Like many folks who came of age in the 90s, I was an Aaliyah fan and was saddened by her unexpected death over a decade ago. While many artists have tried to fill her shoes and occupy the delicate space between hip-hop and R&B, few have been able to deliver. Because of this, most of us have continued listening to her music, and have often wondered, what if.
What if she was still with us today? What if she made another album? What if we could still catch a glimpse of her lipstick tomboy swagger?
Apparently, Drake has been wondering the same thing and he’s become obsessed with Aaliyah. I don’t quite get it, but he’s rapped about her often, has Aaliyah-inspired tattoos, and now, he’s producing an album full of Aaliyah tracks.
My first reaction was to wonder why. Why after all these years are we trying to reinvent Aaliyah’s voice when it lives on in her incredibly dope body of work? And why is Drake even involved?
In my mind, if anybody was going to shepherd a new Aalyah album into the world it would be her closest collaborators, Missy and Timbaland (he agrees), not a Johnny-come-lately like Drake.
But here we are with a new Aaliyah song that sounds…like a typical Drake song. Sparse, watered down, and not full of energy like Aaliyah’s signature bangers.
And frankly, I’m not really feeling it. Apparently, her brother isn’t either. Yesterday Rashad Haughton took to his Facebook page to announce that there is “no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family,” which is curious since Drake is releasing the album, and I assume, had to get permission from someone to use her voice.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this one will play out, but if I had my way we’d let Aaliyah’s work speak for itself and leave it alone.
What do you think of the song? Should Drake be in charge of an Aaliyah project or should Missy and Timbaland be involved?