Barry Hankerson, the uncle and former manager of Aaliyah, is teasing a long overdue drop on the late singer’s birthday.
Per a report from RapUp, earlier this week, Hankerson, who owns the masters to the entirety of Aaliyah’s catalog, ominously tweeted “We listened, this is not a drill, honor of the great legacy of #Aaliyah,” with the date 1/16/2020, tagging all of the major streaming services.
Throughout the mid-90s and early-2000s, Hankerson ran Blackground Records, the label that housed Aaliyah, R. Kelly, Timbaland, Magoo, JoJo and other notable hitmakers in r&b. When the label shuddered at the tail end of the 2000s, Hankerson, still irreconcilable over his niece’s death, was hit with lawsuits from former clients for misrepresentation and fraud, some of which are ongoing.
Save for her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, Aaliyah’s music is largely absent from the streaming landscape, with the singer’s sophomore album, One in a Million, and her final self-titled album still missing from services. And Hankerson is the only person who can effectively reconcile the matter. Suppose we’ll have to wait and see.