Hankerson told TMZ that the Princess of R&B “always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers, to achieve their dreams.”
“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 overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased,” he continued.
Sampling an Aaliyah song is a rare occurrence, as her music is not available on streaming services due to legal issues around her estate.
“We hear you and we see you,” a statement from Aaliyah’s Twitter account reads. “While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time. Our inability to share Aaliyah’s music and artistry with the world has been as difficult for us as it has been for all of you. Our priority has always been and will continue to be Aaliyah’s music.
“In the meantime, however, we are working diligently to protect what is in our control — Aaliyah’s brand, legacy, and intellectual property,” the statement continued. “In doing so, we will continue to release unique and exciting projects to keep Aaliyah’s legacy and light shining…Undoubtedly, we understand how frustration can lead to [sic] angry and disappointment. However, we ask all of you for your continued support and love as we aim to achieve these goals for all of you and our babygirl. We appreciate you.”