Normani’s Cardi B-assisted single “Wild Side” arrived Friday featuring what appears to be a sample of Aaliyah’s “One in a Million.”
But Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and manager of her catalog, claims that permission wasn’t granted to sample the song. Hankerson tells TMZ it would have been “more honorable” if Normani sought approval to sample “One in a Million,” but he still gives his blessing.
“I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah,” he said. “So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased.”
Added Hankerson, “I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style.”
A Blackground attorney tells TMZ that authorization to use the sample was never given, while Normani’s team says “Wild Side” does not actually use a direct sample of Aaliyah’s 1996 single.
— Normani Updates (@NormaniUpdate) July 16, 2021
Timbaland, who produced “One in a Million,” has offered his co-sign. He posted a video of himself vibing to “Wild Side.” “Congratulations, Normani hard. Cardi B, y’all did your thing,” he said.
Normani reposted the video and tweeted, “I must’ve died when I seen this.”
Aaliyah’s team has remained protective of her music. The majority of her catalog remains off streaming services including her 1996 album One in a Million.