It’s the month for October’s Very Own.
While Drake has given us lyrical evidence that he has possession issues, he claims the late R&B songbird Aaliyah like a forlorn lover. Omit the somewhat creepy back ink of baby girl’s face and the seemingly half-baked posthumous collaboration “Enough Said” and there may be reasons why these two will make the perfect match in musical heaven on her post-mortem album.
1. Careful Thoughts
Aaliyah’s 2002 compilation I Care 4 U featured the smooth ballad of the same name, where the singer offers affection to the man she loves. Fast forward to 2011, Toronto spitter Drake dropped his sophomore effort Take Care along with the Rihanna-assisted track that reads like a response to Aaliyah. Their fragile emotions mixed with mirror-image lyricism makes for radio-friendly romance.
2. The Best Samples
On Drizzy’s debut opus Thank Me Later, the Canadian rapper included Aaliyah on the track “Unforgettable.” While Drake’s first album arguably showcased his top-notch work, it seemed to be a musical strategy to sample the singer’s “At Your Best.” Regardless, the blending of the two melodies works, especially with Noah “40” Shebib on the boards.
3. Numbers Don’t Lie
Aaliyah would be the first to say that age ain’t nothin’ but a double digit, but numerical significance isn’t lost on Drake, who etched “416” along the side of his torso. The number doubles as “116,” an homage to his hometown and A’s birthday, January 16. Combine the two on wax and it may mean some hefty numbers on the sales side too.
4. Early Co-signs
While Aaliyah’s long-time collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott have expressed disapproval of her upcoming album, it doesn’t erase the early praise that Timbo gave Drake when the two collaborated on the 2009 rotation runner “Say Something.” In an interview with MTV News, Tim Mosley said he loved Drizzy’s “tone” and revealed that Jay-Z had hooked the two up. Funny coincidence that Hov was the middle man who brokered the duet, since he was a rumored lover of Aaliyah’s back in the day.
Before Drake confirmed he would be co-executive producing Aaliyah’s pending album, he has shouted out baby girl numerous times through song and interviews. He has assumed responsibility for a daunting task in reintroducing Aaliyah to a younger generation that missed her talent yet is still willing to take on the challenge despite his rep being put on the industry guillotine. On “We’re Fine,” Drake spits: “Since I saw Aaliyah’s precious life go too soon/ she deserve the credit for how I’m about to get it.”
That offers a semblance of hope that he’ll get this right.