Drake, Timbaland, Missy Elliot Will All Contribute on Aaliyah’s Album
Blackground Records has confirmed to Billboard.biz that Drake and Noah ’40’ Shebib will be co-executive producing Aaliyah’s posthumous album alongside her label.
After Drizzy dropped his single with the late singer “Enough Said” at his homecoming concert OVO Fest Sunday (August 5), rumors have been running rampant about the project.
Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who runs Blackground with his father Barry Hankerson told Billboard.biz that they will be using 16 unreleased songs and “fragments” from Aaliyah’s archive, looking for a release date at year’s end. This will be the first album since the late singer’s 2002’s ‘I Care 4 U.’ The label hopes to satisfy her core fanbase as well as reintroduce her to younger listeners.
“We really felt like it was time. There’s a real new generation that doesn’t know her necessarily, and we wanted to continue her musical legacy with this new generation,” says Hankerson. “That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to do very contemporary music. We didn’t want to make it a nostalgic project; we already did that with the I Care 4 U album. The idea was to release new music for her diehard fans, and also reintroduce her music to a new generation that doesn’t really understand how much influence she has in the music that they’re listening to today.”
Blackground is enlisting “contemporary artists” to feature and repackage her vocals. The label says they reached out to Drake after moving its publishing to Reservoir Media in July based on his work with Alicia Keys (“Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)”) and his unique sound. The Canadian rapper will be appearing on more of the records.
To much speculation, Hankerson also confirmed Timbaland and Missy Elliott’s involvement. “Timbaland will be involved with this project. One of the records that we had that was never released was a Missy record that we obviously are going to be refreshing,” he said, “This record [‘Enough Said’] really kind of came sooner than we thought it was going to come, so it’s really the beginning of the creative process for us. We’ve got a record out while we’re still creating the project. A lot of that is still up in the air, but I can tell you that Timbaland will definitely be involved, Missy will definitely be involved.”
There is also premature talks of possibly two posthumous Aaliyah albums.
Drizzy recently spoke to Much Music saying that it’s an ‘honor’ to be ‘commanding’ the project with 40. “People should really be excited,” he assures.