Unfortunately for Drake, his posthumous Aaliyah album is now a no-go.
According to the rapper’s longtime collaborator Noah “40 Shebib, the project has been put on hold indefinitely due to backlash from the late singer’s family and friends.
“Aaliyah’s label Blackground—the Hankersons, her uncle and cousin—came to me and said if she was around she’d want you to do this [posthumous] project.,” the producer told VIBE magazine. “I’ve been obsessed with Aaliyah forever, and I know Drake has his relationship with her. But that opportunity was mine. Drake said, ‘Can I do it with you?’ and I was like, ‘Of course, we’ll do it together.’”
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However, due to the protest of Aaliyah’s mother and producer/friend Timbaland, Shebib said he “walked away very quickly.”
“The world reacting to Drake’s involvement so negatively, I just wanted nothing to do with it,” he revealed. “That was a very sad experience for me. I was naïve to the politics surrounding Aaliyah’s legacy and a bit ignorant to Timbaland’s relationship and everybody else involved and how they’d feel. Tim said to me ‘Don’t stop, make the album.’ I think that was Tim taking the position of, ‘I’m not going to stop you. If you’re not going to do it, that’s your decision.’ But ultimately, I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t like the stigma. We released [“Enough Said”], but I was seven songs deep. [Aaliyah’s] mother saying “I don’t want this out” was enough for me.”
Drake announced the album and dropped “Enough Said,” featuring Aaliyah’s vocals, in August 2012. About a year later in September, he said “things went downhill with it” shortly after that.
“Me and 40 were working on this Aaliyah album that kind of got blown out of proportion. There are records with me and Aaliyah that no one has ever heard and they’re really good,” he wrote to his Instagrams followers. “I think the press got out of hand. They maybe just had a different vision for it. I’m not sure. It was sounding great to me. Whatever they end up doing with it, I wish them the best of luck. There might be a record with me on there. I’m not sure.”
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