Normani basically broke the internet with the release of the video for her new song “Wild Side” featuring Cardi B on July 15. The sultry tune features both artists expressing their most carnal desires to a beat that sounded quite familiar as listeners picked up on a possible sample of Aaliyah’s 1996 hit record “One In A Million.”
However, Normani’s representatives told TMZ that “Wild Side” does not feature a direct sample of the Aaliyah song. According to the outlet, an attorney confirmed that a direct sample was not cleared for use. The late singer’s uncle Barry Hankerson, founder of Blackground Records, claims he owns and manages Aaliyah’s catalog. The music exec shared his reaction to the song and the use of the R&B classic with TMZ.
“I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style,” said Hankerson. “I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah. So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased.”
His sign-off is not the only outside approval the former Fifth Harmony member received for her risqué new song. Timbaland, the producer of “One In A Million,” took to social media to share his thoughts on the track. A post in his Instagram stories shared on Twitter by username @UngodlyReign showed the superproducer enjoying “Wild Side.”
Timbaland tagged both Normani and Cardi B in the post, adding a celebratory emoji. “Ooh,” he repeated to Normani’s vocals. He continued to add sound effects throughout his listen.
— sky ? (@ungodlyreign) July 16, 2021
As VIBE previously reported, Normani was hard at work, learning choreography for the “Wild Side” video before Cardi B became a part of the track adding her guest verse.
“I had already been in rehearsal for about three weeks preparing for the video when Cardi heard the record for the first time,” Normani said in a press statement. “She really showed up for me and brought this record to life by simply doing what Cardi does best. I love that woman down and I’m forever grateful.”
The “Bodak Yellow” rapper revealed that after submitting her verse, Normani’s team requested she deliver another, more explicit feature.
“Sooo like I did a verse and Normani team said they wanted nastier sooo I was like alright …. your wish is my command,” she shared on Twitter.
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) July 16, 2021