Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

A New Aaliyah Album is Set to be Released This Week But Surprisingly There Are Hardly Any Women Featured

The forthcoming project boasts a handful of other male hip-hop and R&B artists such as Chris Brown, Future, Drake, and more.

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Aaliyah at ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 7/25/01.
Aaliyah at ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 7/25/01.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

The first ever-posthumous album from R&B’s “baby girl” Aaliyah is finally expected to hit streaming services this month.

Titled Unstoppable, according to Billboard, news of the album’s release was confirmed by Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson during an interview on The Geno Jones Show earlier this week.

“About five years ago we realized we had quite a bit of music that we had never put out that was recorded by Aaliyah,” Hankerson said. “The vocals were there, and we decided to try to remaster it and to ask other artists that were big fans of her if they would like to participate in being on various songs.”

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He continued, “The body of work is pure hip-hop and R&B. I think it’s going to be big with urban and R&B stations. Some of the people that Aaliyah liked are on the album. She loved Snoop Dogg, who’s done a great record in collaboration with Future. They’re going in now to refreshen [sic] their vocals. Ne-Yo gave us an excellent song, also Drake. I think she would be very happy with the selections we made and the guests because the artists themselves made it known to us how much they wanted to work with her and be a part of her legacy. And I pray that she is happy. Aaliyah would love hearing herself with the current stars of the industry that she cared so much about. And that’s all I wanted to do.”

Umm, Barry I don’t mean to rain on your parade but I’ve got to stop you right there. I, personally, have a hard time believing that an album with mostly male features would be the route that Aaliyah would’ve taken had she wanted to collab with today’s class of artists. The reason I say that is because 1) Aaliyah was a female R&B artist and 2) there’s no mention of ANY of today’s female R&B artists being featured on this album. You mean to tell me with such powerhouse talents like Jazmine Sullivan, Ari Lennox, H.E.R, ChloexHalle, Mary J Blige, Summer Walker, Cleo Soul, Brandy, Monica, Normani, Teyana Taylor, Sevyn Streeter, Solange, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, SZA, VanJess,—y’all couldn’t tap one of them for a feature?

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I’m sorry but to quote the homie and The Root’s Staff Sports and Culture Writer Jay Connor: “I hate everything about this. Kill it with fire, douse the ashes with lighter fluid and toss what’s left of the album into a furnace.”

Yes, that’s a bit graphic and dramatic but it expresses my feelings all the same. Future should not be on this album. Chris Brown should not be on this album. Snoop Dogg should not be on this album. Ne-Yo should not be on this album. Drake should not be on this album (and this is coming from me, The Root’s Resident Drake stan.)

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To be even more frank: this album shouldn’t exist in the first place since Aaliyah herself isn’t her to put her true stamp on it. But because it’s here and is about to be released to the masses, I’ll just do my part by not indulging as it’s doing a huge disservice to Baby Girl and all the women artists who came up alongside her then and the ones who are heavily influenced and inspired by her now.