Those hoping for a new Aaliyah album spearheaded by Drake are in for disappointment.
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.’”
After hearing of protests by Aaliyah’s mother and Aaliyah’s longtime collaborator 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 surprised Aaliyah fans everywhere when he announced the album and dropped “Enough Said,” featuring Aaliyah’s vocals, back in August 2012. It wasn’t long before“things went downhill with it”.
“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 said in an interview back in September. “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.”
We’d still love to hear at least one more Aaliyah album, even if Drake isn’t involved. Would you?
[via Rolling Stone]