Drake’s producer says R. Kelly’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ credit has ‘no significance’

A bearded man in a burgundy suit jacket
Rapper Drake is in hot water over a controversial co-writing credit on his new album, “Certified Lover Boy.”
(Richard Shotwell / Invision/Associated Press)

Drake’s new album, “Certified Lover Boy,” has been burning up the news since its release last week, whether for cover art flooded with pregnant emojis or for writing another chapter in his bitter rivalry with Kanye West. Now the rapper is in hot water over a co-writing credit given to alleged sexual predator R. Kelly on the song “TSU.”

But Drake’s producer, OVO Sound label co-founder Noah Shebib, a.k.a. 40, is speaking out about the credit.

“[A]t the beginning is 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,” Shebib said in the comments section of an Instagram post questioning the decision.


“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. 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. ... to think we would stand beside that guy or write with him is just incredibly disgusting.”

Singer R. Kelly is finally on trial for allegedly sexually preying on underage victims throughout his career. Here’s a breakdown of the case so far.

Sept. 3, 2021

On “Certified Lover Boy,” Drake featured the cheer squad of Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology on “7 am on Bridle Path” and sampled artist Masego’s “Navajo” on “Champagne Poetry” — the latter of which is credited.

Legally, artists are required to credit all songwriters or risk facing a lawsuit. Fielding allegations of plagiarism, Olivia Rodrigo retroactively credited Paramore as co-writers on her pop-punk track “Good 4 U.”

However, listeners and fans expressed concern that Drake, who has a tattoo of Aaliyah on his back, chose a song written by a man who, according to court testimony, married her when she was only 15. Drake also sampled *NSYNC’s “Sailing” on “TSU,” which Chris Kirkpatrick of the boy band said was “flattering” in an interview with Variety.

A woman testified Monday that singer R. Kelly sexually abused her when she was 17 and married the late Aaliyah to sign off on her abortion.

Aug. 24, 2021

One user wrote on Twitter, “Y’all not gonna move these goalpost for Drake. He is wrong for sampling R.Kelly, period, hard stop.” Another tweeted, “Drake sampled *NSYNC…and [R.Kelly]’s in their writing credits…and that’s gonna keep happening because that man [R. Kelly] wrote and produced a lot of music.”