If the news that Drake would be at the helm in the studio on the forthcoming posthumous album from Aaliyah seemed a bit strange to you, well you can consider yourself in good company. Some of the most prolific individuals in music, including Timbaland, Missy Elliot and DMX, have voiced their concerns over Drake’s involvement in the project.
The main concern seems to come from the fact that Drake has failed to include any of the artists renowned for their work and their personal relationships with the late hip hop songstress. According to MTV, while Blackground Records, who represented Aaliyah, have confirmed that Missy Elliot will be a key participant in the release, Missy and her management deny this, and she claims that “no call has been made to me”.
Elliot continued to tell Hot 97 that the whole concept feels straight to her for more reasons, adding that “I have to respect her family, and until they come and say they’re ready to do an Aaliyah album then I don’t really want to get into that because it’s very sensitive. It’s not records that already done came out, we’re talking about unfinished music. And we don’t know what her reasoning for not putting those records out. Maybe she didn’t feel like they were her best work. We just don’t want to tap into that, just spiritually something else you know…..very very touchy. Unless her parents came in and conducted that.”
Timbaland, while biting his tongue somewhat on the issue, showed little confidence in the young buzz-rapper completing this project to its full potential, answering in the same interview as Missy that “I don’t even know if it’s an album, I don’t think that’s in the works. I don’t know, I think it’s blown out of proportion. I haven’t spoken to Drake yet. I have a hard time just hearing her music.” And Timba wasn’t lying, having stated that he is yet to listen to the first single off the release (which was released in the past weeks) the whole way through. And when the interview offered to play the whole of Enough Said, Timba denied.
Not one to mince words, DMX took the opportunity to unleash on Drake. Having worked with Aaliyah in the studio and on the film set, and being considered a close friend of the singer, DMX was outraged when he wasn’t asked to contribute to the release, commenting on Drake saying, “He has talent, but it’s kinda redundant, it’s kinda the same all the time to me personally. It’s an annoying sound… I’m kinda feelin’ some kinda a way about the fact that you been commissioned, that you been blessed, you’ve been given the opportunity to do the Aaliyah album yet you don’t include anybody that she worked with personally”.
X, who fought back tears during the interview, further explained his disgruntlement, adding “How do you disregard what this woman did? What this beautiful angel did and say, ‘Oh OK, I’m gonna take it for myself because I’m hot right now and I’m feelin’ myself’,” he asked rhetorically. “How do you just go there with it? Your balls ain’t that big, son.”
It’s hard to get excited about the release when the people you were most excited about being featured are not only not involved, but against the idea. It looks as though between now and the release date, we will have to sit back helplessly as Drake syphons Aaliyah’s hard-earned, and hard-kept credibility for his own diminishing career.