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Drake Worked as a Songwriter For Dr Dre When He Was Nineteen

Drizzy and his pal Noah "40" Shebib caught a break working for Dr Dre's Aftermath record label.
January 14, 2016, 10:51am

What was your job when you were nineteen? Handing out leaflets for a problematic student union clubnight? Working as a telesales advisor in an office where you answered to a woman called June? Or maybe making tea for a bunch of cantankerous middle aged graphic designers on the premise that you're there to learn something? Well, Drake was working as a songwriter for Dr Dre.

Yes, Drake, arguably the biggest songwriter of our generation, was once a writer for Dr Dre, arguably the biggest producer of his generation. And it all happened when Drake was in his teens, three years before he'd release his break-out mixtape, So Far Gone. The news stemmed from a book that's recently been published called The Song Machine: Inside The Hit Factory. In an email recieved from the author, John Seabrook, the website DJ Booth found out that Drake and his partner Noah "40" Shebib worked at Dre's Aftermath Records in 2005, were paid $10,000 for their work, and lived at the Oakwood apartment complex – an area famous for its patronage of child actors, Hollywood hopefuls, and hanger-ons looking to catch a break.

Nothing came of Drake and 40's time at Aftermath though. In fact, it seemed less like a creative process, and more like a bit of time spent in a battery-farm for songwriting. In Seabrook's book, Drake is quoted as saying: "It was some of the most strenuous militant shit I’ve ever done. But no useable songs came out of it. When I think of how he worked us, it’s no wonder he didn’t get anything out of it. It was just writers in a room churning out product all day long.”

Of course, even the pair's relationship yielded no listenable material, one can assume it provided a back-bone for Drake's career. Some people start by stickering up CDs in their local record store, Drake started from the bottom (in Dre's Aftermath studio).