One of the most argued about projects in recent history looks to be just a thought of the past now. Following the release of Drake’s song “Enough Said” featuring Aaliyah in 2012, fans either extremely hated it or loved it, but it surely sparked heated debates.
Now in a recent interview with Vibe, Drake’s partner and hitmaking producer Noah “40” Shebib has confirmed rumors that the project will not be coming out, at least not with his involvement.
Many of your collaborations with other artists have come through Drake. Maybe you could be the conduit for his bucket-list collabo with Sade?
Well, I was that for Aaliyah. 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.
In addition 40 spoke about working with the legendary Sade on the Jay-Z remix to “The Moon and The Sky.”
Jay Z emailed me like, “Yo, I want you to do this Sade record.” That record was tough, [though]. We went back and forth and I can’t say it ended up the way I really wanted. The record had five versions—the first me and Jay were like, Whew! We did it! And then Sade was like, Yeah, you change this, you change that. Me and Jay were deflated. I kept trying and it became a dead record for five months. I went back to the table, sent it to Sade and as soon as she greenlit it I was happy that she was happy.