aaliyah

An Aaliyah greatest hits compilation hit Apple Music last night. But there’s a catch.

For the better part of fifteen years, the Aaliyah estate has been mired in controversy, shenanigans and privacy. The made-for-TV biopic was resoundingly panned by fans and aside from Drake creepily digging into audio necrophilia, not much “new” has been made in regards to Aaliyah.

Late last night, Craze Productions uploaded a 2005 compilation album title Ultimate Aaliyah. The record was initially issued in the UK, Japan & Australia. The double-disc opted for a greatest hits look at first covering Aaliyah projects from Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number all the way to 2002’s I Care 4 U posthumous LP. The second disc, compiled mostly of records from soundtrack material and guest features on other Blackground projects sports appearances from Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Static Major & more.

Only there’s a problem, it’s unauthorized. Blackground owner and Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson is the sole owner of the late singer’s catalog. Craze Productions, the company who uploaded the material last night, has been brought to court numerous times for copyright infringement. In fact, Craze Digital once posted unauthorized Aaliyah material before, uploading tracks to iTunes in 2013. They were removed soon after.

The only reason why the singer’s 1994 debut is the lone album of hers available on Spotify or Apple Music is because Hankerson does not own the masters to it. Those belong to Jive/Zomba, her original recording home when she was with R. Kelly. Once Hankerson split from Jive in 1996, he assumed control of her masters from thereon. Hence why One In A Million, Aaliyah and other albums are not available for streaming.

So for Aaliyah diehards still hoping for “Come Over” and other classic post-1994 Aaliyah records to hit streaming services officially, the wait may continue. Until then, soak in the nostalgia before litigators come and ruin your fun.

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