as Anthony Hamilton's backup vocalists and for adding their own funky twist when covering songs. Now they've released their long-awaited EP with features from Phonte of Little Brother.

The six-track EP is a beautifully orchestrated project with songs for every emotion. The Hamiltones provided their fans with heart-wrenching love songs and well-written harmonies that showcase the voices that got them famous in the first place. Watch The Ton3s is not just about listening to music it's about experiencing it and the group executed that well through the songs on the project. 2E describes it as being feel-good music. “We can switch up every now and then, but this is a soul/R&B EP -- feel-good music."

Although the group has made it to the big leagues, in terms of releasing their own original content, they're still funneling out covers and making them go viral as well.

Almost two weeks on June 1, The Hamiltones dropped their cover of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and since it's already racked up three million views on Facebook.

The trio consisting of 2E, J.Vito and Tony Lelo are currently on tour with future performances in Chicago and in New Orleans for the Essence Festival on July 5.

For more information on tour dates, check the official website.

 

Continue Reading
Entertainer Meek Mill stands with his son Papi at halftime during the game between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Drew Hallowell

10 Rap Lyrics About Fatherhood

The theme of fatherhood has always been a fixture in rap music. Whether it's the hottest emcees spitting rhymes about their fathers, their own experiences having children, or even imagining the possibilities of having kids, the subject invokes a spiral of emotions. These records find artists at their most vulnerable and intimate, allowing them to share more about their lives, use their experiences to give advice to listeners and to share the emotional highs and lows associated with such relationships and memories.

For instance, Jay-Z has been vocal in his records about not only his love for his three children, but his challenges in fatherhood and his own strained relationship with his late father. For the first decade-plus of his career, he dissed his dad on wax every chance he got. On "Hova Song" from his 1999 album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, he shares that his dad wasn't present in his life and no love was lost there. "Retrospect, ain't been the same since I lost my dad/He still alive, but still f*** you don't cross my path." But he also used his music to chronicle how they mended their relationship before his father's death, and how their journey made him doubt his own ability to raise a child.

Much like Jay Z, other rappers such as Nas, Eminem and others have shared their stories about their fathers, both positive and negative. But their music captures it all. So, for this Father's Day it's only right to highlight 10 verses about fatherhood from some of hip-hop's greatest.

Watch Video

Nas - "Daughters"

“I finally understand/It ain't easy to raise a girl as a single man/Nah, the way mothers feel for they sons/How fathers feel for they daughters/When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa/When she date, we wait behind the door with a sawed-off/‘Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters/Love.”

Watch Video

Jay-Z - "Glory"

“Life is a gift, love, open it up/You're a child of destiny/You're the child of my destiny/You're my child with the child from Destiny's Child.”

Watch Video

Slick Rick - "It's a Boy"

"So it ain’t forgotten, hope I don’t spoil the nigga rotten/Also, don’t discriminate white, he’ll be quite bright, if taught him right/If not he like ask heavenly father, help me raise my shorty right.

Watch Video

Eminem - "Hailie's Song"

“My baby girl keeps gettin' older/I watch her grow up with pride/People make jokes ‘cause they don't understand me/They just don't see my real side/I act like shit don't faze me, inside it drives me crazy/My insecurities could eat me alive/But then I see my baby, suddenly I'm not crazy/It all makes sense when I look into her eyes, oh no.”

Watch Video

2Pac - “Letter 2 My Unborn”

“Please take care of all my kids and my unborn child/To my unborn child…/This letter goes out to my seeds/That I might not get to see ‘cause of this lifestyle/Just know your daddy loved you/Got nothin' but love for you/And all I wanted was for you to have a better life than I had.”

Watch Video

J. Cole - "She's Mine Pt. 2"

“Reminisce when you came out the womb/Tears of joy I think filled up the room/You are now the reason that I fight/I ain't never did nothing this right in my whole lifeGot me thinking…”

Watch Video

Ja Rule - "Daddy's Little Baby"

"Degrade yourself never, 'cause I'm teaching you better/Life ain't all about cheddar, diamonds, and leather."

Watch Video

The Game - "Like Father Like Son"

"They say every time somebody die, a child is born/So I thank the nigga who gave his life for the birth of my son."

Watch Video

Meek Mill - "Save Me"

"I just pray Papi forgive me, ain't seen my son a while (I pray) I go and pick him up from school to see him fucking smile (facts)."

6Lack - "Never Know"

"I got a baby on the way, I think about it every day/They think that paper gon’ change me, I do this shit for my baby.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories