In his first in-person interview in 14 years, Aaliyah‘s cousin Jomo Hankerson – president of the late R&B singer’s label, Blackground Records – decided to come to The Ryan Cameron Morning Show with Wanda Smith today to say exactly why her family does not support the reported upcoming Lifetime biopic on her.
“We feel like [television’s] really not the right platform,” Hankerson said. “Aaliyah was a legend. She was a hugely influential artist on our culture… I think that she deserves the treatment of a ‘Walk The Line’ (about Johnny Cash) or a ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ (about Tina Turner). A big, major movie.”
So why hasn’t the family pursued its own feature film project? According to Hankerson, Aaliyah’s mother and brother haven’t given an “OK.” And his family only learned of Lifetime’s intentions when “we saw the press release, like a lot of people did.” The cable channel had not reached out to him about telling the story of the multimillion-selling 22-year-old who died in a plane accident Aug. 25, 2001; or even licensing the musical catalog Blackground controls.
Hear what else Hankerson had to say about Lifetime’s choice to portray Aaliyah, what he thinks of the posthumous recordings with Chris Brown and Drake that included her cooing vocals, and her relationship with R. Kelly, below.