Unintentionally, Drake has started quite the sh*tstorm over his executive producer aspirations of Aaliyah‘s posthumous album. Drake’s obsession, we mean admiration, of Aaliyah as an artist runs deep, so deep he inked her face on his back last year. Before the drama surrounding the veracity of the upcoming album he’s EP’ing, he’d big up his favorite artist in interviews. The name dropping was not only an ode to the fallen angel, but a precursor to all of the back and forth about whether or not Drake will have anything to do with Aaliyah’s new music, and if he really has the family’s blessing. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with it all, here’s a timeline of what we know so far.
December 2011: Drake shows his love for Aaliyah by permanently inking her on his back. We all should’ve know something was up, up, up.
March 2012: Drake sits down with British DJ and personality Tim Westwood . Westwood brings up the infamous Aaliyah tattoo and Drake reveals, “I have some great Aaliyah news coming soon. Some special things,” he said. When pushed to spill more tea he’d only add, “Great things for music. Period.” That could’ve been in reference to songs with Aaliyah or the now infamous posthumous album.
August 1, 2012: The ‘net blew up with claims that Drake was executive producing Aaliyah’s posthumous album. Drake didn’t announce the news, but a “reliable source” told HipHop DX the project would be led by Drizzy. Everyone got caught up in their feelings about whether or not Drake had the chops to do it. Meanwhile Drake prepped for his OVO Fest in Toronto choosing to remain quiet.
August 4, 2012: Timbaland, Missy and Aaliyah were three peas in a pod. As soon as word spread about the alleged Drake production folks wanted to know why Timbaland and Missy weren’t involved. Luckily, Timbaland doesn’t bite his tongue. In an interview with NYC’s Power 105.1 Timbaland expressed his feelings on the matter. “I know they trying to drop some Aaliyah records, but if [Drake] do it, it should be with me and him, and Missy,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going on. The proper way to do that would be for me, him and Missy to be all on the record. For it to be on his record, that would not be right.” But if Timbaland and Missy were interested in putting out an Aaliyah album they could’ve years ago. The sudden interest because Drake is involved seems…interesting.
August 5, 2012: Hours before his two-hour set at OVO Drake dropped “Enough Said” with vocals from Aaliyah. Produced by Noah “40” Shebib the track featured the sweet sounds of “baby girl” and one verse from Drake.
August 7, 2012: Apparently the family was not on board with Drake’s dream idea of putting out an Aaliyah album. Aaliyah’s brother updated her official Facebook page to add his two cents. “There is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family. -Rashad Haughton (regarding upcoming album release rumors),” it read. When the family of the artist speaks there’s really nothing left to say. Oh, but there is.
August 8, 2012: Much Music released its interview with Drake backstage at his OVO Fest where he finally spoke on the high interest news story. “People thought [‘Enough Said’] was my single; it’s not my single,” Drake said. “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.” And according to the YMCMB artist he has the family’s full support. “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.'” Now we’re confused. Does “her family” not include her brother who obviously isn’t feeling this project?
August 9, 2012: The saga continues. Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who runs Blackground Records with his father Barry Hankerson, spoke with Billboard.biz who confirmed that the project is in works, but says Drake is not contracted to executive produce it. In fact, Jomo claims he and his father are producing the album, Drake will appear on some of the tracks and 40 is heavily involved in reshaping the music.
Like all connoisseurs of music, we’d love new Aaliyah material. However, the drama is reaching Jackson family proportions. Before this gets ugly we hope everyone involved can sit down and have a conversation to get on the same page. We hope that same page is everyone on board with creating a dope Aaliyah album.
[Photo: Getty Images]