A brief history of Aaliyah's posthumous music

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Over the weekend, producer Timbaland took to Instagram to tease the possibility of releasing posthumous material of the late pop star Aaliyah.

On Saturday, he posted a photo of his former collaborator along with the caption, "Attention!!!!! People ask me all the time do I have any babegirl music we haven't heard !!!!!well the answer is YES!!!!!!!! TIMBO x BABEGIRL !!!!! Sneak peak coming !!!!!!!"

Releasing posthumous Aaliyah music has been a point of occasional contention with her family ever since the singer died in a plane crash in 2001. Though an officially sanctioned collection of previously unreleased music was released in 2002 as I Care 4 U, more tracks have resurfaced in the following years.

In 2012, producer Jeffrey "J-Dub" Walker announced his involvement in a second posthumous album, supposedly created from a stash of demo vocals. The project was disowned by Aaliyah's brother Rashad Haughton, who tweeted “Statement: there is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family.”


Later in 2012, Canadian rapper Drake released a song titled "Enough Said," which featured production by Noah "40" Shebib and was intended to be part of a larger tribute project. By 2014, the project was apparently shelved, with Shebib saying, "[Aaliyah’s] mother saying 'I don’t want this out' was enough for me. I walked away very quickly."

In 2013, an Aaliyah hook was featured on a Chris Brown track titled "Don't Think They Know" on his album X. Timbaland criticized both Drake and Brown's tracks, saying, "Aaliyah music only work with its soulmate, which is me".

Last year, Lifetime released an Aaliyah biopic, despite the wishes of the Haughton family, who blocked the use of copyrighted music for the film. The movie was universally panned, and the Haughtons have expressed their desire to make their own film.

This year, Aaliyah was sampled on a track from the Chicago singer Tink, called "Million." At SXSW, Timbaland told a crowd that Aaliyah visited him in a dream and told him to sign Tink. 


About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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