He made a lot of good points.
Real recognize real. Normani and Cardi B slayed on the former Fifth Harmony singer’s newest solo single, “Wild Side,” released July 16. The contemporary R&B track is a *total* bop — it’s also an exciting new direction for Normani, who has cited R&B icons like Aaliyah and Beyoncé as some of her greatest musical inspirations. So it’s no surprise her latest song pays homage to the late “At Your Best” singer, whose family is already hip to the track. You’ll be happy to hear that Aaliyah’s uncle’s reaction to Normani sampling his niece on “Wild Side” is anything but shade.
“Wild Side” has been the talk of the town lately, and for good reason. The song has just about everything: a moody vibe, a Cardi B feature, and a fire music video. But many fans speculated that’s not all “Wild Side” has — many pointed out that the track possibly featured a sample from R&B legend Aaliyah’s 1996 hit, “One in a Million.” Further confusion arose when some listeners noticed Missy Elliot and Timbaland, who respectively co-wrote and produced Aaliyah’s track, did not appear in the song’s credits.
In light of all the speculation, an attorney for Aaliyah’s record label, Blackground, told TMZ that “Wild Side” does, in fact, sample “One in a Million” — the sample just wasn’t cleared for use. Still, Aaliyah’s family is OK with the way Normani flipped the song, which is relieving AF. On July 20, Blackground co-founder Barry Hankerson, the singer’s uncle and catalog manager, said he thinks his niece would have stood behind “Wild Side,” reports TMZ.
"I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style,” Hankerson said. "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 [her] overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased.”
Despite offering his support, Hankerson noted it would have been “more honorable” if Normani’s production team requested permission to use the sample first, which is completely understandable.
Timbaland, on the other hand, doesn’t seem remotely pressed about not getting credit (or coin) for his contributions to “Wild Side.” His love for the song actually surprised Normani. “I must’ve died when I seen this,” she tweeted in response to the video.
Lovin’ the camaraderie!