There has been a lot of speculation over who wrote the hit song “Trust Issues” released by Canadian rapper Drake in 2011. The track, which focuses on themes of paranoia and heartbreak, was an instant hit and helped solidify Drake as one of the biggest stars in hip hop and R&B. But the song’s origins and exact writing credits have remained somewhat mysterious.
“Trust Issues” was first released as part of Drake’s second studio album Take Care in 2011. The album showcased Drake’s ability to craft compelling narratives around relationships and his own insecurities. Songs like “Marvin’s Room” and “Look What You’ve Done” tugged at listener’s heartstrings with their raw emotion and honesty.
“Trust Issues” fit right in with the vulnerable and melancholy tone of the album. Over a moody beat produced by Noah “40” Shebib, Drake details feeling unable to fully trust partners due to past experiences of infidelity and dishonesty. He laments being unable to stop obsessing over a woman’s motives in the evocative chorus:
I got trust issues, babe
And I’m working on it babe
Learnin’ how to love you babe, and give you what you need
It’s so hard to trust you babe with what I’ve been through
My last girl fucked me up, I can’t lie
The track connected with listeners as Drake articulated common feelings of jealousy and heartbreak in relationships. Despite its grim subject matter, the honest vulnerability made it an anthemic track.
In the album notes for Take Care, Drake and Noah “40” Shebib were listed as the sole writers for “Trust Issues.” However, soon after the album’s release, other artists came forward claiming they deserved writing credit as well.
In 2013, R&B singer The Weeknd, who had been involved in Drake’s earlier projects, asserted he co-wrote “Trust Issues.” The Weeknd claimed he had contributed to portions of the melody and provided the inspiration for the tone and theme of the song from his own past relationship experiences. However, he never received official credit.
Singer James Fauntleroy also came forward stating he helped write “Trust Issues.” Fauntleroy is a frequent collaborator with major artists like Rihanna and Kanye West. He implied he contributed some of the vocals and lyrical themes heard in the final track but was not credited due to label politics.
So why do Drake and his producer 40 remain the only listed writers on “Trust Issues” when other artists likely contributed? There are a few possible explanations:
- Drake and 40 composed most of the song themselves and only minor elements were contributed by others.
- Contributors like The Weeknd and James Fauntleroy were paid off or reached settlements to avoid receiving official credit.
- Sample clearance issues may have complicated giving proper songwriting credit.
- Label politics and industry conventions minimize credits for certain contributors.
The truth remains ambiguous. Drake and his team have not responded substantially to address the claims. The songwriting controversy also extends to other tracks on Take Care like “Crew Love” and “Shot For Me.”
Impact and Legacy
Regardless of who deserves the songwriting credit, there’s no denying the impact “Trust Issues” had on Drake’s career and the music landscape overall.
Commercially, the song was a major hit for Drake. It reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 and helped solidify him as a driving force in blending genres. He continues to walk the line between rapping and singing with great success to this day.
“Trust Issues” also cemented Drake’s ability to turn his own personal experiences into compelling storytelling through music. Songs like “Marvin’s Room” and “Jaded” on later albums follow in a similar vein of sharing his vulnerabilities around relationships.
Beyond Drake, “Trust Issues” helped usher in a wave of moody, atmospheric R&B and rap music fixated on romance and paranoia. Artists like The Weeknd, Jhene Aiko, and PARTYNEXTDOOR have all continued exploring similar sounds and themes.
Overall, regardless of who put pen to paper, “Trust Issues” made a lasting impact as a standout track of Drake’s career and the early 2010s music scene. Its murky songwriting origins have become just another part of its mystique and appeal.
In summary, while Drake and his producer Noah “40” Shebib are the officially credited writers of “Trust Issues,” contributions likely came from others like The Weeknd and James Fauntleroy. The exact songwriting process remains unclear due to unspecified settlements and label politics. Nonetheless, the track made Drake a definitive star and helped pioneer a new wave of moody R&B-infused hip hop still popular today. The song’s vulnerabilities resonated widely despite its ambiguous creation story.