Barry Hankerson – Aaliyah‘s uncle – gave his blessing to Normani after she released her new track "Wild Side." However, he said it would have been "more honorable" if the singer had reached out for permission to sample Aaliyah’s "One In A Million" track.
However, her team claims the track didn’t use a sample of Aaliyah’s hit 1996 track.
Normani’s "Wild Side" track and visuals, featuring Cardi B, has been heating up the Internet since it dropped last week. It gave everything it was supposed to give, including Aaliyah nostalgia.
Barry Hankerson – the uncle of late singer Aaliyah – shared his opinion about Normani’s new track and he had some good things to say about it. He also shared Aaliyah would support Normani’s new musical offering.
While speaking to TMZ, Aaliyah’s former manager said the "Rock The Boat" singer would "always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers, to achieve their dreams."
“I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style," he continued.
Barry – who told TMZ he still owns all of Aaliyah’s masters – added it would have been "more honorable" if Normani or her team sought approval to sample "One in a Million" first. However, he gave Normani his stamp of approval.
"I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah," Barry said. "So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased."
Well, that’s what’s up.
According to Normani’s team, a sample from Aaliyah’s hit 1996 track "One In A Million" was not used. An attorney for Blackground Records (that Barry founded) confirmed with TMZ that the Aaliyah sample was never officially cleared for use. So what gives? It sounds like someone in Normani’s camp possibly tweaked the track some to get around having to get a sample cleared because "Wild Side" definitely sounds very similar to Aaliyah’s classic hit.
According to Variety, “Wild Side” was written with Tyler Rohn, Taylor Ross, Jonah Christian, Dave Cappa, June Nawakii, Pardison Fontaine, Keynon Moore and Starrah, who is also credited with additional vocals and vocal production, alongside Kuk Harrell. The song was mixed by Jaycen Joshua.
Folks didn’t think there were any issues with the Aaliyah-inspired track being that superproducer Timbaland gave his stamp of approval. He produced "One In A Million" and he also co-wrote it with Missy Elliott.
Peep his approval post below:
— Normani Updates (@NormaniUpdate) July 16, 2021
Either way, the song is fire.