5 Artists [Other Than Drake] Who Should Be Producing Aaliyah’s “New” Album

This is the only thing I’ve seen this year creepier than Tupac’s hologram..

Since news broke that Drake would be executive producing a posthumous Aaliyah album, the critics have come out in full force to blast this potential pairing. The backlash has been comparable to what would happen if we found out Terry Perry was directing a new Cosby show – we simply are NOT having it. And it’s NOT surprising seeing as how much we love and respect Aaliyah – she was our young, beautiful, multi-talented and sweet pop princess with the ENTIRE world in front of her. It seems like there HAS to be ONE person more qualified to act as executive producer on her “new” album other than moist-towelette Drake – well, look no further, because I actually thought of 5.

Before we begin, let me reiterate what I said on my podcast [before all the OVO Stans’ rush in and accuse me of hating], I think Drake IS the best choice of executive producing the album – IF the options are only Timbaland, Missy and Drake. I think 40 is a brilliant producer, Drake has a nice feminine touch he can add to the records, and they are more musically CURRENT than Missy & Timbo. Plus, I think it will be VERY difficult for Tim & Missy to participate in a positive team effort for this album taking Aaliyah’s death and their friendships into consideration, as well as how things were left on her 2001 self-titled album.

As much as I like Drake/40, they HAVE to do a lot better than THIS though:

But with that said, here are MY choices on 5 SOLID-ASS picks to executive produce Aaliyah’s new album:

5. Raphaeel Saadiq

There is no other urban artist that I can think of that can accurately depict an old era with a flare of modern relevance. Hell, it’s not even a coincidence this negro is 46 and looks 29. He KNOWS how to make soulful music; He KNOWS how to produce all genres of the urban culture and give it a universal sound; But much more importantly, he simply knows how to make TIMELESS music. And THAT’S what would separate him from Drake – the difference between a HOT song and A LEGENDARY one.

4. will.i.am

Now I already here the murmurs and groans from y’all as you’re reading this, but give me a minute and let me explain. To understand this choice we ALL need to be honest about Aaliyah for a second. She was NOT the greatest singer, nor was she a neo-soul Empress like Jill Scott – she was an urban pop-princess who could dance her ass off and make tracks that can shut the club down. Yes, she had some incredible slow jams, but bringing out that ass-shakability factor would be HUGE in making an album for her, and will.i.am could do that. This is the same guy who has produced for the likes of Britney Spears, Nas, Rihanna, Mary J., Hilary Duff, U2, Earth Wind & Fire, Mariah Carey & Michael Jackson.

3. Usher

Who has a better grasp on producing urban music with a crossover pop appeal better than Usher right now? His old tunes will STILL make you drop it low in all your ratchet glory, and his current work proves he hasn’t lost his touch.

2. Pharrell

The uniqueness of this pairing is why I put it ahead of Usher. I’m NOT sure if Pharrell could produce a better Aaliyah album than Usher – but I’m damn well willing to find out. He is one of the ONLY artists I could think of with the ability to do her slow and up-tempo jams justice.

1. R. Kelly

This is the obvious, undisputed champion of a choice – it’s jut hard for us to admit, knowing that this negro was most-likely smashing teenage Aaliyah. If you really want to make a room uncomfortable, mention Aaliyah, then mention R.Kelly, then mention his sextape which includes his penchant for urinating on teenage girls (you probably cringed just reading that). But who else on this list has ALREADY produced classic songs for Aaliyah when she was alive? Who else has continued a two-decade long career of legendary hits? Who else can span ALL genres of urban music, and excite all demographics with different tunes? No-damn-body. It may make you uncomfortable to think about a young Aaliyah getting her salad tossed by big, frowsy R. Kelly, but you CAN’T deny their musical connection.

But in the end, my most HONEST opinion is that I don’t see why there needs to be this “new” album at all? Of course her life was cut short and selfishly we ALL want to hear the music she COULD have put out, even though she is no longer here with us. But it seems like this album will be put out come hell or high water, so all we can do at this point is PRAY that it’s in capable hands, so it doesn’t sound the way Michael Jordan LOOKED in a Wizards jersey.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    08/07/2012 at 2:36 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Agree Or Disagree With Any Of These Choices? Do You Think Drake, Missy And/Or Timbaland Should Produce The Album? Who Would YOU Choose If You Could Pick From Any Living Artist?

    Hell, Do You Think This New Album Should Even Be Made In The First Place?

    • iluvwhoiluv

      08/07/2012 at 1:51 PM

      As much as I love her music, sometimes you have to let things go. It's like people continuously coming out with 2Pac music after he passed away, which was definitely up to the quality that 2Pac wanted which was why those tracks he hadn't released before. Plus, I think if it is put into the wrong hands, then it does nothing to continue to honor her memory but deter from it.

  2. Al X. Parkour

    08/07/2012 at 5:09 AM

    Tyler Perry?

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/07/2012 at 11:08 AM



  3. GrandCentral

    08/07/2012 at 5:52 AM

    How about NO ONE produces an Aaliyah album and lets this girl just rear in peace. Leave us with the music she gave us. I've actually been listening to One in a Million and Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, on and off since you talked about her on the show a few weeks ago. Honestly, I'm quite tired of dead people making music. Also, where the hell is her family in all of this? If my memory serves me correctly, her brother was executor of the estate and her music belong to Blackground Music, which was owned by her uncle – I think the guys name was Barry Hankerson. I refuse to listen to the Drake song, because he had no business making it.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/07/2012 at 11:10 AM

      For Some Reason I Think Her Estate MAY Be Behind This Move, So We Will Have To See.

      If You Found Out They Were, Would That Make You More Apt To Support It?

      • GrandCentral

        08/07/2012 at 11:48 AM

        If I found out they were behind this mess, I would NOT support it. I would give them a side eye. They had done such a good job of protecting her legacy, to go eff it up with this, now, would signal to me that they were looking to pad their pockets.

        However, looks like they are NOT in support of this nonsense.

        From: http://soletschat.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/aaliya

        This has all become a huge mess now.

        Drake, look what you done did. Timbaland and Missy had something to say. Now, Rashad Haughton got something to say. Although I liked the song, just mostly without Drake’s rap. It brought back the memory I had of one of my favorite singers. Sadly, it seems that the family is not having it. Check out this quick entry from Rashad’s Facebook below…

        Over the past few weeks there has been talks of an Aaliyah posthumous album (executive produced by Drake and his producing partner Noah ’40′ Shebib) as well as talks of a biopic which has been going on for years. Then there has been the discussions on whether Missy Elliott and Timbaland, who produced the bulk of Aaliyah’s ‘One In A Million’ album, should be involved in the project.

        Truthfully, we could probably all agree that an Aaliyah album at this point would be sketchy, no matter who produces it. All of the material she recorded is over a decade old and are probably leftover scraps that didn’t make her album or unfinished songs. Case in point: Her verses on the newly released track, ‘Enough said‘ with Drake sound as though they were unfinished.

        At any rate, her brother Rashad, hopped on her facebook page yesterday and claimed there is no Aaliyah album in the works that is endorsed by her family.

        “there is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family.” -Rashad Haughton (regarding upcoming album release rumors)

        That’s confusing since her label’s logo (ran by her uncle Barry Hankerson) was included on the official artwork that was released. That track was definitely endorsed by the label. This could have all been Rashad’s way of saying that the project (which may be in production) is not supported by her immediate family.

        Over on Miss Info, a solid source told her that the posthumous project is in the works and Timbaland is producing at least two songs.

        On her facebook, Aaliyah’s brother also shut down rumors of a biopic in production by first posing the question, ‘Biopic Yes or No?’ and then posting,

        “No female I’ve seen can play my sister.” -Rashad

        And there you have it.

        I’m kind of interested in how this will all play out. Definitely be staying tuned.

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          08/07/2012 at 12:56 PM

          Hmm, This Sounds Like It's Gonna Get A Lot Worse Before It Gets Better.

    • China

      08/07/2012 at 12:28 PM

      The only people who should get to hear unreleased recordings are family members. Keep some things sacred.

  4. GrandCentral

    08/07/2012 at 5:58 AM

    Yes, I fired off before reading the post. That's what I do with stuff like this that I am deeply connected to.

    I'm going to have to disagree with you on all the people you listed. Aaliyah would not even have worked with these people had she been alive. Maybe and this is a slight maybe Pharell. Aaliyah as did LeftEye who made a lot of the musical decisions for TLC didn't believe in working with big name producers, especially those who had worked with a lot of other artists, because they wanted their sound to be unique. Which is why I'm pretty sure the Drake track sucks like hot garbage, because he probably put his stupid Drakeness on it.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/07/2012 at 11:17 AM

      You Don't Think She Would Have Worked With Any Of The Above People??

      The Way The Music Industry Has Changed, I Think She May Have Been More Open To Experiment.

      • GrandCentral

        08/07/2012 at 11:54 AM

        Nope!! None of these people! She would have stayed with her team of Missy and Timbaland and kept her sound and would have evolved, with them. Remember, Aaliyah was in her own lane and didn't need to veer off. All the people you've listed would have taken her out of her lane and put her in the lane with others. Maybe and this is a slight maybe, Raphael Saadiq, maybe, but I really don't see it. Your analysis of him and why were great, but it wouldn't have happened.

      • China

        08/07/2012 at 12:25 PM

        This makes me think of the Mariah Carey and Rick Ross collaboration. So not a good look for Mariah. She needs to let it go. ijs

  5. petersburgh

    08/07/2012 at 6:45 AM

    I DO NOT like posthumous albums so I figure they should leave it alone. Maybe place her as a hook on someone's song etc but not a whole album. Most of them are over produced anyway and an album fleeced with most songs featuring other people is boring just like Diddy's second album. Oh wait, that wasn't posthumous.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/07/2012 at 11:18 AM

      I Was Thinking That Too, "Why Not Just Put Her On The Hook Of A Song?"

      • GrandCentral

        08/07/2012 at 11:49 AM

        Why not just let her rest in peace :)

  6. Smilez_920

    08/07/2012 at 6:58 AM

    I like the list but why don't we just let her rest in peace and enjoy the three albums she does have. How will we ever explore new artist if we're always trying to make new albums for the dead ones.

    If Aaliyah was alive she would be drakes Rihanna. He be all spring over her and she would kindly friend zone him lol. He's in love with a ghost he never met ( from what I know they have never met)

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/07/2012 at 11:20 AM

      If Aaliyah Was Still Alive When Drake Got Famous, I Bet She Would Be Wifed Up By A Dude That Would Step In Drake's Neck For Acting Out Of Pocket.

      • GrandCentral

        08/07/2012 at 11:50 AM

        Yep! His name was Damon Dash! Damon wouldn't have tolerated any of this!

  7. MistaHarsh

    08/07/2012 at 1:41 PM

    Hilarious! I was thinking R.kelly too. But still its easier to take a rapper's lyrics and produce a beat than it is to take a r+b singers lyrics and create arrangements. They should let the people who was working with her then to produce it because only they know how those unreleased songs were supposed to sound.

    Drake better watch out…he's taken too much Ls lately

    • Smilez_920

      08/07/2012 at 3:14 PM

      Drake has been hanging with Wayne to long sipping that stuff. First he's throwing bottles in the club now he's trying to bring the dead back. Hes going to get a Aaliyah hologram at a performance next

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/08/2012 at 12:43 AM

      What Other L's He Took Recently??

      • MistaHarsh

        08/08/2012 at 7:32 AM

        The bottle fight and lawsuits coming from that
        The lawsuit from J Prince's son over percentages
        Backlash from Aaliyah fans

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          08/08/2012 at 8:51 AM

          Drake Needs Someone To Keep His L's Under Control.

  8. RoseBud

    08/07/2012 at 9:27 PM

    Photoshop picture is creepy. But, they actually would've looked good together. IJS.

  9. Aboriginal

    08/07/2012 at 9:46 PM

    The only person who could make this work is Aaliyah, and since she is gone, they need to let her old and original music live on.

    One of the weirdest things when it came to Biggie and Tupac's "unreleased" media is majority of the collabos after their deaths were with rappers I'm pretty certain they never would've done a song with.

    Before Drake steps into the booth again, he needs to stop doing all that damn hopping and skipping on stage.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      08/08/2012 at 12:42 AM

      LoL! Co-Sign All Around!

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