40 Talks About Producing For Drake, His Involvement In Posthumous Aaliyah Album

Posted: January 8, 2014 by ericbernsen in Interviews, Music, News
Tags: , , , , , , ,

With the many accolades Drake has received, he is always quick to credit his go-to producer 40 as an integral part of his success. From mixing to engineering to advice on songwriting, 40 pretty much has his hands in whatever Drake is involved with as an artist. One goal of Drake’s that has not been fulfilled is his desire to pay homage to the late singer Aaliyah. Last month, Drake posted a preview of a new song on Instagram featuring vocals that sounded very similar to what Aaliyah would be blessing us with if she had not tragically passed away. This revived rumors that Drake and 40 were working on a posthumous Aaliyah album. As it turns out, 40 is the one who was asked by Aaliyah’s family to produce the album, but he has backed off from that task due to the unfortunate frenzy created by the news. 

In an interview with Vibe, 40 made sense of the rumors that have circled around the Internet for the past few years. The Canadian producer was seven songs into the album before the backlash came and the disapproval of Aaliyah’s mother about the project was revealed:

“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. 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.” 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. 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.”

While it is unfortunate that 40 will not have the opportunity to work on a project with a ton of musical potential, with all of the controversy surrounding the concept of the record it seems as if he made the right choice. And in due time, maybe the chance will reappear and we will be given the privilege to hear the voice of an artist (over the signature OVO Sound) who’s life was taken way too soon.

On a lighter note, 40 also discussed his production role on Drake’s latest album Nothing Was The Same. From details on the epic intro banger “Tuscan Leather” as well stories behind 40’s work with other artists, there are plenty of gems in this interview. The response from the Vibe story has already made an impact as NY rappers Ghostface Killah and N.O.R.E. quickly responded positively on Twitter to 40’s aspirations of working with them. Those collaborations would definitely spark our interest and we will continue to stay tuned to whatever 40 and Drake have planned for this upcoming year.

Click here to read the full Vibe interview and let us know what you think of the news! You can also check out the Drake song “Enough Said” below that features vocals from Aaliyah and originally sparked news of a potential posthumous album.

 

 

 

 

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