The word is, a previously unreleased Aaliyah song will make its debut in a matter of days. The unnamed track will serve as a staple stand out on producer Timbaland’s King Stays King, a 16-track mixtape that will be released for free online on Christmas Day. According to Onsmash, this tape will also include songs with Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, Mila J and Blaze.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been able to give the world some new music,” the producer said in a statement. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on this project and I am just looking forward to giving my fans some dope sounds to close out the year.”
Timbaland teased unreleased Aaliyah music in August, when he posted a photo of the singer on Instagram and wrote, “People ask me all the time do I have any babegirl music we haven’t heard!!!!! Well, the answer is yes!!!!!!!! TIMBO x BABEGIRL!!!!! Sneak peek coming!!!!!!!”
This news comes nearly two years after Young Money rapper Drake and his longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib canceled plans for what would have been an entire album of unreleased Aaliyah material.
Drake had announced his plans for the LP in 2012 when he released “Enough Said,” a song that featured a blend his and the late singer’s voices. That project then fell through after Aaliyah’s family and Timbaland and Missy Elliott didn’t approve. It would have come from her uncle Barry Hankerson’s Blackround Records label.
“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,” Shebib told Vibe in 2014. “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.'”
The only posthumous Aaliyah recording to get the highly sought after approval was I Care 4 U, a compilation that contained previously unreleased Aaliyah music, alongside some of her hits. It was released in 2002, only one year after her untimely death on August 25th 2001.