The Aaliyah Estate has issued a statement about ‘unauthorized projects’ ahead of a rumored streaming music debut.
The young rapper’s most notable hits are unavailable to stream on services like Spotify and Apple Music. Early singles and her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number is the only music available. But hits of Aaliyah’s music becoming available to stream surfaced on social media on August 4.
Fans noted the account Blackground Records 2.0 shared a new website with the hashtag #AaliyahIsComing. The original Blackground Records released the majority of her music and is owned by her uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson. Hankerson is behind the revival of Blackground Records, since he owns Aaliyah’s masters.
But the Estate of Aaliyah Haughton has released a statement about the upcoming release.
“Protecting Aaliyah’s legacy is, and will always be, our focus. For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish,” the statement begins.
“We have always been confused as to why there is such a tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives.”
“Now, in this 20th year, this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to express a word – forgiveness.”
“Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to pre-empt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.”
“Ultimately, we desire closure and a modicum of peace so we can facilitate the growth of the Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence, which is to inspire strength and positivity for people of all creeds, races, and cultures around the world.”
In a statement provided to Pitchfork, Paul LiCalsi, an attorney for the estate says Blackground Records has refused to cooperate with the estate. “For almost 20 years, Blackground has failed to account to the Estate with any regularity in accordance with her recording contracts.”
LiCalsi also says the Estate was not made aware of any deal to release Aaliyah’s other music. “The Estate has demanded that Blackground provide a full account of its past earnings, and full disclosure of the terms of its new deal to distribute Aaliyah’s long-embargoed music.”