Yeah, this is really happening and according to Drake, he and producer Noah “40” Shebib are taking control of things. If things go his way, fans will have at least 13 new Aaliyah tracks by year’s end.
Drake has made it clear that he doesn’t spend much time on social media outlets thanks to the inevitable criticism, but this week the YMCMB rapper really caught heat for his new collaboration with Aaliyah. Amid rumors that her family isn’t supporting the mysterious posthumous album that he’s helming, Drake finally confirmed that the project is official — with the blessing of her family.
Aubrey first dropped hints about a posthumous album from the singer in March during a radio interview, telling fans he had some “great Aaliyah news coming soon.” A month later, Timbaland was questioned about Drake’s involvement in the project and he was firm in stating that both he and Missy Elliott should be involved in any Aaliyah music being produced on the horizon.
Things went quiet for a while, until last week when word began to spread that Drake might premiere a new single featuring Aaliyah at his annual OVO Fest in Toronto on Sunday (August 5). While he didn’t actually debut the song onstage, “Enough Said” (correctly billed as Aaliyah featuring Drake) hit the Web, causing quite the stir. Some fans were happy to hear unreleased music from the singer 11 years after her death, but plenty were up in arms over Drake reportedly cutting Timb out of the equation.
Next came rumors that Aaliyah’s family wasn’t supporting the project, but during an interview with Much Music, Drake finally explained the real deal. “People should be really excited. People thought it was my single; it’s not my single. It’s all off of an Aaliyah project that me and 40 are commanding and 40’s just doing some incredible, some incredible music right now,” Drake shared backstage at OVO Fest.
“To get 13, 14 new Aaliyah songs, everybody should be excited. It’s not about me. It’s not about 40. It’s about her and her fans and us just getting the opportunity to give you something that we feel is great. And the people around her, everybody from her family to her old management and label, were like, ‘If there’s anyone out that can do it right now, it’s [you] and 40.’ And that was an honor and we’re going to pull in some classic people, anybody who used to work with Aaliyah that was essential in her career we definitely hope to have them involved. So it’s great. You get a new Aaliyah album this year on top of everything.”
There has been no official statement from Aaliyah’s family but the stamp of Blackground Records, which is run by her uncle Barry Hankerson, appears on the cover art for “Enough Said” alongside Drake’s own OVO symbol.