Mega-producer Timbaland’s pairing with the late R&B singer Aaliyah was nothing short of kismet. The music that flowed from Tim’s mind, coupled with lyrics and melodies from music legend Melissa “Missy” Elliot, shifted the culture and the sound of both Hip-Hop and R&B. Her sophomore album One In a Million, released in 1996, was hailed as “one of the most influential R&B albums of the ‘90s” by Slant Magazine. The album’s style and sound also attributed to their solidification as some of music’s undeniable forces.
Before Aaliyah’s untimely passing in a tragic 2001 plane crash, she released her self-titled album. Aaliyah included the Timbaland produced singles “We Need A Resolution”, “More Than A Woman”, and “I Care 4 U”.
Over the years Timbaland has worked with many other female artists, but it was 2014 when he would sign and introduce Tink to the masses. The Illinois-born singer/rapper signed to Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group via Epic Records and started to gain popularity with her mixtapes and singles like “Around The Clock” and “Ratchet Commandments”.
Speaking on Tink to The Breakfast Club, Timbaland shared “[Tink] saved my life.” The Virginia native said added to the show’s hosts,“I was like I don’t know if I want to do music because there is nothing out here to do. She was music and she saved my life. She got me looking like this because she’s so young and I felt like ‘she got it’…”
It would be at an SXSW function where Tim revealed that Tink received somewhat of an angelic co-sign. Standing on stage during the Fader’s annual “Fader Fort” Tim shared that Aaliyah appeared to him in a dream to let him know that the budding star was going to be the “next big thing” in music.
“I don’t touch any of my sister’s records. I don’t touch Baby Girl’s records—you know that’s Aaliyah,” Timbaland stated as he spoke on Tink’s single “Millions”. The single contains an interpolation of the title track to Aaliyah’s “One In A Million”.
He continued, “I was riding home one day, sleep. She spoke to me in my sleep and said, ‘She’s the one,’” while pointing to Tink.
As previously reported, a resurfaced video clip shows Timbaland expressing that “he was in love with Aaliyah”. “It’s time for the world to hear this,” he shared before revealing his true feelings about the late singer.
“I said, ‘She [is] just a baby, I’m old. I’m just gonna be her brother. Oh man, I was fightin’, I was fightin’ a lot—a big war. But I loved Aaliyah,” Timbaland said. At the time they began their working relationship she was 16 and he was 23.