Our friends at Complex dropped another whopper of an interview. This time, Damien Scott spoke to Drake’s producer/engineer/friend Noah “40” Shebib on the inner-workings of Take Care and Drake’s sound. After talking in-depth about history of Toronto hip-hop and how they developed Drake’s sound, 40 reveals the name of a man who has been helping the guys since the very beginning. Noah “Gadget” Campbell is basically named as the Godfather of Toronto hip-hop and said to have helped every big rapper that has emerged from the scene.

“Gadget is my mentor. He taught me everything I know, hence why I had a very strong working relationship with Saukrates and K-Os. I sort of came through. He would literally drop off MPCs and ASR-10s in the hood to all the legendary Toronto hood crews.

Those dudes all learned how to make beats from Gadget. Saukrates is a mini Gadg, Kardi went through Gadg, Jully Black, every Canadian artist that has had any level of success in this country or abroad has come through Gadget.

So Gadget’s taught me and is still involved in Drake’s music today. He mixed most of the songs on Take Care, and he mixed four songs on Thank Me Later, including “Miss Me” and “Light Up” with Jay and a couple others.

I always keep him involved, so on and so forth. But the sound that came with Saukrates and Jully Black and those legendary Toronto hip-hop records, that to me was Toronto’s sound. It was sound that I grew up with and that we all grew up with, and Drake won’t argue that. He’ll agree with me on that comment right away. What he’s saying is that this is the first time the rest of the world has heard the sound of Toronto.

A lot of those guys don’t know how close I am to Gadget and the Sauks, and how close Gadget is to Drake, and how much a part of that we keep his [music] projects.”

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“We work at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, and that’s also Metalworks Institute the school, which is one of the biggest recording arts schools here in Toronto, and Gadget came from a school called Trebas, where he virtually developed the entire curriculum.

His studio still lets dudes from Trebas come in and use one of their rooms sometimes, so the kids from Trebas downtown are coming to school and there’s like this allure that Drake records are getting mixed just one room over. At Metalworks Institute there’s this allure that, “Whoa, Drake’s Maybach is definitely in the parking lot. He’s over there working on a song.”

On Drake’s growth:

The industry’s made Drake a little sharper. I mean, he’s gotten sharper. That’s all I can say. From the sense of, we’re really nice people, he’s a really nice Canadian kid, and it’s tough out there. After a while, you realize people are going to stomp on you. So you’ve got to kind of get your Spidey-senses going and make sure you protect yourself at all times.

Why their music is “real”:

Can I tell you that when your A&R delivers you a record that’s been produced and written by someone else, and you cut it and it goes number one, that that’s the real? No, I can’t.

When me and Drake and Boi-1da or T-Minus stumble into the studio at one o’clock in the morning, and we’re sitting there shooting the shit, laughing and having fun because we’re great friends, and we fire up some instrumental and make a piece of music in a couple hours and have it mixed a couple hours later, and it leaks onto the Internet 30 minutes after that—that’s the real to me. That’s what it means to me.

Bonus: Train of Thought: Kendrick Lamar Speaks on His Take Care Feature & Meeting Drake

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