Two ways of looking at the new Aaliyah project [Article]
Los Angeles, CA – The other day I woke up to an email from a local DJ service. I usually delete some of the new records or forward them to DJs I work with, but today one in particular caught my eye: “Enough Said” by Aaliyah featuring Drake?! The captain of my city, collaborating with the person I believe could have been the queen of R&B?
Initially, I didn’t know how to feel. I felt excited, but I grew up in the era of Aaliyah’s music and something felt missing. Was it Timbo and Missy? Was it that I hadn’t heard music from her in 11 years and suddenly she was on a record with the biggest artist out right now? So I went to the place I knew people would be talking about it… Twitter!
I saw a lot of hate from fans, saying the same thing; wondering why Drake and Noah “40” Shebib were putting this song out. And somehow Twitter turned the news of this song into an all out collaborative album!
So then I decided to hit Google and just see what other blogs had picked up this collaborative album rumour. As I expected, the net was full of negative, knee jerk comments. I found articles from Rolling Stones, MTV, MuchMusic, Hitfix and more. I found out it’s not a “collaborative” album the way I was thinking, but Drake and 40 are executive producing it.
Click the jump for the rest of this article.
Later that day, Bizz (Central Regional Editor) and I were at meeting at the Popular Demand offices in Studio City and I randomly brought up the topic.
“Who is Drake to make this album?” I questioned. “Is Aaliyah’s family going to eat off this project? Where the hell are Timbo and Missy? Just cause he’s the biggest artist in the game does it give him the right to do this?”
The room went quiet as Bizz defended the idea of Drake and 40 taking the lead on this project.
“To me, if Missy and Timbo were so interested in doing this project, they would’ve done the project already,” he said. “Why weren’t they the ones putting it together and calling in other people like Drake instead of the other way around? Man, I just feel like everybody gets a little too righteous when it comes to this kind of thing. Drake’s the same age bracket as everyone in this room, he feels the same way about Aaliyah as we all do, so what makes him less credible now that he’s got this opportunity?
I was skeptical because of the rumors I had read online, so I decided to write about it. I played the song and did some research. To my surprise, the most recent news came 24 minutes before writing this piece. It stated, in fact, Timbo and Missy will be involved but Drake and 40 will have more control on the project.
Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson, also the person who owns the rights to Aaliyah’s music said, “There’s a real new generation that doesn’t know her necessarily, and we wanted to continue her musical legacy with this new generation.”
I sat and thought about it. It’s true, there is a whole generation of R&B and hip-hop with no context and no understanding of who Aaliyah is/was and how much influence she had on the industry.
Initially, I had succumbed to the media and rumors and said it wasn’t right. A couple phones calls back and forth between Bizz and I later, I came to the realization…Why not? There are so many artists out right now that are putting out music with no content. Aaliyah was a beyond talented individual. Her music was timeless, but I really feel this new generation of music has no clue what her talent was about. Drake has the ability to open that door and build her legacy so this new generation can keep her name going strong.
If he was using this as a tactic to build up an album sale and eat off all of it himself, that would be a different story. But I truly don’t think that Drake has that up his sleeve. He released the record as an Aaliyah featuring Drake, not the other way around. A lot of people might have their bias opinions on this whole situation, and who am I to lie, I did at first too. Thinking deeper into it and doing some homework, Drake doesn’t need to do this to bring growth to his fame. I feel it’s something that is being done more out of respect and I would like to see more and more artists with the power he has, do more things like this. It bringing awareness to a younger generation and at the end of the day, he’s not a no-name artist doing this as a stunt to increase his fame. I personally just want to see more involvement with Timbo and Missy and ensure a blessing from Aaliyah’s family as a form of respect.
“People should be really excited. People thought it was my single; it’s not my single. It’s all off of an Aaliyah project that me and 40 are commanding and 40’s just doing some incredible, some incredible music right now,” Drake shared backstage at OVO Fest.
All I’m wondering now is will Hologram Aaliyah perform at the OVOfest 2013?
Written by Sina Tash for HipHopCanada
Be sure to follow HipHopCanada’s Sina Tash on Twitter @SinaTash.