The 50 Best Timbaland Beats

3. Aaliyah "Are You That Somebody?" (1998)

Album: Dr. Dolitte soundtrack
Label: Blackground, Atlantic


Looking back, it's hard to believe "Are You That Somebody?", one of Aaliyah's greatest singles, first saw the light of day on the Dr. Doolittle soundtrack. According to Playa's Static Major, who wrote the song, that's because Aaliyah wasn't really a fan of it. "Are You That Somebody?" was a definitely weird one: the frenetic staccato guitars, the bursts of beatboxing, the drum programming so fussy it verged on drum-and-bass, the stop-and-start beat, that sample of the baby crying...the pieces don't seem to fit on paper, but under the auspices of Timbaland, they converged into brilliantly cracked future funk. Aaliyah reluctantly recorded the song and came out with a gold plaque and one of her better showings on the Billboard charts.

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