Drake Producer Noah Shebib Dropped From ‘No Guidance’ Lawsuit

Longtime Drake producer (and OVO Sound co-founder) Noah Shebib, better known as 40. Photo credit: Andrew Louis

In October 2021, Chris Brown, Drake and Drake producer Noah Shebib (aka “40”) were named in a copyright infringement lawsuit regarding 2019’s “No Guidance.” Now, 40 has officially been taken down of the complaint.

Musician plaintiffs in the case recently dismissed the lawsuit (with prejudice) against Toronto-born Noah Shebib, according to legal documents, after dropping Drake from the suit in April. 40 has produced each of Drake’s albums and is a songwriter as well as one of four producers on the mentioned “No Guidance”. (The track’s other three producers, Vinylz, J-Louis and Teddy Walton, are also charged.)

According to the firmly worded original complaint, “No Guidance” (which has racked up over 801 million Spotify streams) “is a forgery” of the plaintiffs. “I like your dress.” A singer-songwriter named Braindon Cooper (who releases music as Mr Cooper) and a drummer and producer named Timothy Valentine allegedly uploaded the allegedly infringing track to SoundCloud in July 2016 – also registering it with BMI at the time – before the song was officially copyrighted in August 2020.

Additionally, the action, in arguing that the plaintiffs’ song was copied, claimed that this track was debuted as part of an EP and performed live by Cooper prior to the release of “No Guidance.” .

“In early March 2019, an A&R rep called Mic Tee — associated with Cash Money Records and the AMAG collective, among others — contacted Cooper to discuss Cooper’s musical talents,” the original lawsuit reads. Mic Tee allegedly suggested that he and Cooper “should take a trip to Toronto” (Drake’s hometown) and then asked him to send “some unreleased music”.

Cooper didn’t forward any unreleased work, but provided a link to “I Love Your Dress,” according to the suit, eventually becoming “suspicious of the interaction upon hearing No guidance for the first time a few months later.

In addition to citing the opinions of musicologists (whose findings have been key elements of arguments in numerous other infringement cases), the plaintiffs have stated that the tracks are similar lyrically and in terms of their presentation” the distinctive click sound effect and a vocal effect whereby parts of the main vocal part appear to have been sped up.

The precise reasons for the partial dismissal of the case (against Shebib as against Drake) are not clear. When reached for comment, Cooper asked DMN “please direct all questions regarding the matter to my attorneys,” and 40 does not appear to have addressed the subject publicly. In any event, the action continues against the defendants, including Chris Brown and Sony Music.

Multiple infringement cases have received media attention over the past month – with 80s band Naked Eyes suing Reservoir Media, Epidemic Sound filing a lawsuit against Meta, and Megan Thee Stallion and Big Sean having been accused of an offense in “Go Crazy”.

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