Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who also managers her catalog, says it would have been “more honorable” if Normani asked permission to sample his niece, but that he is still supportive of the track, “Wild Side.”
Speaking with TMZ, Tuesday, he explained that Aaliyah “always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers, to achieve their dreams.”
“I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style,” he added.
Though it has not been explicitly confirmed by Normani herself, many believe the song contains a sample of Aaliyah’s “One in a Million.” Normani did respond to a video of Timbaland, who produced “One in a Million,” singing along to the track, and didn’t deny the use of an Aaliyah sample.
Normani’s team, on the other hand, has told TMZ that it is not a direct sample of Aaliyah’s iconic track.
“I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah,” Hankerson added. “So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased.”