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After an extreme lack of support, rapper Drake and producer Noah Shebib have decided to end their album project that involved the posthumous vocals of R&B singer Aaliyah.
In an interview with Vibe Magazine, Shebib explained how the project came to be.
“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," he said. "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.'”
However, once word spread that the project would begin, Shebib and Drake quickly learned that it was them against the world. Fans of the late R&B songstress were not happy that the album was not a posthumous solo project from the singer, and her dear friends Timbaland and Missy Elliot, who were rumored to have been involved with the endeavor, distanced themselves immediately, denying that they ever had any association with the album.
In addition, Aaliyah's immediate family requested that the album not be completed, which was the final straw for Shebib.
According to The Huffington Post, backlash about the album has not only come from fans, friends, and family, but also from fellow artists, such as DMX.
"I'm kinda feelin' some kinda a way about the fact that you been commissioned, that you been blessed, you've been given the opportunity to do the Aaliyah album yet you don't include anybody that she worked with personally," DMX told MTV News in September.
He continued, "How do you disregard what this woman did? What this beautiful angel did and say, 'Oh OK, I'm gonna take it for myself because I'm hot right now and I'm feelin' myself. How do you just go there with it? Your balls ain't that big, son."
Timbaland and Missy Elliot, who were close to Aaliyah both professionally and personally, also expressed their opinions on the album. Their discussion on the album with The Angie Martinez Show can be heard here.