Noah “40” Shebib is not a man without shame. After the backlash he and Drake received for attempting to release a posthumous Aaliyah album without anyone’s blessing but babygirl’s old label and sheisty uncle, the producer has backed out of his good friend’s project.
Speaking with Vibe, 40 reveals:
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.
Drake previewed some new Aaliyah music on his Instagram last December so who knows if he, too, has given up on the project. But given the nature of he and 40’s relationship, he’s probably walking away as well. Hopefully. I don’t know, but I’d like to think Drake’s not a piece of sh*t, soooo *shrugs*.