TSR Exclusive: The late Aaliyah’s ‘Are You That Somebody’ is a timeless hit, but there are many things fans don’t know about one of Aaliyah’s greatest hits like the fact that the song was recorded and produced with less than than 24 hour notification.
Fans may be more surprised to find out that the song was actually written to Aaliyah by Static Major, as a sign of their secret relationship that they were hiding from Aaliyah’s uncle. The details of the song’s climax, Aaliyah’s relationship with Static, and more are revealed in a new, in-depth bio written by well-known hip-hop journalist and author Kathy Iandoli.
In Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah, which airs August 17th, days before the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah’s untimely death, Iandoli writes that Static Major’s mother, Edith Garrett Raymond, has confirmed that Aaliyah her deceased son around 1997 in 1998.
An excerpt from the book reads, “‘You were definitely an object,” she said. “Aaliyah was crazy about him.” And while the song hides their romance in secret, they were pretty open to Static’s mother and apparently Aaliyah’s own parents. “He brought Aaliyah to my wedding,” Edith continued. ‘That was a big deal because [her parents] didn’t let them go to places. ‘”
To bring it back to the beginnings of “Are You That Somebody”: Timbaland and his team found out around 1am that they had a song for “Dr. Dolittle ‘soundtrack that forces him and Aaliyah to hop into the studio to produce the song in less than 12 hours.
Timbaland didn’t want it at first, but according to the book, Tim and Aaliyah were supposed to pay a hefty bag of 400,000 US dollars for the route.
Static joined them and set the lyrics that evening, but the song was concocted as it was originally written for Aaliyah: “Girl, I’ve been watching you like a hawk in heaven …”
“Aaliyah wasn’t a fan of the song the first time it was heard, despite the autobiographical undertone. Still, she recorded it, and of course it was perfect, ”the book says. “… As soon as Aaliyah’s vocals (along with Timbalands and Statics) were determined, Timbaland came back to put the finishing touches on, that was some more beat layers and his now famous ‘Dirty South’ intro.”
Timbaland added at the last minute, sprinkling that happy baby sound over the track, and Aaliyah felt it too.
It was also the first time Aaliyah was referred to as “Baby Girl” on a track.
The song and its video are just one of many topics touched on in the biography. Are you going to read all of this? Let us know!
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Copyright © 2021 by Kathy Iandoli. Of Baby Girl: Better known as Aaliyah by Kathy Iandoli. Reprinted with permission from Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
The post New Aaliyah Biography Reveals That She Was Secretly Dating the Static Major who originally (exclusively) wrote “Is that you” to her first appeared on The Shade Room.