Producer Noah “40” Shebib took to Instagram to offer an explanation about the R. Kelly songwriting credit on “TSU,” from Drake’s new album, Certified Lover Boy.
Shebib, one of several producers on Certified Lover Boy, responded to an Instagram post that shared a photo of a headline from the Independent that read “Certified Lover Boy: Drake album credits R. Kelly as co-lyricist.” The producer confirmed that Kelly does not actually appear on “TSU.”
“On a song called tsu at the beginning is a sample of OG Ron c talking,” Shebib wrote in his comment. “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. 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.”
He 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.”
Drake’s album features songwriting credits for the sampling and interpolating of several songs, including the Beatles’ “Michelle,” the Notorious B.I.G., Right Said Fred and Kelly.
According to WhoSampled, “TSU” utilizes the same symphonic intro found in Kelly’s 1998 single “Half on a Baby.” Due to the sample, Kelly is also a credited songwriter on the track, alongside Drake, the track’s producers (Harley Arsenault, Noel Cadastre, OC Ron G) and Christopher Cross, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake; N’Sync’s version of Cross’ “Sailing” is also sampled on the track.
While Kelly’s music had frequently been sampled by hip-hop artists prior to his more recent legal issues, “TSU” marks the most high-profile usage sampling since the singer was indicted on federal sex trafficking and racketeering charges in Brooklyn — where he currently stands on trial — with Kelly also facing both a federal trial and state charges in his native Chicago.