Blackground Records: ” Drake Will Not Produce Aaliyah Album…We Will”

Published: Thursday 9th Aug 2012 by David

With the arrival of the Drake/Noah Shebib Aaliyah cut ‘Enough Said’ came reports that the Rapper was to executive produce the late singer’s new LP, upon request of her record label Blackground Records.

However, in what marks another twist in the increasingly uncomfortable story, the label has denied giving Drake permission to oversee the project in an interview with the folk over at Billboard Biz.

Their comments below…

Billboard Biz:

Last week, a report claimed that a posthumous Aaliyah album was in the works and that Drake would executive produce the project. Additionally, the Young Money rapper was supposedly set to feature the late singer, who passed in August 2001, on his latest single. 

Instead, this past Sunday (August 5th), Blackground Records released Aaliyah’s “Enough Said” featuring Drake to Soundcloud. The ghostly cut touted previously unheard vocals, a smoldering beat from producer Noah “40” Shebib and a verse from Drake. Three hours after it was posted, the song racked up more than 100,000 clicks. As of press time, it has more than 620,000 listens. 

The song ignited debates about the possible existence of a new Aaliyah LP. Many fans speculated that Aaliyah collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott would not be involved with the project. Some criticized the fact that Drake, who has continuously expressed his love for her music, would oversee an album when he had never actually met her. Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton posted an official statement on Facebook that her immediate family will not support this project, which Drake later countered by claiming that “everybody from her family to her old management and label” were behind the record. reached out to Haughton but had not received a response as of press time. 

Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who runs Blackground Records with his father Barry Hankerson, spoke with about the posthumous release, confirming that an album is in fact in the works. Using 16 unreleased songs and “fragments” from Aaliyah’s archive, Blackground hopes to release the LP by year’s end, enlisting “contemporary artists” to color the project and help repackage her vocals.

This marks the first release from the late singer since 2002’s “I Care 4 U,” a compilation album featuring previously heard and unheard recordings, and is intended to introduce her to younger listeners by updating her sound. 

“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,” explains Hankerson. “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.” 

Hankerson denies that Drake is contracted to executive produce the project (he says that he and his father will executive produce the album, but that they are considering adding others to the fold), but says that he will appear on “more of the records” and that Shebib is “heavily involved” in reshaping the music. After moving its publishing to Reservoir Media in July, Blackground reached out to the Canadian producer on the strength of his work with Alicia Keys (“Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)”) and his unique sound. It seemed only “natural” that Drake would contribute to what would become “Enough Said.” Blackground was so pleased with the result that they released the stream before having a marketing plan or radio strategy in place. 

While the album is in the early stages, Hankerson confirms that Timbaland and Missy Elliott will participate in assembling the LP. “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,” says Hankerson, who did not clarify if Timbaland has already produced songs for the project.

“This record [‘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. A lot of that is still up in the air, but I can tell you that Timbaland will definitely be involved, Missy will definitely be involved.” Timbaland declined to comment for this story, while Elliott did not respond to’s request as of press time. 

Reservoir Media Management EVP Rell Lafargue estimates that there is enough leftover material for two posthumous Aaliyah albums, while Hankerson says that approximation might be “a little premature.” Talks between Blackground and Reservoir began roughly 15 months ago for the latter to acquire the 500-song catalog that includes Aaliyah’s archives, music from Static Major and albums from JoJo, Timbaland, Magoo and Tank. As part of the deal, Reservoir, a boutique publishing company with top 40 hits from 50 Cent, Madonna and Justin Timberlake, will market Aaliyah’s music to television and film, as well as release songs to online services like iTunes and Spotify where much of her music cannot be currently found.

Additionally, the company will assist with licensing of songs for covers and sampling (Lafargue notes that there are talks of Dr. Dre sampling “Rock the Boat” for a new song). 

“Part of taking new music to market is to release old music as well in different forms. There are tons of old interviews, video, things that were shot before her passing will be part of any and all repackaging. There are alternate takes and different remixes that never got released,” says Lafargue.

“The one thing that was just confirmed, the demand, was Aaliyah’s 10-year anniversary of her passing. The ratings on the BET special were huge for that network and there’s a demand for it. I believe that we recognize the demand and want to give her fans what they want.”

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  1. Suicide Blonde August 9, 2012

    Thanks God!, i don’t like Drake, i don’t understand why he’s famous.

    • truth tea August 9, 2012

      he is famous because of impressionable youths who think YMCMB are hood.

      • the haters are always first August 9, 2012

        was the video with beyonce really f****** necessary and this why people can’t stand beyonce ass because of stan ass m************ like you SAM.

      • mobwife August 10, 2012

        No, it’s because he is an ANOMALY (just like long time wife beater F-EMINEM). How many half-white, jewish Canadian’s do you see rapping in the USA? He is the alternative to 2Pac, Biggies, NWA, DMX,etc. those the POWERS THE BE considered “thugs, violent, evil, angry Black Men”! He doesn’t have the political chops or wil of Public Enemy, Mos Def, Talib, KRS1 or “The Godfather of Hip Hop” Gil Scott Heron. He is a “SAFE ONE” …..LOL ….. “Wheelchair Jimmy” to the rescue! 🙂

  2. RG2 August 9, 2012

    All I can say is WOW, Another Aaliyah album. I LOVE YOU BABY GIRL 🙂

  3. honest August 9, 2012

    Aaliyah was great but is it really that serious. No wonder music is so bad today. You should put more money and effort into people who are alive. No offense.

  4. Benron (Frank SideHoeShit is whack) August 9, 2012

    Another Aaliyah album? Really? Who the f*** releases s*** while someone is dead? How will they promote it, perform the singles, go on a tour for it? It sems like just a quick cash scheme because, in complete bluntness, a corpse that rotted a long time ago. Its fine to do things like “Behind the music” or a movie but more music.

    I swer unreleased s*** was unreleased for a reason.

    • credits August 10, 2012

      did you see that tupac hologram?

  5. Pop Royalty ( F*** Yo Fav) August 9, 2012

    this pic tho >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  6. ice cream cone August 9, 2012

    Im so confused with all of this.

    Someone is lying.

  7. Suicide Blonde August 9, 2012

    And from all Aaliyah’s videos you has to post the one with Beyonce, REALLY is getting boring, same old’ s***, this site is obsessed with Beyonce.

    • GURL August 9, 2012

      SAM is worst than drake.

  8. beyfan31 August 9, 2012

    yall people get on my nerves, seriously! Im tired of hearing biggie and tupac features and yall are b**ching about a new Aaliyah album???? SMMFH!!!!!!

  9. Viciousss August 9, 2012

    This is why music is s*** these days.

    How the f*** do you make an album without the actual input of the singer?

    People talking s*** about manufactured music. What the f*** do you think this is?!

    THIS is absolutely manufactured. Taking her soul and putting it over some s*** beat that some lameass producer thinks will sound cool.

    The reasoning is ABSOLUTELY stupid. Because her legacy can’t stand on it’s own someone HAS to take songs she didn’t even think were good enough in the 90’s and claim that some teenagers NEED to hear it? Sick of it.

    Damn didn’t think you’d have to worry about people raping yor music AFTER you were dead. Looks like folks need to put that in their wills now “Don’t touch my music or release any albums while I’m buried” f****** stupid

  10. MISHKA August 9, 2012

    Can we let Aaliyah where she is, now? Come on, this is getting out of hand.

    Basically, I’m not against a movie or even an posthumous alum but why ALL OF A SUDDEN people act like they fathered her, and those people are not Timbo, Missy, DMX or even R.Kelly?

    I didn’t listen to that track with Drake. I just can’t with those strangers nobody knew about ten years ago.

    Leave her legacy alone, For God’s Sake!

  11. Honestly Speaking August 9, 2012

    I’m definitely looking forward to the album and I also never really understood how they intended to let Drake helm the entire project so I’m glad that it ended up just being a rumor. The album is definitely going to help keep her legacy alive which is the most important thing. I’ll be buying it.

  12. yeah August 9, 2012

    Sam Update your post, Billboard just changed the story

    Update (4:00 pm): Following publication of this article, Blackground Records reached out to to officially confirm that Drake and Noah ’40’ Shebib will be co-executive producing the album alongside Blackground Records. The story has been amended to reflect the update.

    • Viciousss August 9, 2012

      This s*** is sick. They’re just using her name to make themselves money.

      Aaliyah is crying in heaven.

  13. Sam August 9, 2012

    As many of you said this is for mony but you know what, todays generation isnt that familar with who Aaliyah is/was. It wasnt long ago I went to a music store to buy a CD of hers and they had nothing, not even her name listed in any section and when I asked to purchase it outside of Canada, the only thing I was able to purchase was from China. Not even the states??

    So with that said maybe this can once again help music and keep her legacy going. Instead of all this drake young money nicki minaj beyonce garbage… we get music that was well written from well over 12 years ago but newly produced by producers who are now popular at the moment. Everyone kept sayin I wonder what she would sound like on beats of today, well heres exactly what we asked for. And in all honesty that one song (with drakes verse removed) shits on anything and everything thats out there right now as we speak.

  14. Viciousss August 9, 2012

    Notice how much lying and back and forth is happening forthe sake of this album?

    Doesn that let everyone know how shady this is? Now they’re saying Drake and 40 WILL be exacting producing after claiming they wouldn’t.

  15. mc the place to be!! August 9, 2012

    I wish they would leave it alone!! Yea Aaliyah is dead and gone but her music is still here with us! I think her red album is her best work its sounds way ahead of its time and guys they gave us I care 4 u with unreleased tracks on it!! What more do u want? Its not like she’s still recording songs every year!! She passed away she’s resting let her!! Its been over 10 years and ppl still check on her that’s what u call a legacy! That’s what drake and these non factor ppl don’t understand!

  16. ChittyChitty August 9, 2012

    If Whitney, Tupac, Biggie and errbody else can have new music, why not my girl! Can’t wait to hear it!

  17. JER August 9, 2012

    Aaliyah, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac…. not everything written or recorded was meant to be heard. People have NO CLUE the amount of work it takes, the amount of lyrics, demos, and finished songs that artists have to GET OUT OF THEIR SYSTEM in order to work their way thru to great records. They better not f*** this up AND AND AND it better be the ONLY “new” Aaliyah album. There better not be another one 3 years after it.

    • mobwife August 10, 2012


      You spoke volumns in a few sentences. Folks still wont comprehend all that you said and how it applies to every creative musician, songwriter, singer etc. Artists have tones of music in the vault. They try to give their public what they believe best represent their mood and temperament at the time. That’s why I loved the Missy, Timbo, Ginuwine, Aaliyah “Family”. They understood each other and created solid music behind that “family” unit!

  18. Sarah Says August 9, 2012

    Contrary to my comments of previous Aaliyah posts I kinda feel sorry for Aubery Gurl, clearly Drake was telling some truth in his comments, but due to the backlash they (background) have decided to enter timberland & Missy (and others) into the fold in fear of the album not selling as predicted, because due to the statement from Jomo Drake will play a major part an be on the majority of the songs.
    I started off with an issue with unreleased Music being released but I realised that tupac had successfully released more albums when dead than alive. I hope they do this archived music justice with Aaliyah as it would be a shame to ruin an 11 year legacy

    • Vegas Girl August 9, 2012

      I agree with your first paragraph.

  19. musik_lover August 9, 2012

    This is rather bittersweet for me. I’m glad someone has come to shut the whole Drake fiasco down, but yet I was truly satisfied with the I Care 4 U LP. The idea that they want to try to add contemporary artist and update her music is a bit scary for me.

    I guess i would be okay if the family, missy, & timberland were all on board and supporting the project but that has yet to be the case. This so called project has gotten off to a rough confusing start and Aaliyah’s legacy doesn’t need all this confusion.

  20. CHILE PLEASE!! August 9, 2012

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS HER SHADES IS GIVING ME A BRAND NEW LIFE! LOVING THOSE.ORG!!! SHE IS SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL **SIGH** I really miss her!! … back to those shades!! WEEEEEEEEEEERK!!! They look very exclusive…..I’m cringing over here for those.

  21. mobwife August 10, 2012

    “a report claimed that a posthumous Aaliyah album was in the works and that Drake would executive produce the project.”

    NO DRAKE SAID THIS IN AN INTERVIEW PLAYED IN THIIS SITE. Let’s not pretend that folks slide a false report in the universe about the “media darlin” Eddie Monster Drake-Evelyn”! <— makes me 🙂 whenever some one say it! LOL

  22. mobwife August 10, 2012

    —> Hankerson’s <— are SCAM ARTISTS

    This is a damn shame because her immediate family are concerned about this rushed BS product. "Enough Said" was not a well crafted song and Fake….I mean Drake added nothing to it…….NOTHING AT ALL!!

    I feel for her PARENTS for something "wicked this way cometh"! Her relatives are out to make money off of her name nd I think it's a damn shame. Would Aaliyah want to produce something her parent's wouldn't support?

  23. mobwife August 10, 2012


    >Non-whites had a chance to appear on the MTV stage before the iintroduction of the slave-like 360 DEGREE CONTRACTS. Now access is limited to those priority acts and a handful of artists they USE as “stage-fillers” around the 360 DEGREE CONTRACT priority acts!

    ***Aaliyah looked gorgeous as always! I loved her style. She was a true beauty without the hair color, weaves, wigs and loud make-up! IMO

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