When two years ago, longtime Drake producer Noah “40” Shebib announced they’d be putting together a posthumous Aaliyah album using unreleased recordings from the late R&B singer’s catalog, it was met with mixed reaction. Some fans were elated to hear new material from the singer who many believe passed long before her time in the songs “Enough Said” and another teased on Drake’s Instagram last December. Others, however, were offended the project didn’t include supervision from Aaliyah’s mentors Timbaland and Missy Elliott.
And for 40, it appears criticism from Aaliyah’s own family has finally forced his hand on the matter. In an interview with Vibe, the producer officially explained why we’ve yet to hear more from the album and why we never will:
That was a very sad experience for me. I was naïve 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. We released [“Enough Said”], but I was seven songs deep. [Aaliyah’s] mother saying ‘I don’t want this out’ was enough for me. I walked away very quickly.
He also discussed the inspiration behind wanting to make the album, saying he’d been “obsessed” with her forever and how Drake’s own personal relationship with Aaliyah—well documented in his music—sparked a natural collaboration.
No word on if those seven songs the two recorded will ever see a release. Hear “Enough Said” below.