Drake’s so obsessed with Aaliyah it requires a timeline
Drake’s latest fanboy moment at OVO Fest in Toronto this past weekend.
Following the release of “Enough Said” this past Sunday, everybody has been speculating that Drake will be putting out more collaboration material with Aaliyah and possibly even executive produce her next posthumous album. But this latest manifestation of fandom is nothing new. Even though they never actually met, Drake has long had a soft spot in his heart (and on his back) for Miss Haughton, a.k.a. “Baby Girl.”
Musically, Drake has shown love through his samples and lyrics several times already. He flipped Aaliyah’s 1994 ballad “At Your Best (You Are Love)” for his “Unforgettable” track in 2010, where Aaliyah’s sexy coos served as the bed for Drake’s vocals. On other tracks like 2009’s “Bed Rock,” Drake took it one step further and rapped verbatim the lyrics from her hit “Are You That Somebody?”: “I gotta watch my back, cause I’m not just anybody.”
Much of Drake’s penchant for Aaliyah has been revealed via social media. “I miss Aaliyah…” he wrote in 2009 when he was still Drakkard Noir on Twitter. “I hope you hear the words in my music and smile knowing you inspired them all.” Adorebs.
Aaliyah, and subsequently every girl in middle school, once sung about sending her crush a “4 Page Letter” enclosed with a kiss. On the ninth anniversary of the singer’s death in 2010, Drizzy penned his own heartfelt letter on RapRadar in which he said: “I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I remember getting the news that you had passed” he wrote and added, “I said to myself that even if we never met, I wanted a woman in my life just like you.”
He ended on a touching note: “I’ll continue to make music in your honor until the day we finally meet. Dinner’s on me!”
“Tat my fuckin’ name on you so I know it’s real,” may be one of Drizzy’s most memorable lyrics from “Free Spirit,” but he took that sentiment quite literally when he inked an image of Aaliyah’s face on his back last year. For a rapper with a remarkably bare canvas, it was hard to miss.
Just a few days ago, he revealed a new “416” (his native Toronto’s area code) emblazoned on his toned torso that can also be read as “116” for Aaliyah’s January 16th birthday.
Without Aaliyah, Drake’s singing voice may have never been what it is. “When I started singing, I needed someone to reference…I just found comfort in all of Aaliyah’s music,” Drake explained in 2011 to SoulCulture TV on how he used her as the inspiration for what he wanted to sound like, blending hard edge and melody.
Drake likes to keep his “Baby Girl” close at every show. Late last year, he shared a photo with an earpiece bearing a small visage of Aaliyah’s face on it. Close to the ear, close to the heart.
To be continued…
“Great Aaliyah news coming soon … Just some special things,” the singer/actor shared with the UK’s Tim Westwood earlier this year.
UPDATE: there’s now a video interview where Drake spills lots of details on the album, like the fact that it will come out this year and there will be 13-14 tracks!
We can only wonder what the future holds. Until then, here’s “Enough Said,” by Aaliyah, featuring Drake (produced by 40).
(Lead Photo: SocoVibe.com)