Grammy-winning producer/rapper Timbaland opens up on his feelings toward Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake, marriage and other topics on the upcoming “True Hollywood Story: Timbaland” airing this week.
Based on the episode’s teaser, Tim admits how much he cared for late singer Aaliyah.
“When I first met Aaliyah–it’s time for the world to hear this, I’m gonna give up a little secret–I was in love with her. I said, But I’m not — she just a baby, I’m old. I said to myself, ‘I’m just gonna be her brother.’ Oh man, I was fightin’, I was fightin’ a lot–a big war. But I loved Aaliyah. … Me and Justin [Timberlake], it’s the weirdest thing. We just say we’re gonna kill them and then we kill them. We get together, we break bread and we spill out music. That’s what we do.” (“True Hollywood Story: Timbaland”)
Last January, Roc Nation’s J. Cole admitted his childhood crush on Aaliyah.
“Aaliyah, man, it’s such a [tragedy],” Cole said in an interview. “I had such a crush on Aaliyah. It was like a little boy crush but it was a true crush. Then when she died, I called my mentor because he was way older than me and I was like, ‘Man, you think it would be corny? I want to make a beat.’ I was always naming my beats, and this beat I wanna make for Aaliyah. Not a song, I just wanted to make a beat…I did a beat. I wish I could remember, like, I remember slightly what the beat sounded like. But that was my way to pay respect in my own little world, in my own room, just making a beat for her.” (Soul Culture)
Over the summer, Roc-a-Fella co-founder Damon “Dame” Dash opened up about his short-lived romance with the singer.
“The energy we created together for people to observe was kind of crazy. We’d be in a room full of people talking to each other and it felt like everyone was listening but it would be just us,” Dame explained in an interview. “It would be like we were the only ones in the room. It was like something was going down in history every time I was with her. Every time I was around her I felt it was the place to be. Our time together meant so much that when we got more time, we felt like that [engagement] would be next. She was one of the best people I ever met. Even with the pain I felt, I would do it all over again.” (Billboard)
Aaliyah passed away from a plane crash just over ten years ago.
A star in the R&B world before she was even out of her teens, Aaliyah’s promising career was tragically cut short by her death in a plane crash at age 22. Even with only three albums under her belt, she’d already earned a place as a talented trendsetter among the R&B elite. Following a successful transition to a more mature image, Aaliyah played a major role in popularizing the stuttering, futuristic production style that consumed hip-hop and urban soul in the late ’90s. (All Music)
Timbaland’s “True Hollywood Story” special airs Tuesday, December 20th at 9 PM EST.
Check out the teaser below: