Missy Elliott tells story behind classic Aaliyah intro on ‘4 Page Letter’
Elliott says the 'Turn my music up' dialogue on the song was recorded by mistake but she decided to keep it for the final edit.
Missy Elliott is one of the most prolific writers producers, and artists of the past decade. More specifically, she’s lauded as one of two super producers who helped shape Aaliyah’s legendary sound.
Elliott and Timbaland began working with Aaliyah during the process of creating Aaliyah’s sophomore album One In a Million. The three remained a dynamic duo and Elliott penned some of Aaliyah’s biggest and most popular hits.
Elliott is revealing some behind-the-scenes information on her work on Aaliyah’s 1996 single “4 Page Letter,” which was featured on One In a Million. At the beginning of the song, Aaliyah is heard saying, “Turn My Music Up…” several times as the volume increases. According to Elliott, the intro that is featured on the track was a mistake due to a miscommunication between her and Aaliyah.
“Fun fact, when I was in the booth singing this, my engineer had the music too low so I was telling him to turn it up but Aaliyah thought I meant to do it, so she sung it like I did on the demo, but it was a mistake. But she loved it – so we kept it like that,” Elliott recently wrote on Twitter.
‘4 Page Letter’ performed moderately well, peaking at No. 12 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Elliott continued in a tweet, “And since Babygirl loved the mistake I told Jimmy the engineer to keep raising the music on the track everytime she say turn it up so it would make sense to the listeners so y’all wouldn’t think we was crazy – this skit is damn near what happened tho.”
For the first time in 12 years, Aaliyah’s full discography has been made available for purchase on streaming platforms, theGrio previously reported. The late singer’s debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number was previously the only album from Aaliyah’s catalog available on streaming.
Fans without physical copies of the album could only listen to the songs via YouTube.
The streaming debut of One In a Million dropped days before the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death on Aug. 25.
Elliott, of course, commented on social media, writing on her Twitter account, “Babygirl All these years your IMPACT is still felt & your INFLUENCE is seen EVERYWHERE! So many are still CAPTIVATED by your SOUND & STYLE! It’s BEAUTIFUL to see a new generation become fans of your ART & love YOUR HEART. We Love you & May your spirit live on 4EVER.”
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