Kevin Durant is officially a podcaster, and a very good one at that. The two-time NBA Champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and one-time NBA regular season MVP has taken his time away from basketball while recovering from injury to start his The ETCs podcast alongside co-host Eddie Gonzalez. Their first episode with Durant’s Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving quickly went viral and the duo’s second is just as good. They recruited Drake‘s de facto collaborator, producer Noah “40 Shebib” to talk about his music career, growing alongside the biggest rapper on the planet and even when to expect Drake’s next album Certified Lover Boy.
KD is a notable hip-hop head — you can find him in the studio with Freddie Gibbs, Hit-Boy and Big Sean and dishing out his top five favorite rappers on Hot 97. For episode two, Durand has 40 guide them through the So Far Gone era up through the present day. “So just luckily for me, because I knew how to play the piano and I was good at computers, I was right on the forefront of the change of technology. So Drake was on the forefront of the change of technology,” Shebib said about his early beginnings making music around 2004. He even told a funny story about how people in the studio had never seen someone create an instrumental with a keyboard plugged into their computer around that time. “In many, many ways, from streaming but most importantly for production. I’ll never forget that when we did So Far Gone, the most asked question that I would get was ‘what console did you mix that on?’ I was like, ‘what console? Motherf*cker I did this on my laptop in my hotel, what are you talking about?’ That was like a foreign concept to people.”
40 also talked about his chemistry with Drake and how they craft their songs together. “He’s so f*cking hands on. He produces so much. His impact is so great when he’s in the room with a record. He knows exactly what to do, he knows exactly what things are supposed to sound like. He dictates most of it. And I’ve reaped the benefit of that my entire career. All of that praise, yo, I give so much of that back to Drake, are you crazy? Half of this sh*t is him, man. It’s all his ideas, like down to me filtering the sh*t out. I did it, like my whole signature filtering, underwater sound… but Drake was the one who came back and was like, ‘filter that hook.’ and made it a thing we kept doing.”
The three-time ASCAP Songwriter Award spoke on why he continues to work with Drake almost exclusively. “I don’t do what I do as well as I do it without Drake… What we’ve created is special and unique and I don’t want to give that away. I don’t want someone else to have the sound that we have. Only he gets that and that makes it more valuable to him and more valuable to me… Truthfully I don’t think any artist in the world is good enough to take my weird a** sh*t and turn it into something as incredible as Drake. Most people, you give them “Marvin’s Room” and they’re like ‘what the f*ck is this?’ It doesn’t sound like anything. Could you make a song out of it? I don’t know, Drake did. And when he does that sh*t I’m like, ‘f*ck everybody, he’s The GOAT.”
For those wondering when Certified Lover Boy will be dropping, 40 simply doesn’t have an exact date. He detailed that the coronavirus pandemic has definitely gotten in the way of the overall recording process. “Ultimately me and Drake work pretty remotely these days anyway. So he sends the stuff as soon as he records it and I work on it and send it back. That’s the way we’ve been working for quite some time.” But he did reveal that when they’re close to closing out a new project, they are usually together in-person for an extended period. “He’s always got it. Now does that mean he’s done? I don’t know sh*t. He might make 10 songs next week. I don’t know. But he’s got it… But when are you going to pull the trigger? I don’t know when you’re going to pull the trigger.”
Other topics include how much 40 likes watching Attack on Titan, aspiring to create an entire album on an iPhone and consuming a bunch of political news in his time away from the studio. Listen to ETCs with Kevin Durant: Episode 2 via Apple Music and stream it on Spotify below.