DJ Premier, one of the most critically acclaimed producers in the genre, recently listed five of his favorite producers today.
Drake’s main producer, Noah “40” Shebib is on the list, which was published on XXL. 40 has been working with Drake throughout the Canadian rapper’s career. Recently, 40 spoke about Drake’s breakout project, So Far Gone, and his “Best I Ever Had” single.
“I didn’t know it was going to be big,” 40 said regarding “Best I Ever Had” in February. “I thought it was kind of corny. I thought it stuck out on the tape and I was a little nervous whether or not it should be on there. Oliver [El-Khatib, OVO co-founder, producer and manager] was a little nervous about it. That being said, I kind of asked for it. And I was like, ‘Yo, we need a record on here that might work at radio. We have nothing on here that might work at radio. Okay, please give me one song.’ It gotta be feel-good. It got to be major chord progression and give it to me three-and-a-half minutes. Please just something. I got 10-minute minor chord progressions on here. Give me a three-and-a-half minute song that at least feels good. So he cut ‘Best I Ever Had’ in one night. One of the biggest songs in his whole career. Then I knew, because my sister is the one who hit me up and said, ‘Oh my God, that “Best I Ever Had” song is amazing.’ I was like, ‘Wait a second, I didn’t even think you would like the mixtape, and that’s the song you like?’”
“I’m blessed to be able to say that it doesn’t happen to me anymore, but we’ve all gone through it,” !llmind said. “I think a lot of it has to do with that, as a producer, you don’t have a real relationship with the artist you are creating with and that’s due to the fact that you’re e-mailing beats. The most important relationship you can curate with someone is directly with the artist. It’s not with the A&R, it’s not with their manager. You need to have a direct relationship, a working relationship with the artist you are working with. A lot of times, up-and-coming producers don’t get credit because the guys on the other side just don’t care. The artists don’t care. For all you know they don’t even know what your name is or probably forgot your name and the A&R’s working in-between are juggling a million things. You are probably not getting paid much money and if it’s a mixtape placement, you probably aren’t getting paid anything so you are left in the dark. You did the beat, but you’re still a stranger. They aren’t gonna go that extra mile to do you any favors because they simply don’t care about you. So that’s the difference between having a real, true working relationship with an artist as opposed to being a beat maker and e-mailing your shit out, getting a placement, and getting pissed off you didn’t get credit.”