According to Aaliyah’s uncle and manager of her catalog, she would have been “supportive” of Normani’s new record “Wild Side.”
On Tuesday (July 20), during an interview with TMZ, Barry Hankerson broke his silence and shared his thoughts on Normani’s song, which many believe samples Aaliyah’s hit record “One in a Million.” The tribute, he confessed, would have been “more honorable” if she asked to clear the sample, but despite his desires, he gave her his blessing and wished her well in her career.
“I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah,” Hankerson said.
“So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased. I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style.”
The comments from Hankerson — who owns Aaliyah’s masters — come after “One in a Million” producer Timbaland publicly approved the song. On his Instagram Story, the beat maker praised Normani and Cardi for their recently-released collaboration. “Congratulations, Normani hard. Cardi B, y’all did your thing,” he said as “Wild Side” played in the background.
The 25-year-old star later retweeted the video along with the caption, “I must’ve died when I seen this.”
“Wild Side” came out on Friday (July 16), days after Cardi and Normani teased the song with sexy cover art. Since then, fans immediately quoted the rapper’s lyrics and praised the singer for her continued growth as an artist. Among the many posts were assumptions that the “Motivation” star was paying homage to Aaliyah with her choreography and the sampling of “One in a Million.” Her team, however, denied claims that the song uses a direct sample from Aaliyah’s 1996 hit.
Look below to watch Timbaland vibe to “Wild Side.”