He was not comfortable with the politics surrounding the involvement of Drake and the exclusion of Timbaland.
According to producer Noah "40" Shebib, the posthumous album of Aaliyah he was working on won't see the light of day. The unreleased tracks from the late singer are put on shelf for good this time, one of the reasons being the negative reaction on Drake's involvement.
"Aaliyah's label, Blackground - the Hankersons, her uncle and cousin - came to me and said, if she was around, she'd want you to do this [posthumous] project," Shebib told Vibe of how he jumped into the project. "I've been obsessed with Aaliyah forever, and I know Drake has his relationship with her. But that opportunity was mine. Drake said, 'Can I do it with you?' and I was like, 'Of course, we'll do it together.' "
But he didn't know it then. "The world reacting to Drake's involvement so negatively, I just wanted nothing to do with it. That was a very sad experience for me," Shebib said. He was also slammed for not including Timbaland who had produced many of Aaliyah's songs.
He continued, "I was naive to the politics surrounding Aaliyah's legacy and a bit ignorant to Timbaland's relationship and everybody else involved and how they'd feel. Tim said to me, 'Don't stop, make the album.' I think that was Tim taking the position of, 'I'm not going to stop you. If you're not going to do it, that's your decision.' But ultimately, I wasn't comfortable and didn't like the stigma."
Shebib ultimately dropped the project on Aaliyah's mother's cue. "I was seven songs deep," Shebib said. "[Aaliyah's] mother saying, 'I don't want this out' was enough for me. I walked away very quickly."
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001. A single titled "Enough Said" was released in August 2012 as "Aaliyah featuring Drake" and received a lot of backlash from Aaliyah's fans.