Why Drake Was Forced to Credit R. Kelly on New Album: His 'Voice Isn't Even Present,' Says Producer
Over the weekend, Noah "40" Shebib, one of the several producers on the "One Dance" hitmaker's latest project, responded to an Instagram post with a headline stating, "Certified Lover Boy: Drake album credits R. Kelly as co-lyricist."
Noting that Kelly, 54, doesn't actually appear on the album's eighth track "TSU," Shebib, 38, explained why Kelly had to be credited in order to use "a sample of OG Ron c talking."
"Behind that faintly which you can't even hear is an r Kelly song playing in the background. It has no significance no lyrics are present, r Kelly's voice isn't even present but if we wanted to use Ron c talking we were forced to license it," he continued, referring to the beloved DJ and on-air personality, detailing, "Doesn't sit well with me let me just say that."
"And I'm not here to defend drakes lyrics, but I thought I would clear up that there is no actual r Kelly present and it's a bit misleading to call him a co lyricist. It's kinda wild cause I was just reading 'Baby Girl' by Kathy Iandoli and the recounts of some of that stuff is horrific and disgusting," Shebib added of the biography of Aaliyah, who was previously married to Kelly.
"Then I saw this post and just had to say something because to think we would stand beside that guy or write with him is just incredibly disgusting," he said.
40's response to the R. Kelly credit comes just a few days after Certified Lover Boy broke the record for most-streamed album in a single day on Spotify along with most-streamed album of the year on Apple Music.
The album features musicians such as JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Cudi, Rick Ross, Lil Baby, and Project Pat. Nicki Minaj also performs a spoken-word cameo on "Papi's Home."
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The album marks the Canadian native's first full-length project following Scorpion. Drake previously released other new material in between, including 2020's Dark Lane Demo Tapes and the EP Scary Hours 2, which was released in March.
Along with Kelly credit, Drake also sampled other artists on CLB as well. The fifth song on the LP, "Love All" featuring JAY-Z, begins with a sampling of the "Life After Death Intro" from Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 album, while "Way 2 Sexy" plays with the 1991 hit "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.
RELATED VIDEO: Lawyer for R. Kelly Denies All Sexual Abuse Allegations Against the R&B Singer
Last month, Kelly began trial in Brooklyn, New York, on federal charges of racketeering and sex trafficking after delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prosecutors allege the R&B singer-songwriter and his team — including managers, bodyguards and assistants — "traveled throughout the United States and abroad to perform at concert venues…and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly" as far back as 1999.
According to the indictment, the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer allegedly required his victims to follow "numerous rules" in which they "were not permitted to leave their room without receiving permission, including to eat or go to the bathroom," were "not permitted to look at other men" and "were required to call Kelly 'Daddy.'"
The indictment also accused Kelly of "engaging in sexual activity with girls under 18 years old," failing to disclose "a sexually transmitted disease Kelly had contracted" and producing child pornography by requesting that underage girls send him photographs.
Kelly, who has been in custody since 2019, has maintained his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.