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Aaliyah's second posthumous album is the upcoming third compilation album by late recording artist Aaliyah set to be released through Blackground Records and Interscope Records. It will be Aaliyah's second posthumous release since Aaliyah's death in August 2001. The album was first time publicly confirmed by producer Jeffrey “J. Dub” Walker on Twitter in March 2012.[1]

Canadian rapper Drake[2] and producer Noah "40" Shebib were confirmed to produce. The media's incorrect claim of participation by Missy Elliott and Timbaland was refuted in August 2012.

Background

Preparation for the second posthumous album originally dates back to October 2001, where Aaliyah's brother, Rashad Haughton, hinted plans for the 2002 release I Care 4 U and a possible duets album.[3] Aaliyah's close friend, Missy Elliott, however, confirmed that she was unaware of the supposed duet album, quoting: "I don’t know about a tribute album, you know, not to my knowledge. But if they are gonna do it I’m quite sure that me and Timbaland will be the first to know aside from her mother and her brother."[4] In October 2002, Elliott and Aaliyah's immediate family met agreeable terms and confirmed that a second posthumous album was in the works; Elliott told MTV News:

You gonna hear a new Aaliyah album... right now we're working on getting the artists together. She has a lot of songs she didn't put on the Aaliyah album, so hopefully we're going to get the artists to come in and sing the other verse on a song and keep one of her verses so it'll be like a collaboration thing. I don't have an exact time frame on it because it's a lot of artists we're trying to get for it, but it'll be soon.[5]
In addition to Aaliyah's close friends, Missy Elliott and Timbaland, producing the album, talks of Aaliyah's brother, Rashad, producing Aaliyah's unreleased recordings from the Queen of the Damned soundtrack was also in possible consideration.[6]

Development

In early 2005, several of what appeared to be unreleased Aaliyah tracks intended for the posthumous project leaked via the internet.[7] Among them included "Where Could He Be", featuring Missy Elliott and Tweet;[8] the song was sent to radio airwaves as a "buzz single" for the project. Soon as the song began to pick up heavy airplay and already peaking on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at 120,[9] Blackground Records demanded radio stations to remove the song. Blackground claimed the song leaked before it's intended release, but insisted it would be released soon; as of this very day, the song was never officially released to the public again.[10]

After the controversial removal of "Where Could He Be", rumors claimed release dates for the posthumous duet album would range from 2005 to early 2008.[11][12] Although guest appearances for the album were never officially announced, an official spokesperson from Blackground Records and online sources often reported that Ciara, Beyoncé, Mark Ronson, Trent Reznor, Lil' Kim, Brandy, Beck, 702, Justin Timberlake, Tweet, Rashad, Danja, Monica, Lil Jon, JoJo, Usher, Tyrese, TLC and Toni Braxton were among the many to make supposed cameos on the album.[11][13][14][15][16][17][18] While anticipation and more details emerged, the album would suffer long delays, most notably due to lawsuit battles between Aaliyah's uncle Barry Hankerson (manager of Blackground Records) and Aaliyah's immediate family over the control of Aaliyah's estate and music rights.[citation needed]

In 2007, more delay came after a launch of a heated lawsuit battle between Hankerson and Aaliyah's former labelmate, Toni Braxton where Braxton accused Hankerson of double-dealing and being a "deceptive fraud" in terms of Hankerson trying to destroy Braxton's relationship with her previous record label, Arista Records.[19] A settlement was eventually reached where Braxton was to return $375,000 and pay future royalties to Blackground.[20][21] While the posthumous project was pushed back and was to see a release sometime in 2009, more lawsuits emerged from Blackground labelmates, Timbaland and JoJo. In March 2009, Timbaland sued Blackground after the label intentionally tried to blackball him over his transition from music performance to production.[22] In October 2009, JoJo sued Blackground over constant delays of her third studio album and asked to be released from her contract; however, a settlement was reached when Blackground entered a distribution deal with Interscope Records.[23][24] By this time, Blackground Records had acquired sole ownership of Aaliyah's material and shelved the posthumous Aaliyah duet project due to undisclosed reasons.

Production

File:Drake fox theatre.jpg

After a three year silence on the album, in March 2012, producer Jeffrey "J-Dub" Walker, revealed via Twitter that the project was back in production and her unreleased song, "Steady Ground", featuring Static of Playa was to be released;[25] however, Aaliyah's brother refuted the claims releasing an official statement on his personal Twitter account: "No album is being released or supported by the Aaliyah family".[26][27] Later that month, Canadian rapper, Drake hinted release of his collaborations with Aaliyah's unreleased work.[28] In April 2012, Aaliyah's close friend and labelmate, Timbaland, spoke on Drake's involvement on the album, quoting, "I know they trying to drop some Aaliyah records. I got something that I never put out. I’m trying to get one done now just for the fans, but if Drake do it, it should be with me and him and Missy. The best decision, what the fans would want to see, is all three of us. It can’t be something to make money off of ’cause I think it’s wrong to make money off the dead."[29]

In August 2012, an unheard Aaliyah song, "Enough Said", featuring Drake, was officially released to the public via Blackground; however, the track faced a massive amount of criticism from Aaliyah fans, questioning Drake appearance and the absence of Missy Elliott and Timbaland's involvement in the song.[30] In the following days of "Enough Said"'s release, Aaliyah's cousin, Jomo Hankerson (co-founder of Blackground Records) claimed Missy Elliott and Timbaland would still be involved in the album; however, it would only be two tracks, while main production and guest features were solely handled by Drake and his producer, Noah "40" Shebib.[31] On August 13, 2012, Missy Elliott's manager, Mona Scott-Young, released an official statement to Billboard, refuting Hankerson's claims, quoting:

Although Missy and Timbaland always strive to keep the memory of their close friend alive, we have not been contacted about the project nor are there any plans at this time to participate... We've seen the reports surfacing that they have been confirmed to participate but that is not the case. Both Missy and Timbaland are very sensitive to the loss still being felt by the family so we wanted to clear up any misinformation being circulated.[32]

Controversy

While Aaliyah fans were outraged with the absence of Aaliyah's close friends, other fellow colleagues, DMX and Ginuwine, spoke on Drake's role in the supposed project. DMX told MTVRapFix, "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. How do you just go there with it? Your balls ain't that big, son."[33] DMX went further in an AllHipHop interview, quoting, "...You didn’t even know this woman; you were in middle school. What the fuck gives you the fucking right? Allow Aaliyah to live on and not include the people she always worked with, not include the recipe. It’s wrong, honor her legacy, honor what she did. You don’t have no right to make it yours. If you’re going to allow it to live on, do it in a manner that honors what she did. Respectfully."[34] In an interview with Vibe, Aaliyah's close friend, Ginuwine, spoke on Drake, quoting, "I think he should just leave that alone. I keep hearing about it. I’m not too much up on it but I know a little bit about it. I do know that he’s disrespecting Chris Brown and that’s just not her legacy. That’s not how her legacy should be played out. I don’t think he should use her to paddle anybody."[35]

On September 18, 2012, Missy Elliott revealed that she doesn't know if Aaliyah's immediate family is in support of the project being produced by Drake; she quoted, "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 was 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, ...very very touchy. Unless her parents came in and conducted that."[36]

Twitter impersonation of Barry Hankerson

In August 2012, Barry Hankerson apparently revealed through his Twitter account the release date of the album and a possible album cover. The supposed artwork is a blue-grey image, which features a female figure surfacing from under water, with Aaliyah looking out from a monogram of two A's.[37] However, it was revealed that the original artwork was made by Toronto artist Tony Burke aka Original Tone[38] and later was remade by a fan by adding a graphic of Aaliyah made by unknown author, it caused a questioning about validity of Hankerson account on Twitter.

Singles

On August 5, 2012, "Enough Said" was released on Blackground's Soundcloud account and was sent to the radios on August 21. The song was produced by Noah "40" Shebib and features rapper Drake.[39] Jomo Hankerson colored the release, saying "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."[40]

Release

As of July 2012, Blackground claimed to be working with publishing company Reservoir Media Management to push Aaliyah's music through film, television and outlets including Spotify and iTunes.[40]

References

  1. YouKnowIGotSoul (4). New Aaliyah Album Confirmed. YouKnowIGotSoul. YouKnowIGotSoul. Retrieved on 4 March 2012.
  2. Richard Brooks (3). Drake to Debut New Song Featuring Aaliyah & Executive Producing Her New Album. HYPETRAK. HYPETRAK. Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  3. rnbdirt (29). Aaliyah’s Brother Promises Future Albums. rnbdirt.com. rnbdirt.com. Retrieved on 20 October 2012.
  4. Missy Elliott Unaware Of Aaliyah Tribute Album. rnbdirt. rnbdirt.com (26). Retrieved on 20 October 2012.
  5. Shaheem Reid; Jeff Cornell (22). Missy Elliott Promises Joint Album With Eve, Aaliyah Tribute LP. MTV. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved on 20 October 2012.
  6. Aaliyah’s Brother Working On Secret Music Project. rnbdirt.com (2002-02-14). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  7. Unreleased Material... - aaliyah-files. Aaliyah-files.skyrock.com (2005-05-28). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  8. ΛΛLIYΛH Where Could He Be Ft. Missy Elliot & Tweet. YouTube (2010-06-01). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  9. [1][dead link]
  10. Tweet. BlackPlanet.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  11. 11.0 11.1 2 NEW Aaliyah albums and movie. Prince.org. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  12. Will Ciara and Beyonce Be Remaking Aaliyah Songs? « Female Music Producers. Femalemusicproducers.wordpress.com (2008-02-25). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  13. Bringing Aaliyah Back?. MissXpose (2007-10-24). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  14. Manning, Kara (2000-03-24). Aaliyah Talks Possible Trent Reznor Collaboration - Music, Celebrity, Artist News. MTV.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  15. Timbaland To Release Aaliyah And Beck Duet. rnbdirt.com (2001-09-11). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  16. Aaliyah & Lil' Kim - Queen Bee. YouTube (2010-07-31). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  17. Fader Honors The Legacy Of Aaliyah | ..::That Grape Juice // ThatGrapeJuice.net::.. || Thirsty?. Thatgrapejuice.net (2008-05-10). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  18. Aaliyah Covers FADER Magazine | The Young, Black, and Fabulous. Theybf.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  19. Toni Braxton Moves Lawsuit Against Ex-Manager From Federal Court To New York State Court - Tags: BRAXTON, Toni, 1967- HANKERSON, Barry. Connection.ebscohost.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  20. Blackground Records and Toni Braxton Settle Suit - re> LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/. Prnewswire.com (2006-12-27). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  21. Singer Toni Braxton settles multimillion dollar lawsuit against former manager | Mail Online. Dailymail.co.uk (2007-02-14). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  22. Timbaland News: Timbaland Claims Blackground Label Tried To Blackball Him. Idiomag.com (2009-03-25). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  23. JoJo has her mojo back. Pqasb.pqarchiver.com (2009-10-19). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  24. JoJo Preps New Release. Rttnews.com (2009-12-24). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  25. Posthumous Aaliyah Album In The Works: REPORT. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  26. Robbie Daw (2012-03-05). UPDATED: Aaliyah Album Of Unreleased Material On The Way, Says Producer | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on. Idolator.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  27. *Updated: Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Refutes Claims of Upcoming Album, Releases Statement – New R&B Music, R&B Videos, R&B Interviews, R&B Concert Coverage. YouKnowIGotSoul (2012-03-05). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  28. Drake Talks Possible Aaliyah Collaboration. Popcrush.com (2012-04-02). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  29. Timbaland Talks Missy Elliott, Drake, & Aaliyah on ‘The Breakfast Club’. Rap-Up.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  30. Posted: 08/06/2012 10:40 am Updated: 08/06/2012 2:05 pm. Aaliyah Featuring Drake 'Enough Said' Debuts, But Fans Ask For Timbaland (AUDIO). Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  31. Aaliyah’s Cousin Confirms That Drake Will Executive Produce Singer’s Posthumous Album. Hip-Hop Wired (2012-08-09). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  32. Information Not Found. Billboard. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  33. Posted: 09/14/2012 6:38 pm Updated: 09/15/2012 12:46 pm. DMX Blasts Drake For Posthumous Aaliyah Album: Notable/Quotable. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  34. Gina Torres (@GinaTorres27) (2012-09-13). EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: DMX Calls Drake Out For Not Including Missy On Aaliyah’s Upcoming Posthumous Album. AllHipHop.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  35. Ginuwine On Posthumous Aaliyah Album: 'Leave That Alone'. Vibe (2012-09-27). Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  36. Posted: 09/18/2012 11:48 am Updated: 09/18/2012 1:41 pm (2012-09-18). Missy Elliott, Timbaland Discuss Drake's Aaliyah Posthumous Album And His Obsession With The Late Singer. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  37. Nicole Sia (31). See Aaliyah’s Posthumous Album Cover. Idolator. BUZZMEDIA. Retrieved on 7 September 2012.
  38. OriginalTone. OriginalTone. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
  39. New Music: Aaliyah f/ Drake – ‘Enough Said’. Rap-Up.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-11.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Aaliyah’s Posthumous Album Will Include Timbaland, Missy Elliott. Rapfix.mtv.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-11.


Aaliyah
Studio albums
Posthumous releases
Singles
Other songs
Filmography
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