Drake Right-Hand Man Noah “40” Shebib Sheds Light On Posthumous Aaliyah Project’s Failure

Carl Williott | January 7, 2014 12:10 pm

There’s still a big question mark looming over the posthumous Aaliyah material floating around, but we’re gradually learning more about Drake and Noah “40” Shebib‘s decision to abandon that project months after unveiling “Enough Said.” In a new interview with Vibe, Drake’s primary beat-maker echoed the rapper’s sentiment that “the press got out of hand” regarding the album, while also blaming all the competing industry influences.

“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,” Shebib told the magazine. “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… But ultimately, I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t like the stigma,” he said. “I was seven songs deep. [Aaliyah’s] mother saying ‘I don’t want this out’ was enough for me. I walked away very quickly.”

If 40 sounds even more bummed than Drizzy about the falling out, that’s because Aaliyah’s camp first approached him, not the star. “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,” 40 revealed. “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.'”

There doesn’t seem to be any resentment between the two — if there is, they’re hiding it well — and who knows, we could hear those other seven tracks some day. After all, Drake teased one of them in a recent Instagram video.

Read the full interview over at Vibe.

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