The song is not about Missy. It is certainly a memorial to Aaliyah.
Not only because of the indications that Scott has provided, although
I think these are sufficient: Timbaland sings about someone who had
caused him pain and depression, referring to her as "Lele".
You don't have to take mine or Scott's word for it. "The poignant Hold
On, Timbaland's ode to the late r'n'b songstress Aaliyah, creating a
certain balance within this collection." (SOURCE: Leo Varona,
"Timbaland And Magoo/ Present", db Magazine,
another review: ""Hold On" cuts the festive mood, as Timbaland
reflects on Aaliyah's death and Magoo addresses his child abuse atop a
violin loop that morphs into an electric guitar, underneath a
reflective Wyclef, for the chorus." (SOURCE: Jake O'Connell, " "Under
Construction"/ Timbaland & Magoo, Universal" for AP, , as reprinted on
However, there are other evidences out there.
First of all, the song is featured in a memorial compiliation for
Aaliyah, "Ultimate". It is certainly featured there as a tribute to
As I hope you know, Timbaland had a history with Aaliyah, working
closely with her and producing for her:
" R&B artist Aaliyah contracted Timbaland and Missy Elliott to write
and produce most of her second album, One In A Million. The tracks
that were crafted for Aaliyah featured innovative arrangements similar
to those on Ginuwine...the Bachelor. One In A Million went on to sell
over two million copies, and made superstars out of not only Aaliyah,
but Elliott and Timbaland as well."
[...] He also contributed three songs--all eventually released as
singles--to Aaliyah's self-titled third album.[..]
"I Am Music" [...] featured Timbaland singing alongside Stastic of
Playa and Aaliyah, who had been killed in a plane crash three months
before the release of the album. The loss of Aaliyah deeply affected
Timbaland, whose work was less omnipresent after 2001." (SOURCE:
Wikipedia article about Timbaland,
In a recent interview, Amerie mentioned in passing, how important
Aaliyah was to Timbaland, to the extent that she is still evident in
his work: " It's like, Timbaland can work with other artists but
there's still some Aaliyah in there." (Tracy E. Hopkins, "R&B artist
Amerie has confidence and a new album", AP, reprinted on The Seattle
Times, September 6, 2005
Finally, here are some words he said in tribute:
"She was like blood, and I lost blood [...] Me and her together had
this chemistry. I kinda lost half of my creativity to her. It's hard
for me to talk to the fans right now. Beyond the music, she was a
brilliant person, the [most special] person I ever met." (SOURCE:
"Timbaland, P. Diddy, Other Artists React To Aaliyah's Death",
So, while Timbaland and Missy Elliot enjoy long relationships (they
have been friends since childhood), this song is not about Missy.
Hold On Lyrics
I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
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