R&B singer Drake has decided to go forth with infusing himself in the late singer Aaliyah’s unreleased tracks. Drake will be releasing an entire album which was recently confirmed by Blackground, a label started by Aaliyah’s uncle. Drake is said to be the sole person helming the project and will executive produce with producer Noah “40” Shebib.
Drake, who seemingly has no personal connection to the singer and is just a self-proclaimed fan, released a song last week titled Enough Said, which incorporated his raps over an unreleased track from the late singer. That song was also produced by Drake’s longtime business associate, Shebib. According to Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who is overseeing the project said about the album, “The fourth album is for the fans, The idea [is] to release new music for her die-hard fans, and also reintroduce her music to a new generation that doesn’t really understand how much influence she has [had].” Drake is also said to appear in even more tracks on the forthcoming album.
Almost immediately fans started to ask whether or not Missy Elliot and Timbaland, two dear friends and constant collaborators of Aaliyah’s were involved in the posthumous project. The two producer-rappers were influential to Aaliyah’s impact on the R&B world, contributing to her three albums and pushing her to the top with 1996’s One in a Million. Missy Elliot and Timbaland, who have effortlessly tried to preserve her memory through music are not on board with the current project despite Hankerson’s claims that they are both “definitely involved.”
In fact, Elliot and Timbaland have rallied with Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton, and are completely against the album. On Facebook, Haughton took to the site to express his thoughts on Drake’s Aaliyah album, “There is no official album being released and supported by the family.” Elliot and Timberland also spoke out saying, “We have nothing but love and respect for [Aaliyah's] memory and for her loved ones left behind still grieving her loss. Tim and I carry Aaliyah with us every day, like so many of the people who love her. She will always live in our hearts.”
Aaliyah, 22, died shockingly in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001. At the time she had just released her third album, and had seven top 20 singles. Before her passing she was starting a film career and was set to star alongside Whitney Houston in the film Sparkle.