Timbaland and Missy Elliott helped craft Aaliyah’s trademark sound, and now fans will be able to hear them make magic once again on a posthumous album.
In an interview with Billboard.biz, Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, who runs Blackground Records with his father Barry Hankerson, confirmed the hitmakers’ participation.
“I can tell you that Timbaland will definitely be involved, Missy will definitely be involved,” said Hankerson, who added, “One of the records that we had that was never released was a Missy record that we obviously are going to be refreshing.”
Just days ago, Drake said that he and producer Noah “40 Shebib would be “commanding the new Aaliyah album,” but Hankerson denies the claim. Instead, he says that he and his father will executive produce the project, which they hope to release by the end of the year. They are pulling from 16 unreleased Aaliyah recordings and calling on “contemporary artists.”
He did reveal, however, that Drake will appear on “more of the records” in addition to the single “Enough Said,” and that 40 is “heavily involved.”
“We really felt like it was time,” explained Hankerson. “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.”
While his exact role remains unclear, Drake can’t wait for Aaliyah’s fans to hear new material from the late singer, who died 11 years ago. “40s just doing some incredible, incredible music right now,” he told MuchMusic. “To get 13, 14 new Aaliyah songs, everybody should be excited. It’s not about me, it’s not about 40. It’s really about her and her fans and us just getting the opportunity to give you something that we feel is great.”
UPDATE: Blackground Records has now confirmed to Billboard.biz that Drake and Noah “40 Shebib will indeed co-executive produce the Aaliyah album alongside Blackground Records.