It’s 2021, and aligning yourself, even inadvertently, with anything R. Kelly-related is asking for a fail. Enter Drake, who sampled the disgraced crooner on his new album, Certified Lover Boy, and has been catching flack for it ever since.
R. Kelly’s hit tune “Half On a Baby” is sampled on “TSU.” Anyone with fundamental knowledge of how music publishing works knows the Pied Piper had to be credited, or else he could come back and sue, and surely win, for copyright infringement.
The 6 God’s longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib recently took to social media to explain details of what seemed like a suspect maneuver. 40 hit the comments on a post shared by Ravyn Wngz of an article that said R. Kelly was a “co-writer.” Turns out, the desire to use OG Ron C vocals is what led to this predicament.
“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,” explained 40. “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.”
And that’s that on that. Also worth noting, 40 didn’t produce track as it’s credited to Harley Arsenault, Noel and OG Ron C.
40 added, “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. 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.”
Is all forgiven? Probably not. Did Drake’s camp try their best—like maybe muting any of the R. Kelly portions considering today’s audio tech? We may never know. Let us know what you think in the comments.