Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy has been out for a few hours now, and between its release and now, fans have been carefully examining the project. That sleuthing has led to an eyebrow-raising discovery: R. Kelly has a writing credit on the album.
Along with Drake, the artists credited as writers on the song “TSU” include Harley Arsenault, Noel Cadastre, F. Hills, Timothy Mosley (aka Timbaland), Ronald Coleman (aka OG Ron C), Christopher Cross, Justin Timberlake, and Robert Kelly (aka R. Kelly).
As Genius notes, the song samples NSYNC’s 1997 song “Sailing,” a cover of Cross’ 1980 single. Furthermore, others have pointed out the song also samples Timberlake’s “Until The End Of Time,” which Timbaland co-wrote. According to WhoSampled, the song also samples Kelly’s 1998 song “Half On A Baby,” which is where his writing credit comes from.
I swear some of yall just be fking talking. Let's break this down for the numbskulls: There are 3 DIFFERENT SAMPLES ON TSU:
Sailing by #NSYNC (song written & performed originally by C. Cross)
Half on a Baby (R. Kelly)
UTEOT (J. Timberlake & T. Mosely)
— RichFraZ™️ (@DEPMG_CEO) September 3, 2021
It was reported recently that Kelly is attempting to sell the publishing rights to his back catalog. If somebody purchased the rights, Kelly would not profit from his song being sampled on “TSU.” However, it appears Kelly is struggling to find a buyer, so as it stands now, Kelly still owns his publishing rights and will therefore profit from “TSU,” which is becoming a much-discussed song on one of the year’s biggest albums.
Of course, Kelly has faced many allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years. Most recently, an alleged male victim of sexual exploitation by Kelly testified in court.
Certified Lover Boy is out now via OVO Sound/Republic. Get it here.