Looks like the above artwork will never grace an album cover. Rumblings began in 2012 that Drake and his producer Noah “40” Shebib were working on a posthumous record from R&B songstress Aaliyah. They released one song, “Enough Said”, and teased a second as recently as December. But now Shebib has revealed to Vibe that he’s officially walked away from the project, effectively burying the whole thing.
Shebib said the project was his to begin with, and that it was only after Drake got involved that things turned sour. “…That opportunity was mine. Drake said, ‘Can I do it with you?’ and I was like, ‘Of course, we’ll do it together,'” he told Vibe. “The world reacting to Drake’s involvement so negatively, I just wanted nothing to do with it.”
The producer said the experience was “sad” and that despite some support from those close to Aaliyah, the bad vibes surrounding Drake’s involvement eventually caused Shebib to bow out. “[Timbaland] 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 also received the go-ahead from Aaliyah’s uncle and cousin via their Blackground Records. However, it was another family member’s reaction that put the final nail in the coffin. “[Aaliyah’s] mother saying ‘I don’t want this out’ was enough for me. I walked away very quickly.”
Read the full interview, in which Shebib discussed his working relationship with Drake and the future of their collaboration, at Vibe.