By Steven Roberts
Common and Drake aren’t on the best terms these days, especially after exchanging scathing verses this past week, but in recent months the tension seemed to spread to their respective camps. Pusha T appears to be taking shots at Drake on his recent “Sweet” and “Don’t F— with Me” freestyles, all over the beats of Common’s “Sweet” and Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy.” Lil Wayne and Jay-Z have been exchanging competitive subliminal shots for a while now, but those shots delivered last year on The Throne’s “H.A.M” and Wayne’s “It’s Good” were probably the most talked about.
Kanye West and Drake even seem to be taking jabs at each other, first on DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One,” (I’m just feelin’ like The Throne is for the takin’/ Watch me take it) and then The Throne’s “Otis” (I adopted these n—as/ Philip Drummond them/ Now, I’m about to make them tuck they whole summer in). Despite all of this, when MTV News caught up Drake’s producer, Noah “40” Shebib, in Toronto early last month, he said that there was no competition with Kanye.
In the August/September 2010 issue of Vibe, 40 said that ‘Ye cursed him out for “borrowing” his sound. But even then, the producer maintained that there was no competition and said that West was a huge influence on him.
“I look up to that guy like crazy. I always have and I always will,” 40 said. “That’s someone who’s carved out a sound for rap music a couple of times, who has really influenced and changed the game as an individual. It would be crazy to say there’s competition.” He added that people should understand the difference between stealing another artist’s style and being influenced by him.
“You’re supposed to be a hybrid. When you got T.I. and Nas and Jay-Z and Wayne and Kanye and Eminem, all these different types of rappers from different places and so on and so forth, I would expect a couple of years after that a new rapper would comes out who incorporates all of those people. Because that’s the evolution of it and that’s what will always happen, so I don’t even look at it as like biting or stealing or this or that,” 40 said.
“I’m grateful to any and everybody that’s ever influenced me, including Mr. West.”
All week, we’ll bring you highlights from our candid interview with Drake producer Noah “40” Shebib. Be sure to keep it locked here as 40 talks Take Care and his thoughts on everything from working with Lil Wayne to Drizzy’s next single with Rihanna. For more on 40, check out today’s “RapFix Live” at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com!