Since last year’s deal between Aaliyah’s original label, Blackground Records, and EMPIRE was inked, fans are finally getting their long-awaited wish of her music on streaming services. Blackground is owned by her uncle Barry Hankerson, who also happens to own the rights to all of the late R&B singer’s back catalog masters.
Through this partnership, the track “Poison” featuring The Weeknd was released last month and is slated to be on Aaliyah’s posthumous album, Unstoppable. At press time, the track has already clocked over 5 million Spotify spins and Hankerson is clearly pleased with this. “One of the songs that’s out now is doing incredibly well. And that’s the song that she did with Weeknd [“Poison,”] he said in an interview on The Geno Jones Show. He then further elaborated that the new album is coming this month and that it’ll feature some very big names. “Because of that success, we think it’ll only get better with people such as Ne-Yo and Snoop Dogg, Future, and Drake — one of her biggest fans. Those are the features that’ll be on the record and that’ll be out in January.”
Barry Hankerson confirms Aaliyah’s new “album” will be dropping this month. pic.twitter.com/n7AQpfvESr
— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) January 4, 2022
Aaliyah’s music coming to streaming services hasn’t come without controversy. Aaliyah’s estate, which is not affiliated with Hankerson, has noted that several of the artists involved with her back catalog will not see profits under the deal between Blackground and EMPIRE. It raises an issue for fans who are surely happy to have Aaliyah’s music at their fingertips but then have to ask themselves, whether this is the way they wanted it to happen. Regardless, Unstoppable is officially set to drop later this month.