A new Aaliyah song, “Enough Said,” has leaked and is causing a stir. But it’s not just because it’s the first new track from the late R&B princess since her posthumous 2002 release I Care 4 U. But some fans feel uneasy about the role Drake played in reviving the song.
The Noah “40” Shebib-produced track is reportedly part of an upcoming Aaliyah album. Drake, an unabashed Aaliyah fan who has several tattoos of the singer, offered a hint of the collaboration in March.
“I have some great Aaliyah news coming soon,” he said on Tim Westwood’s U.K. radio show. “Just some special things. Great things for music, period.”
The platinum Young Money MC delivers chest-thumping lyrics on the ethereal groove, which features the “Rock The Boat” performer’s trademark airy, whispering vocals.
“Tell me do you wanna talk about, talk about…I hate to see you feel this way, so tell me what I can I do to make it better for you?” she sings to a romantic love interest.
Listen to “Enough Said” here.
However, there has been a divide in terms of reaction to “Enough Said.” Aaliyah has become a legend since tragically losing her life in a 2001 plane crash at the age of 22. In one corner stands the hardcore Drake fans that praise the crooning MC’s ambition to bring Aaliyah back for a new generation.
But in the opposing corner finds the detractors who balk at such an improbable collaboration. Timbaland, who has worked with Aaliyah for many of her hits, is among the latter. He questioned the thought of a new Aaliyah album without his and Missy Elliott’s involvement. After all, the trio made magic on Aaliyah’s classic 1996 album One in a Million.
VIBE Magazine editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall understands the mixed reviews, but contends “Enough Said” is a good, respectful effort that fits well with Drake’s melodic style.
“Would I like to see a new Aaliyah comeback with Timbaland and Missy involved? Of course,” Hall told CBS Local. “But 40 didn’t do a bad job. Drake is not 100 percent hip-hop…he raps and sings. And he does both well. And to a certain degree, 40’s and Drake’s sound is more R&B than hip-hop.”
As for the outcry over Aaliyah’s vocals being posthumously used, Hall said urban music fans should not be shocked by the record.
“We’ve had countless Tupac songs after his death and Biggie’s Duets came out, which basically took what was left of some of his vocals,” he said of the two rap giant’s posthumous releases. “There’s always going to be criticism because people will say, ‘Well, if Biggie was alive would he really work with producer A, B, or C?’”
No word yet on when the Aaliyah project is scheduled to hit stores. —Keith Murphy, CBS Local