Jan 6, 2022
Aaliyah’s posthumous album Unstoppable will arrive sometime this month, and while fans should be happy with all the new music coming their way, the feeling is more of disappointment rather than excitement.
The late singer’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, was recently a guest on The Geno Jones Show, where he spoke about the forthcoming album and its guest features. According to Hankerson, the album will have appearances by The Weeknd, Drake, Snoop Dogg, Future and Ne-Yo, and the estate feels confident with this output.
“One of the songs that’s out now is doing incredibly well. And that’s the song that she did with Weeknd,” Hankerson said. “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.”
Aaliyah’s fans caught wind of the statement made by Hankerson, and made their voices heard on social media. Instead of celebrating the project, fans ridiculed the late singer’s estate for allegedly wasting a golden opportunity in making a great album.
One of the biggest issues people have with Unstoppable is the lack of proper R&B representation on the album. People do not want to hear an Aaliyah project sound too Hip Hop, and they want an album with female artists as opposed to the feature list being male-dominated.
“Imagine having the opp to create a new Aaliyah album with an entire generation of women that were directly influenced (Ciara, Teyana, Tinashe, Normani, Jhene, CxH, H.E.R., Sevyn, etc.) but instead we get Snoop Dogg, Neyo, Future, CB, a weird Weeknd song…yikes,” wrote one fan.
Another said, “if i hear 808mafia snares and Murda beats hi hats in this new Aaliyah album then best believe we fuckin failed to revive R&B.”
Despite fan reactions, Barry Hankerson isn’t letting up his foot on the gas. During an August interview with Billboard, Hankerson broke down the plans for all of Aaliyah’s releases and how he’s living with all the hate that’s being thrown his way.
“It has been really nice,” Hankerson said of putting the album together. “The only part that has been a little distasteful has been so many people being angry with me because the music didn’t come out when they wanted it. But I learned to live with that. There’s nothing I can do about it.”