Noah "40" Shebib celebrated his 34th birthday over the weekend. The man partially responsible for Drake's signature sound has become a celebrity in his own right these past few years. At 33, the Toronto native has a production discography full of hits that can rival almost any industry vet.
40 came up in the industry as the backbone to Drake's R&B-laced sound. And though Drake has branched out to work with other producers like Murda Beatz, Cubeatz, Metro Boomin, Cardo and many more on his way to the top of the charts, he has always kept 40 as his right-hand beatman—and for good reason.
The childhood friend and talented musician has supplied the 6ix God with soulful and hit-making beats since their earliest mixtape days. The OVO Sound co-founder has had a big influence in crafting Drake's signature beat selection for his breakout project, 2009's So Far Gone. 40 pulls from every imaginable genre to sample the best of Drake's liking. Whether it's a soft SWV sample on "Shot For Me" or Curtis Mayfield's "When Seasons Change" on "Tuscan Leather," 40 can squeeze the most obscure features and overlay them with vocals.
Back in 2016, before the release of Drizzy's quadruple-platinum Views, 40 broke down his production prowess firsthand for Native Instruments. "One of my things about making music is it being easy," said 40. "When it comes to Drake, my objective is to make the artist the number one priority at any cost. My goal is to make them happy. As much as I want to have integrity in the work that I’m doing, I want to make sure they’re getting what they want."
In March 2017, the Canadian natives (along with their entire OVO crew) struck gold once again with the OVO Firm "playlist" More Life. The 22-track project, featuring Kanye West, Giggs, Skepta, 2 Chainz and more, was one of the most anticipated rap offerings of the year and, in what seems to be Drake's new M.O., broke streaming records within a week of release. More Life moved 505,000 equivalent album units five days after it was released on March 18. For 40's hand in the newest project, the 33-year-old produced songs like "Jorja Interlude," "Lose You" and "Glow."
Take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of his best beats so far in his career. Let this list serve as a reminder to always respect the producer. More life, 40.
The mesmerizing track from Drake's third mixtape is solely produced by 40.
"Fancy"Drake Featuring T.I. and Swizz Beatz
Swizz Beatz and 40 teamed up for this party track with back-up harmonies by Mary J. Blige and backwards-sampled strings.
With a sample from Aaliyah's "At Your Best" worked in, 40 and Boi-1da worked together as co-producers on this Thank Me Later joint.
40 provided Drake with this fading sub bass beat for his set of promotional loosies leading up to Take Care.
40 and Boi-1da collaborated on this beat for the platinum-selling second single off Drake's Take Care.
"Crew Love"Drake Featuring The Weeknd
Illangelo, The Weeknd and 40 all produced this woozy chart-topper.
"Take Care"Drake Featuring Rihanna
40 teamed up with electronic producer Jamie xx and incorporated a sample of Gil Scott-Heron's "I'll Take Care of You" for this one.
40 strategically samples Don McLean's "The Wrong Thing to Do" for this fan favorite off Take Care.
40 samples Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" and Curtis Mayfield's "When Seasons Change" to craft the best intro track Drake has ever delivered.
"Started From the Bottom"Drake
New Jersey producer Mike Zombie assists 40 on the lead single to Nothing Was the Same, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"No New Friends"DJ Khaled Featuring Lil Wayne and Rick Ross
40, Boi-1da and New York City producer Vinylz all had a hand in creating this bellowing DJ Khaled-hosted hit.
"Girls Love Beyonce"Drake
Though it's a loosie, this track is a favorite among Drake stans. 40 managed to incorporate an obvious Destiny's Child "Say My Name" sample in and James Fauntleroy.
A clear standout from If You're Reading This It's Too Late, "Jungle" contains of sample of Gabriel Garzón-Montano's "6 8" (that angelic "Rock me real slowly...).
"One Dance"Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
40, along with producers Nineteen85, DJ Maphorisa and Wizkid all banded together to craft this island-inspired beat, which would become Drake's first U.S. Billboard No. 1.
40 took no prisoners on Drake's Views. A perfect example of that lies in the rapper's "Feel No Ways," which was co-produced by 40, Jordan Ullman or Majid Jordan and Kanye West.
"Marvin's Room" is one of those songs every Drake fan will point out of his discography as the rapper's best and that's partially thanks to 40's muted bass production and effortless incorporation of Drake's drunk dial.
"Come and See Me"PartyNextDoor
40 blessed Party with this hazy, saxophone and cymbal-heavy beat for the lead single off P3.
40 intertwines Drake's "Doing It Wrong" in the beat for this More Life standout.
40 got an assist from Stwo for this smooth, Mary J. Blige-sampled beat, which houses one of the best verses on Views.
"Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)"Alicia Keys
40 gave this beat to A. Keys for her 2009 album, Elements of Freedom.
"I'm On One"DJ Khaled Featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
40 split production credit with T-Minus and Kromatik for this DJ Khaled discography standout from his 2011 album.
"What Happened to U"Usher
This downtempo beat was produced by 40, Omen and Natural.
Nas employed 40 for this in order to make 2013's Life Is Good really stand out.
"Grammys"Drake Featuring Future
40 splits production credits with Cardo, Southside and Young Exclusive for this Views turn-up record.
A sample of Brandy's "I Dedicate (Part I, II, & III)" rings through "Fire & Desire" thanks to 40, Jordan Lewis and Hagler.
On "Views," the namesake track of Drizzy's quadruple-platinum feat, 40, Boi-1da and Bidaye work in a sample from gospel group The Winans.
Drake assembled his A-Team for this one. 40, Boi-1da, Brian Bennett andCuBeatz all pitched in to craft the menacing strings and heavy bass.
"Fuckin' Problems"A$AP Rocky Featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz
The chart-topping bass knocker (and easily one of the best songs of 2012) was co-produced by 40 and Drake himself under the pseudonym C. Papi.
"Mine"Beyonce Featuring Drake
Bey's silky vocals float over this 40, Omen and Majid Jordan-produced deep cut.
Weezy F. Baby killed this down-tempo beat by 40 and Omen.
Another standout cut from Drake's discography, the Hitboy, 40 and Hagler-created beat boasts triumphant saxophones and plenty of bass.
"30 for 30 Freestyle"Drake
Drake and Future's What a Time to Be Alive wouldn't be what it was without the heartfelt Drizzy cypher at the end over the piano-laden 40 beat.
PartyNextDoor and 40 linked up for this 2014 Drake loosie in the aftermath of the momentous Nothing Was the Same.
"0 to 100 / The Catch Up"Drake
Frank Dukes, Boi-1da, Nineteen85 and 40 crafted this banger for the NBA 2K16 soundtrack.
"Enough Said"Aaliyah Featuring Drake
With Aaliyah being a huge influence on Drake artistically, it makes perfect sense that 40 would marry one of baby girl’s previously unreleased cuts to Drake's bars with the utmost care.
Scottish electro producer/DJ Hudson Mohawke-assisted 40 on this spiraling beat.
"My Love"Majid Jordan Featuring Drake
The dark, submerged back beat of 40, Illangelo and Nineteen85's production allow Majid Jordan's vocals to filter through perfectly.
"Work"Rihanna Featuring Drake
40 worked with Boi-1da and Kuk Harrell to marry the sounds of the Islands and help Riri score her 14th No. 1 single.
"Light Up"Drake Featuring Jay Z
This Thank Me Later cut houses not only exemplary bars from Hov and Drizzy, but sprawling production from 40 and Tone Mason.
The light guitar in this 40 beat almost puts the listener in a dream pop state—that is until Drake enters with his bars about stress and sacrifice.