After backlash, co-producer of Drake’s new album shares why R. Kelly was credited on the project

Francis Akhalbey September 07, 2021
R. Kelly has a songwriting credit on Drake's "Certified Lover Boy " album -- Left photo via @champagnepapi on Instagram | Right photo via Chicago Police

A co-producer of Drake’s record-breaking Certified Lover Boy album took to Instagram to clarify how disgraced musician R. Kelly ended up with a songwriting credit on the Canadian rapper’s project.

R. Kelly is named as one of the writers of the album’s track 8 song, TSU. But co-producer Noah “40” Shebib explained he and his team were actually forced to credit the singer and he did not play any part in composing the song in question. The producer made those comments in response to an Instagram post that shared a screenshot of an article with the headline, “Certified Lover Boy: Drake album credits R. Kelly as co-lyricist.”

Shebib said they were left with no choice but to credit the 54-year-old as his song faintly played in the background of the recording of OG Ron C (OVO Sound signee) talking.

“On a song called tsu at 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 wrote on Saturday. “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,” he added, explaining that the reason behind commenting on the post wasn’t to defend Drake’s lyrics.

“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,” the producer said in reference to Aaliyah’s biography. The deceased singer was underage when she controversially married R. Kelly – an adult at the time.

“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,” Shebib said.

Certified Lover Boy, which is Drake’s sixth studio album, was released on September 3. The project has gone ahead to break streaming records on Spotify as well as Apple Music, PEOPLE reported. The star-studded album features guest appearances from artistes including Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Lil Baby, Future, Rick Ross, Project Pat, Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Cudi, and fast-rising Nigerian singer Tems.

R. Kelly is currently facing a federal trial in New York on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. He has, however, pleaded not guilty.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 7, 2021


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