During an interview on Kevin Durant’s “The ETCs” podcast, 40 breaks down the backstory behind his favorite Drake song, “The Calm.”
Noah “40” Shebib recently took a break from cooking up with Drake for Certified Lover Boy to chop it up with Kevin Durant and co-host Eddie Gonzalez on The ETCs podcast. While the conversation is wide-ranging, one of the most interesting moments arrives near the end, when Kevin Durant asks what he deems to be an “unanswerable question” — what is 40’s favorite Drake song of all time?
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After a bit of encouragement from the host, 40 declares that “Resistance” is “up there.” “‘The Calm’ is one of them for me, because of those bars,” continues 40. “Those bars in ‘The Calm’ about his mom, and fighting with his mom, and his uncle on the phone. You guys gotta understand, when we made that song, I was living on Fort York, which was a big condo in downtown Toronto they had just built…That’s where me and Drake first linked up and started making So Far Gone.”
“Drake was coming to the apartment all the time to work on records with me outta my bedroom where I had my little set-up,” he continues. “That’s where we formed October’s Very Own, and that’s where everything began, out of that apartment. That night, Drake came over to the crib, and he shows up with a couple bottles of liquor, a bottle of champagne. He just got there, and his phone is ringing, some shit is going down. He goes out on the balcony and starts cussing. He’s out there for like, half an hour. And it’s getting heated. He’s talking to his uncle, in a big fight with his uncle.”
“There’s screaming and yelling, and he comes back in and he’s just rattled,” reflects 40. “He’s livid, he’s steaming mad. And he’s like yo, put that beat on. And he walks up to the mic and bodies that record. And like, that experience of seeing him be so triggered by that conversation and then spit those bars, and then seeing the way people react to that song — how heart-wrenching that was, how much you felt what he was saying, that was so real. That really happened in that moment. So for me listening to that song is pretty important to me. It also defined me as a producer, as far as that sparseness and being very different and very emotional in a time where motherfuckers were making big booming, slapping records.”