Noah “40” Shebib is best known for being Drake’s beatsmith in rhyme since Drizzy first rose from his Degrassi wheelchair and became a permanent fixture in our musical lives. 40’s beats consistently run the gamut of sounds—from super mellow to super amped up—depending upon the situation. He is well on his way to superproducer status, especially given his production productivity.

So now it’s time to salute the producer who has given us some of our favorite instrumentals over the last few years. Check out 40 of 40’s best beats. --KI


“Successful” Drake Featuring Trey Songz & Lil Wayne
Drake’s aspirational track with Trey Songz had a woozy beat – compliments of Shebib. He accented it with some hi-hats to really accentuate the emotions…and we know Drake has plenty of those.


“Un-Thinkable” Alicia Keys
An uncredited Drake is on the ad-libs and background vocals for the song, so naturally 40 gets in on the action by concocting the seductive beat. Who wouldn’t be “ready” after that instrumental?


“No New Friends” DJ Khaled Featuring Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
Vibrating synths that hug Drake’s important message about friendship? Yes, please. OVO doesn’t play when it comes to their people, and maybe they have “No New Friends,” but 40 brought an all new beat.


“Fuckin’ Problems” A$AP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
The moaning “Ohs,” the rigorous feedback inducing basslines, the ‘80s chimes. All of that was piled together to make A$AP Rocky & Co.’s nymphomaniac’s anthem. They love a bad beat just as much as a bad b**ch. Shouts to C. Papi on the beat’s assist.


“The Moon And the Sky (Remix)” Sade Featuring Jay Z
Somehow, someway, 40 reinvented Sade’s single with “ain’t gon’ let you go” chanting ad-libs and a beat that literally is the sonic embodiment of the moon and the sky. It was updated with enough Hip-Hop flavor for Jay Z to comfortably ride the beat in his cameo.


“Wu-Tang Forever” Drake
Sure Wu-Tang Clan fans were horrified by Drake’s inviting himself into the 36 Chambers – well actually the Wu-Tang Forever chambers – but 40 nailed the beat. He took a sample from “It’s Yourz” to another level, whether you like the sentiment or not.


“Unforgettable” Drake Featuring Young Jeezy
Co-producers 40 and Boi-1da know all too well about Drake’s fascination with the late Aaliyah. So they opted to take a sample from one of Baby Girl’s earlier classics – her cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” and use it on the unforgettable single.


“Shut It Down” Drake Featuring The-Dream
The electric organ runs so fluidly all over this track co-produced with Omen, as Drake shuts it down with The-Dream in tow. There’s something about 40’s slamming snares that sound like an MPC erupted in the studio while he was making the beat.


“Marvin’s Room” Drake
Wanna know why so many people flocked to their computers to record their own interpretations of “Marvin’s Room”? It wasn’t because they were so excited to lock themselves in depressing solitude; it was the hypnotic beat that 40 concocted.


“Fancy” Drake Featuring T.I. & Swizz Beatz
Both 40 and Swizz Beatz approach production from two very abstract (albeit different) angles. When they came together to create the beat for “Fancy,” it literally sounded like a combination of their two worlds. The result was a, well, fancy beat.


“Shot For Me” Drake
The finger snaps at the start of this track would lead you to believe this song is going to just be a simple breakdown with and SWV sample. That is until the stuttering cymbals enter and a bunch of ambient sounds pour in and then it’s like whoa.


“I’m On One” DJ Khaled Featuring Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
Sure, T-Minus and Kromatik were also co-producers on this one, but you can hear 40’s DNA all over this (Drake even shouts 40 out on the track). With this zipping beat, these three were definitely on one when they made it.


“Doing It Wrong” Drake Featuring Stevie Wonder
It’s damn near impossible to not love this beat when the dark soundbed gets a healthy dose of the legendary Stevie Wonder’s harmonica at the end of the track. If you don’t love the beat by then, blame yourself not 40.


“Connect” Drake
Both Hudson Mohawke and 40 took the reigns on this beat, which takes on many forms because it literally has to. Drake’s train of thought is not a one-track mind, so the beat had to move in many directions that close with a timid stream of consciousness.


“Tuscan Leather” Drake
While Boi-1da and Nineteen85 both assisted in crafting “Tuscan Leather,” 40 was spearheaded the project, speeding up a Whitney Houston sample to the point where it was almost unrecognizable and creating a whole new soundscape for the Drizz.


“Practice” Drake
So basically, when Drake and 40 team up to make a beat, they find their way to a “Back That Azz Up” sample. Well, it’s not like they totally borrowed Juvenile’s track, just the vibrating beat, the hook and the cadence. Oh wait. Either way, it sounds good.


“What Happened To U” Usher
Is it a violation to sample Biggie at this point? Not really. 40 did it so gracefully by taking the foggy horns at the beginning of Big’s “One More Chance” and letting the beat for Usher lean on it while Ursh sang with all he’s got. A job well done.


“Houstatlantavegas” Drake
Throw your 1’s up in the air for this early 40 beat crafted for Drake during his So Far Gone days. The beat is smooth, with steady synths and simple basslines. Not bad for a track that molds three cities together in its title.


“I’m Single” Lil Wayne
The Young Money connect runs deep as 40 got the shot to produce “I’m Single” with Omen for Big Baby Weezus. “I’m Single” has a beat that sounds like it’s playing in reverse and then flipped back around again, perfect for a weird guy like Lil Wayne.


“Miss Me” Drake Featuring Lil Wayne
40 strays from his usual production with the help of Boi-1da for this brassy, cymbal-heavy beat punctuated with some horns. It sounds like it could be played by a big band somewhere, as long as Lil Wayne doesn’t bring his skateboard with him. Then it wouldn’t make any sense.


“Take Care” Drake Featuring Rihanna
The thuds and the keys make “Take Care” a great track, but the real treat happens at the center of the song. That’s where the magic happens, as the song takes a turn into a House music direction. What a wonderful change of pace.


“Fall For Your Type” Jamie Foxx Featuring Drake
The notion of “falling” was taken quite literally on this one, because the beat sounds like they’re falling for something. Someone rather, since it’s more of a feeling like you’re falling in love – not like, falling out of window or something.


“Enough Said” Aaliyah Featuring Drake
Aaliyah is sacred territory. When Drake took on the questionable duty of jumping on one of Aaliyah’s previously unreleased cuts, 40’s production had to be perfect. And it was. He helped blend together the signature Aaliyah sound that Timbaland helped develop with the newness of Drake. The result was a pleasant mix.


“Still Got It” Tyga Featuring Drake
If there’s a word to describe the beat on “Still Got It,” it’s cool. The bonus track off Tyga’s Careless World: Rise Of The Last King deluxe edition gets some help from the Supa Dups plus 40 as they sonically live up to the notion that Tyga’s still got it.


“Under Ground Kings” Drake
T-Minus chimed in on this beat, and the way the whole production comes together it sounds like something designed for Bun B and Pimp C, not Drake. But he was taken under Bun B’s wing so it explains the connection, and Drake does his thing on the cut.


“Headlines” Drake
Another break from 40’s norm with the help of Boi-1da. The beat vibrates with ricocheting snares, and Drake throws his money-making bars over the cut. Let’s not forget the “they know they know they know” too.


“Crew Love” Drake Featuring The Weeknd
Of course The Weeknd had to help on this beat since he’s on the song and he loves doing that. Illangelo too, but all together they created a beat that has just enough weird for Abel and just enough awesome for Aubrey. Now that’s crew love. OVOXO.


“Cameras / Good Ones Go” Drake
Ok, who was the creative genius, who decided to sample the ‘90s R&B pale superstar known as Jon B? Was it Drake? Regardless of who made the marching orders, it’s still a wonderful sample to use.


“The Real Her” Drake Featuring Lil Wayne & Andre 3000
Drake helped 40 with this beat, and it totally shows, given how R&B it sounds. It was a nice change for Lil Wayne and Andre 3000 moreso than Drizzy, but the beat is smooth and that’s all you need to care about.


“We’ll Be Fine” Drake Featuring Birdman
This beat belongs in the trap, but instead Drake is on it. Birdman is too, so that makes more sense, but both T-Minus and 40 gave this beat a thorough bounce that anyone from Toronto to Atlanta, New Orleans and everywhere else can love it.


“Bye Baby” Nas
40 and Salaam Remi collectively came up with this soulfully electronic beat for Nas to rock over on his Life Is Good track. The beat does manage to travel in a multitude of directions, but Nas handles it quite well, don’t you think?


“Light Up” Drake Featuring Jay Z
The rumbling beat has a shared hand from Tone Mason, as the crushing basslines host the proper party for Drizzy and Hov to ride over. It might feel a little dark and dismal, but once the song comes together there’s plenty to light up over.


“No Lie” 2 Chainz Featuring Drake
So Mike WiLL Made-It and Marz actually produced this track, yet 40 gets a production credit for “Drake’s vocals.” That’s all that’s really needed, because let’s face it, Drake’s “no lie no lie no lie” is the best part of the song anyway. Whoops.


“Started From the Bottom” Drake
Mike Zombie is the credited producer on this track with some help from 40. But it’s clear 40 heard this beat and needed to add some special quirks for Drake to enjoy, since he knows his dude’s production taste that well.


“Demonstrate” JoJo
Remember when JoJo rocked over Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” beat that 40 crafted? That was hot right? Well, 40 took JoJo’s freaky nature and put it into a winding beat that has guitars, zipping synths and everything else going on. She’s clearly out of Marvin’s room.


“The Calm” Drake
It’s funny. Listening to “The Calm,” and you can hear that Drake has been discussing the pains of progress since Day One. Which means, 40 has been making that pensive production for Drake since Day One as well.


“With You (Remix)” JDiggz Featuring Drake & George Nozuka
Here’s one straight from the early early vaults of Noah “40” Shebib. The track plays like a ‘90s R&B track, complete with the Hip-Hop remix. Isn’t that how every song should sound from any decade?


“Fireworks” Drake Featuring Alicia Keys
There’s some production sharing with Boi-1da and Crada on this one. But the beat they landed upon is so romantic that you want to put a blanket on the grass and watch some fireworks while you listen to the track.


“From Time” Drake Featuring Jhene Aiko
The famed Chilly Gonzales assists 40 on this beat, as they utilize every key on the right side of the piano and then throw in some finger snaps for good measure. The result is simple, but beautiful.


“Dreams Money Can Buy” Drake
The creaks from the vinyl, the doo-wop, everything. It’s of a completely different era, yet fits perfectly within the present. Once again 40 wins in the intoxicating beat category.