After months of heated speculation, Drake and Blackground Records have separately confirmed the release of a new posthumous Aaliyah record. In a video interview with MuchMusic, Drake authenticated rumours that he and producer Noah ’40′ Shebib are exec producing the late singers first original album since her passing in 2001. Drizzy excitedly shared: “People should be really excited… A lot of people thought ‘Enough Said’ was my single. It’s not my single. It’s all off of an Aaliyah project that me and 40 are commanding… We’re gonna pull in some classic people… Anybody who used to work with Aaliyah or that was essential in her career, we definitely hope to have them involved”.
The drama doesn’t necessarily end there though. In a statement to Billboard confirming the project Blackground Records refuted claims that Drake & 40 were executive producers, but instead confirmed that they would be “heavily involved”. Their statement was then shockingly retracted hours later and in another embarressing twist, were forced to acknowledge Drake & 40′s roles as “co-executive producers”.
… The mishandling of this album has certainly dampened my hopes. The unfortunate slew of public contradictions and premature announcements from all sides is enough to unsettle even the most optimistic fans. But it does beg the question – what on earth happened in the hours between issuing their statement and refuting it, that prompted such a radical 360? What is clear at this point however is that all sides look contentious, not least of all Drake – who to some may appear a little ruthless in his quest to control the project.
Read more album details after the jump, including info on the producers involved, how many songs it’ll feature and why Blackground feel now is the right time to release it…
In his interview with Billboard, Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who runs Blackground Records revealed even more album details, confirming that it will feature “16 unreleased songs and “fragments” from Aaliyah’s archive” and that they hope to release it by the end of the year, “enlisting ‘contemporary artists’ to color the project and help repackage her vocals”. Hankerson also added: ”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”, but didn’t clarify if either will be producing anything new for it. On why they feel now is the right time to release this album, Hankerson said: “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… 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.”
Billboard also reveal some interesting information on Aaliyah’s publishing and the plans her label have for her catalogue – read more here.