Album: One in a Million (1996)

That Timbaland sound that everyone was hype over in the late '90s? This was the track where we all heard him go off. That skittery drum work was left-field but undeniable, and was the perfect vibe to propel Aaliyah to the top of the R&B crop. Written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland, "One in a Million" showcased an unstoppable trio, with Aaliyah being a perfect muse for the futuristic vibes that Missy and Timbaland were creating, and truthfully helped change the game. No longer did your slow songs have to have slow drum beats; you could establish that vibe and throw as many fills and skittery hi-hats into the track and make it something unique instead of the flavor of the week (although being so future means that everyone was in demand). End of the day, it's hard to imagine that anyone else really rode these beats as perfectly as Aaliyah did. The perfect muse, indeed. —khal