The void R&B icon Aaliyah left in music when she unfortunately died in a plane crash 20 years ago has been felt immensely for, well, the past 20 years and counting.
Although majority of her catalogue has been missing from the current digital era where music streaming reigns supreme, that still hasn’t stopped current hitmakers from sampling her biggest records. Rising pop star and former Fifth Harmony member Normani is one of the latest to dip their hands in the proverbial cookie jar of Aaliyah samples, going for big chip by incorporating Baby Girl’s timeless 1996 single “One In A Million” for her new Cardi B-assisted banger “Wild Side.”
Reactions have been nothing short of supportive for the song overall, and it’s even getting a co-sign from Aaliyah’s former label head and notoriously quiet uncle, Barry Hankerson.
TMZ spoke exclusively with the Blackground Records head honcho, who says of Normani’s “One In A Million” sample, “I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style.” He went on to say the “Rock The Boat” singer/actress, “always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers — to achieve their dreams.”
Granted, he did tell the outlet that Normani’s “Wild Side” would’ve been “more honorable” had her team went through him to get the sample approved, but overall is deciding not to take any legal action and instead is quoted as saying, “I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah. So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased.”
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“Wild Side” supposedly doesn’t even use a direct sample of “One In A Million” according to her team, hence the reason why they probably never contacted Hankerson. Listen to the track below and let us know if you think Aaliyah was represented right or if they should dust it off and try again:
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