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Noah “40” Shebib Looks Back At Drake’s ‘So Far Gone’ Five Years Later

“Lust For Life”
Producers: 40, Keshown Cassel
40: That’s just me on a piano just vibing out and catching a groove. I think the drums were from a Tears For Fears record that Oliver [El-Khatib, Drake’s manager] or Drake said, “Sample these drums, these are crazy.” So I sampled the drums, looped them up and started building on it. That’s just me doing my thing. I don’t think about those type of beats too much when it comes to those kind of slow vibes. Those are like my comfort zone.

Producers: 40, Keshown Cassel

40: This was like the climax of So Far Gone. This is when I tried to push what I was doing creatively as a producer to the ultimate maximum before shit started to get out of control. I gotta come back here one day.

“Successful” (featuring Trey Songz and Lil Wayne)
Producer: 40

40: This was an ill moment to me. These are my favorite type of records, that can incorporate R&B and hip-hop together well. That’s why I always like Clark Kent and his mixtapes and records he would co-produce, remixes he would do back in the day that would always be the ill R&B Clark Kent remixes. Those are my moments. And it’s tough to recreate that with Drake, obviously, because of the scrutiny he gets put under because of the bullshit of the hip-hop mechanism that can happen sometimes. Drake is probably the one of the realest and most honest people out there and that takes more balls than half the shit that’s [out there]. Telling a story or creating a persona that isn’t necessarily real, it doesn’t tell who you really are as a human being or who you what to be as a human being. And that was our concern with So Far Gone, would the hip-hop world accept it. I thought my mom would like it. I didn’t know if my sister would.

“Let’s Call It Off” (featuring Peter Bjorn & John)
Producers: Peter Bjorn & John

40: Drake just heard it one day in a cafeteria in a restaurant in Europe somewhere and called me and said, “Yo, this is the name of the song [‘Let’s Call It Off’ by Peter, Bjorn and John] and flip it. We got to put it on the tape.” I said okay and i downloaded it, and redid the whole beat. i didn’t have the instrumental. I just had the song. So I rebuilt the whole section for him and he came up to the hotel room and recorded the shit. That picture of him up against a white curtain, it’s like a classic So Far Gone picture of him in the hotel room, recording with headphones on. That’s him recording this song.

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