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Ousiderz 4 Life ft Aaliyah: Ain't Never (Unreleased Track)

Released: 2000
Recorded: 1999 – 2000
Label: Blackground Records

Here's a very RARE, unreleased track that Aaliyah did with R&B group Outsiderz 4 Life. Ain't Never was off the groups self titled album which was released around 2000. The group at the time were signed under Blackground Records, which obviously at the time Aaliyah was also under. Babygirl was so impressed by these guys, that she requested to do this collaboration with them. For those who are not aware of this track, it did come out a few years ago. I will post up and share some album download links for you guys soon, so don't worry! :o) The guys also did another song called Not Enough which is pretty catchy. They have an actual video shot for this, which I am also going to share. If you listen to it carefully, there is a particular part in that song where I'm sure it sounds like Aaliyah, what do you guys think? Anyhoo, check out the video below to listen to this rare gem! Enjoy everyone! :o)


Missy Elliott & Da Brat ft. Aaliyah: Stickin' Chickens

Released: June 22nd 1999
Recorded: 1998 – 1999
Label: The Goldmind Inc/EastWest Records America/Elektra

Da Real World is Missy Elliot's second studio album, which shows a more darker, raunchier style to Missy's music. During the time it was released, it also featured a comeback from female rapper Lil' Kim who took a break from the music industry when Notorious B.I.G. had passed away. As for guest appearances, not only is Aaliyah featured on the album, but it also shows the likes of Timbaland, Lil' Wayne, Juvenile, Lil' Mo, Nicole, Beyoncé, Eminem, Lady Saw, Da Brat, Big Boi from Outkast, MC Solaar and Redman. (Wooo, that's a lot of guests appearances right?) The album is also dedicated to the victims of the Columbine High School massacre  which happened on 20th April 1999. As for reviews, it definitely received a lot of positive feedback despite the rawness of the lyrics.

Now one of the songs I will be talking about is Stickin' Chickens featuring Aaliyah. This songs goes hard in terms of relations, where you find out the person you are with is cheating on you. The title itself literally means that, with the 'chickens' showing reference to other women or 'chicks' who you mess with, constantly 'stuck' to them. The song also features female rapper Da Brat, who I have to say goes really hard on this track and topic matter. We all know cheating is not cool, so why do it? But what's even worse is cheating with your significant others friends, that's where you have to draw the line, and this song talks about that very scenario. To anyone who has gone or is going through this right now, here's a track which I'm sure you all can relate to. Enjoy! :o)


Nas ft. Aaliyah: You Won't See Me Tonight

Released: April 6th 1999
Recorded: 1998 – 1999
Label: Columbia Records

I Am... is the third studio album release from one of my all time favorite rappers Nas. The album itself debuted at number one on the charts, selling over 470'000 copies within the first week! Originally the album was meant to be a double album titled I Am...The Autobiography, but because most of his original tracks were bootlegged, Nas was left with no choice but to discard many songs on the album and just stick to one CD disc. Now you can only imagine the frustration he was going through back then, as internet technology was such a new concept to people. To have your tracks leaked over the internet kinda devalues the artists work in a way where you are too lazy to even buy the album content and pay respect to their work. In all honesty, I believe that if we didn't have the internet people would still buys CD's rather then trying to download them for free. It's quite a shame, but it goes to show the sign of the times.

Here's a song off Nas's album where Aaliyah features on the song You Won't See Me Tonight. Again this song talks about real relationship trials and tribulations. The song talks about how a woman is fed up of a man being too busy for her, rather than putting his woman first as a priority, he just takes her for granted. This in toll leads to the – Why are you always so busy?, When do you have time for me? Are you cheating on me? Let's face it ladies, all of us from one time or another have been through this situation to the point where you end up being Sherlock Holmes (not something I would advise, as you clearly don't trust the person you are with if you have to resort to extreme measures). But the fact of the matter is that it does happen. The song title itself embodies this message too, where Aaliyah sings the hook – 

"You won't see me tonight, you won't see me tomorrow, I'll be gone by daylight, and you'll be so full of sorrow, you'll go tell all your friends, how you called and I follow, but you won't see me tonight, no you won't see me tomorrow".

Truer words have never been spoken! Now at the same time, being the diplomatic person that I am there are always two sides to a story (bit of Ginuwine comes to mind there! lol), so in defense for the men, maybe your man is too busy and as a woman you need to hold it down and support him in whatever he ventures in. The last thing a man wants is to hear a woman constantly nagging, so be the stress reliever in the relationship and make him forget about his worries. However, I do believe making time for one another is of high importance, but others may argue that absence makes the heart grow fonder. What do you think? Anyhoo I digress, this track is definitely one to add to your playlist. Timbaland yet again delivers his fine production skills on this dope beat. Lyrically, Nas delivers as always. Anyways, please check out the video below. Enjoy guys! :o)


Ginuwine ft. Aaliyah: Final Warning

Released: March 16th 1999
Recorded: 1998
Label: 550 Music/Epic

Here we have the second studio album from Ginuwine's – 100% Ginuwine which was released on 550 Music but distributed through Epic Records. This has to be probably one of the best recognised albums during the 90's period, as track after track you cannot fault it. With hits like What's So Different?, So Anxious and Same Ol' G is it any wonder why? Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic mentions that the album included "more intentive productions and a stronger set of songs" in comparison to Ginuwine's older, previous work. He also goes on to talk about Timbaland's production and use of instrumentals but still claimed that "Ginuwine remains the star of the show, thanks to his rich, inviting voice." I would most definitely agree on this as Ginuwine's vocals fit perfectly with Timbaland's beats, just like how Babygirl's does too. 

One song in particular which features Aaliyah as a guest act is a song called Final Warning. To me this song evokes a common problem which a lot of people encounter whilst in a relationship, from both the male and female perspective. The whole concept of the song talks about how a woman starts seeing red flags within the relation, and confronts her man on whether he is cheating or not. The biggest give a way in this song uses random phone calls as an example of where a woman might become suspicious of it being another woman bugging her man with endless calls. 

With that being said, I can't be totally anti-man on this subject, so I will stick up for the fella's on this one too as sometimes what we may think, might not necessarily be the outcome. All in all, it all lies down to trust, because if you can't trust the person you're with, then clearly they are not the right person for you. If you listen carefully, you'll notice that Aaliyah makes a reference to her song Are You That Somebody? I think in this context it fits nicely as she is saying are you with me or not? Which sometimes people need to know for closure, giving them that 'final warning' and having that peace of mind. (Lord knows I've been through that! lol) Anyhoo, peep the video below to enjoy this all time classic joint! :o) 


Aaliyah Dana Haughton: 12 Year Anniversary Tribute

Rare Image

As you all know, today marks Babygirl's 12 year death anniversary. For me, I always tend to have mixed feelings on this particular day, as it is also my fathers birthday. So on one side of the spectrum it denotes a time to celebrate a life that began, and on the other side it shows a time where we remember a person who's life was tragically taken away and ended. Either way both have one thing in common, and that's remembering and honoring that persons life whether they be alive or no longer with us in the physical form.

No words can describe during that very day how I felt, when I found out about the news of Aaliyah's passing. I think that we can all agree as fans, that we will remember exactly what we were doing during that time, when we heard the news. It's also crazy to think that's it's already been 12 years! Time just flies by hey? As a tribute here's a fan made video using a track which was in remembrance of Babygirl from Missy Elliot called Take Away. You can find this song on Missy's third studio album titled Miss E... So Addictive. The track also features guest appearances from Ginuwine and Tweet who feature on the main single version, in comparison to the album version which features background vocals from 702's group member Kameelah Williams. This song is very touching and heartfelt, and the video embodies the beautiful person that she was inside and out.

I'm also sharing with you guys a tribute made video titled 'The Creation Of The Aaliyah Tribute' from Necole Bitchie who posted this two years ago. You'll find a variety of celebrities/artists who talk about what they found most endearing and inspiring about our beloved Babygirl. Gone but never forgotten, here's to keeping her music and memory alive. You truly were an angel. R.I.P.


Playa ft. Aaliyah: One Man Woman

Released: March 24th 1998
Recorded: August 1997 – February 1998
Label: Def Soul

Cheers 2 U is the debut studio album from R&B group Playa. The album was originally meant to be called Eponymously and to be released earlier for October 1997, however later on Static (A.K.A.-Static Major R.I.P) named the album Cheers 2 U after one of their songs. Production wise, it was mostly Smokey (last picture above) and our main man Timbaland who were responsible for this album. In terms of reviews for this album, we have a guy called Lee Stanley from Allmusic describing the album as – "A promising debut" and also referred to the body of work as – "A debut of enormous potential". 

Personally, I love everything about this song both musically and lyrically as I listen to it quite often. The whole concept of the song is self explanatory from the track title alone. This is one song which a lot of people can relate to on finding that one special person in their life, that makes them happy. They haven't got time to be messing around with anyone else and just want that 'one man woman' or 'one lady man' to complete them. :o) If only people could write lyrics like this today! It truly shows the essence of what real relations and love is all about. As always, Aaliyah sounds great on this track blending those harmonies to perfection.

Now normally I don't do this, but I am also going to share with you guys a cover version of this song which I happen to really like by Jeremy Passion and Tori Kelly. Obviously, no one can ever replicate and beat an original of a song unless it's REALLY good, but these guys did a great rendition where I'm sure Aaliyah would of been really flattered and proud of. Just to show you how great these guys are, here's a description of the video from youtube where I quote Passion saying –

"The always amazing and beautiful Tori Kelly came down to San Diego to record some vocals for my first full-length album at Jesse Barrera's studio. 

Just to show you how amazing this woman is, She JUST heard this song by Playa feat. Aaliyah (R.I.P babygirl) for the first time right before we recorded this! Literally practiced like 2 times! (Amazing.. I know!). She seriously gives me chills and am very honored to have her on the album. 

I'm a 90's music kid and I love R&B and "One Man Woman" was always a song I loved listening to (Not many people know the group Playa... R.I.P Static Major). 
Enjoy and thanks for all your support!"

All I can say is wow! Simply amazing right? From not knowing about the song, and only practicing twice and to pull off such a great cover? Major props for that! Anyways, please check out the videos below to listen to both. Enjoy! :o)  


Boot Camp Clik ft. Aaliyah: Night Riders (9th Wonder Remix)

Released: 1997
Recorded: October 1996 – March 1997
Label: Duck Down Records/Priority Records

Here we have a not so familiar, but classic track. There are many versions for this Night Riders track, including one which features another woman named LaVoice singing the hook, (this version is more explicit) which you will find on their album titled For The People, but these are the main two featuring Aaliyah. Personally I prefer the 9th Wonder remix version, as 9th Wonder never fails to disappoint. Production wise, he brings Hip-hop music to life. In comparison to the the radio mix version it sounds very eerie, dark and mysterious with that dirty bass guitar.

Essentially, when you listen to the remix version it just oozes magic. So smooth, and the contrast between the masculinity of the rapping, and the feminine charm Aaliyah brings, definitely marries as one. Apparantly whilst they were recording the remix version, Aaliyah requested that the lights should be turned off, almost pitch black in order to capture the full essence of the track. (No wonder I feel that magical vibe! She truly was a professional and dedicated to what she loved doing). The track itself samples Barry White's – Playing Your Game, Baby which you can listen to down below. Again this is a nice old but gold track showing sultry, melting smoothness. Enjoy everyone! :o)

Missy Elliot ft. Aaliyah: Best Friends


Released: July 15th 1997
Recorded: November 1996 – May 1997
Label: The Goldmind/Elektra

Supa Dupa Fly is Missy Elliot's debut studio album which was released in 1997. As you can tell, Aaliyah was featured as a guest appearance on the album for the track Best Friends. The song talks about how women go through the trials and tribulations of ending up with a man who just play and mess around with them, taking them for granted. It also talks about the true meaning of friendship, showing which people are down for you in your time of need, and which ones merely see you as a hinderance. I think this is very important as not many people understand the true value of friendship these days. People are so quick to jump into a relationship, yet they don't take the time to allow themselves to get to know one another. You can hear this from the first line of the track where Aaliyah sings – 

"My best friend say, 
She's sick of me cryin' on the phone 
telling how a man be doggin' me, 
My best friend say,
Don't tell her nothin' bout me and you 
cause she ain't showin' me no sympathy"

As you can see from the lyrics, a true friend is brutally honest no matter how much you would like to hear it or not. In the song, it's saying let go of all the drama that you put up with because no matter what, your best friend will be by your side to help you through it all. All I can say is that's real talk. I'm sure a lot of women can relate to this song when they have a heart to heart with their girlfriends about a man who is just being ungrateful and malicious. To anyone who is going through or has been through this, here's a song which will cheer you up for sure. Remember that true friends are hard to come by, so when you do come by them, make sure they are down for you and vice versa. As J.cole would say..."Watch out for the snakes"

Speaking of J.cole, he also did a version of this song titled Best Friend, sampling the beat, where he is rapping over it. You can find this on his third mixtape Friday Night Lights (A great mixtape I must add!) Personally I think he did a great tribute in memory of Babygirl as it's something which keeps her memory alive for those younger kids who are not aware of her. He also does a nice spin on it, talking from the males point of view on how sometimes your lady's friend (her homegirl) can interfere a bit too much, since a relationship is between two people. I like how he stayed true to the theme of the song on this one. Nice work J.Cole! :o)


R.Kelly: Your Body's Callin' (His & Hers Extended Remix)

Released: March 1994
Recorded: 1993
Label: Jive

Now here's a slow jam which babies were most certainly made from. Your body's Callin' was a 1994 hit single from R.Kelly's album 12 Play. He also released a remix version where Aaliyah (his protege at the time) titled the remix 'His & Her's' where you'll find it on his Remix City Volume 1 album. I definitely feel that this song was aimed at Aaliyah, which is kinda disturbing knowing how young she was at the time to be singing such a mature, grown track. Although I do like the remix version since both R.Kelly's and Aaliyah's vocals unify together nicely, I can't help but wonder what was going on behind the scenes. The song however proved to be successful in the top 20 pop hit charts reaching to number 2. It unfortunately got held back one place by our very own Babygirl's – Back And Fourth and also Janet Jackson's – Any Time, Any Place. Bad luck there R.Kelly!

As you've seen in previous posts, I have shown a lot of samples where artists/DJ's/producers have either sampled a lyric, chorus or beat. In 1996 a guy called Norman Brown did a cover of this song which you can find on his album Better Days Ahead. You can check out this version down below with all the other video's. :o) It doesn't stop there though, the song was later sampled again by hip-hop producer DJ Premier who sampled Kelly singing 'It's Unbelievable' for The Notorious B.I.G.'s track Unbelievable which is off his Ready To Die Album. This was also released later in 1994, where a lot of great artists were at their all time peak. And if you really want to go all the wayyyyy back, the song also sampled The Isley Brothers – Warm Summer Nights from the album Eternal. Again, you can peep all these samples down below. Anyhoo, enjoy guys! Please feel free to leave comments too! :o)


R.Kelly ft. Aaliyah: Summer Bunnies (Remix)

Released: July 1994
Recorded: 1993
Label: Jive Records

Apologies for the poor image quality, I searched high and low, but this is the best one I could find! Anyhoo, here's a not so familiar track which personally I had totally forgotten about myself until now. Summer Bunnies whole concept is generally about viewing women in a sexual way which you can clearly see from the remix version featuring Aaliyah. I was quite shocked when I saw this myself, since this was during a time where Hip-Hop was becoming more corrupt in the sense of exploiting women as sex objects. If you watch closely, there's a certain scene where the only thing which is blurred out is R.Kelly 'copping a feel' of all the 'bunnies' around him. Back then this was perfectly innocent and acceptable. Damn how times have changed! 

Now obviously as you guys are aware of the whole controversy behind R.Kelly and Babygirl you would think ok, why is Babygirl on such a explicit track? Especially at such a tender young age? But don't fret, Aaliyah was always very strong minded person when it came to her own personal image and the way she was perceived to others. Morally and ethically she always made sure she was comfortable with what she was doing, the saying "Keep it classy not trashy" comes to mind. Essentially, that is exactly what she did, which you can see from the video alone of her being fully covered in her loose fit, baggy clothing. You gotta give props for someone who can wear a style like that yet still hold their own, now that's REAL sex appeal!

With any track, again it is always good to know where your music samples are coming from. So here's a little music history lesson for you all. The original Summer Bunnies on the album version samples the 1982 Gap Band's – Outstanding, whereas the remix version samples the 1970's hit The Spinners – It's A Shame. You can check these out down below. But all in all, the remix version is definitely a 90's summer jam, similar to that of Will Smith's - Summer Time. Anyways, enjoy the bootyful, oops I mean beautiful scenery! :o)


Timbaland & Magoo ft. Aaliyah and Missy Elliot: Up Jumps Da Boogie

Released: July 11th 1997
Recorded: 1996
Label: Blackground Records/Atlantic

Now here's a throwback for all of you Babygirl fans out there! Here is the the debut single from Timbo and Magoo's Welcome To Our World. The track also features Missy Elliot and a guest appearance from Ginuwine who was very close with all of the Timbo crew as a whole. Charts wise, the song reached to number one on the Hot Rap Singles (no surprise there!)

I don't know about you, but to me this shows what true talent was all about. No one is flaunting their body all out there for attention, and the rapping shows true skill and imagination, something which a lot of new artists lack these days. Take notes folks! And as always, Aaliyah's mesmerising voice just sends shivers down your spine with her alluring, angelic appeal. The Timbo crew was definitely a force not to be reckoned with, since they were at the peak of their game during the 90's. Both production wise and lyrically I cannot fault this track since it delivers 100%. Anyways, you know the drill, check out the video below and enjoy some real good music! :o) 

Kris Kross: Live And Die For Hip-Hop ft. Aaliyah, Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri and Mr.Black


Released: February 8th 1996
Recorded: 1995
Label: So So Def Recordings/Ruffhouse Records/Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment

Live And Die For Hip Hop was the second and final single from the album Young, Rich And Dangerous. The single features rappers Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, Mr.Black and background vocals from our Babygirl. The actual song itself contains a sample from Regina Belle's – Baby Come To Me. You can check this out below to compare and contrast. Dj Clark Kent who I mentioned earlier in my Junior M.A.F.I.A. post also contributed by making a remix version of the track. However, all in all production wise for this classic hip-hop joint goes to Jermaine Dupri.

Overall I like the track, but I don't think Aaliyah is featured in it enough as I would of liked. I also feel that she should of at least been in the video to show some kind of recognition, but hey! It is what is it is...I aint gonna complain, because I'd rather hear some vocals from Babygirl then none at all. Oh and I would also like to say R.I.P to Chris Kelly A.K.A– Mac Daddy who passed away on May 1st 2013. It's a real shame he had to go like that through the drugs route, along with others like Amy Winehouse. All we can do is remember the great music they have left us with in this music industry. I still remember the trend they made by wearing their clothes backwards, crazy times... But as a tribute I have left the videos Jump and Tonite's Tha Night which you can check out down below. Enjoy everyone! :o) 


Junior M.A.F.I.A. – I Need You Tonight ft. Aaliyah


Released: August 9th 1995
Recorded: 1995
Label: Big Beat

I Need You Tonight was one of Babygirls early 'as featured performer' tracks. It was the second single from Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s debut album Conspiracy, where Faith Evans originally sang the chorus on the album, however on the single version Aaliyah was singing instead. Production wise, DJ Clark Kent (nice name!) was responsible for this track sampling Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam's – I Wonder If I Take You Home (clearly used for the chorus part) and Patrice Rushen's – Remind Me. You can peep these versions down below to have a listen.

I always think it is important to educate people and get to the true roots of an original song/version, as you can see how the sample was used both lyrically and musically, but also listening to the difference in the vibe of the track itself. A lot of people may encounter a jam they like, but 9 times out of 10, most samples have been taken from the late 70's and 80's, so the next time you listen to something always think to yourself hmm...can this track date back even further? or am I listening to the original?

Personally, I feel the sampling has been done very well, and marry together nicely. Babygirl's voice alone just hooks you onto that chorus and makes you forget about the original version entirely. I also love the 90's vibe of the video as you can see the humor side to it. It's amazing to see how people didn't take life so seriously back then, and worry about their looks in comparison to now. Definitely a time where it was all about being carefree and having kindred spirits. Ironically, you'll find Lil' Kim in this video, rapping some killer lines I must say. It's a shame she had to go under so much plastic surgery because she actually looked quite pretty in this video. I guess she was one person who did pay attention to her looks but hey! With that being said... sit back, relax and enjoy this summer, jamming track.


Sunset Park Soundtrack: Are You Ready?

Released: April 23rd 1996
Recorded: 1995 – 1996
Label: Elektra

I left this track on the side, as not many people are aware or have heard this before. Are You Ready? was released as a promotional radio single. This is probably one among many other (I can listen to this woman's music all day, day everyday lol) tracks that I jam to a lot. It has a nice summer vibe to it, where you can either just cruise by in your car on a hot summers day, or just relax somewhere on a beach with the sun beaming, showing off them stunnas! (90's nostalgia right?). Released in 1996, this track is one of her earliest soundtracks for the basketball film Sunset Park. The song was written by Renne A. Neuville and produced by DJ Kay Gee from the hip-hop group Naughty By Nature. 

The album itself is pretty interesting as it is hip-hop oriented, so for any hip-hop fans out there you might wanna check out the album as it features the likes of many such as Tupac, Queen Latifah, GhostFace Killer, Raekwon, Mobb Deep, MC Lyte etc... The list goes on and on. Anyhoo, please check out the video below for the audio content of Babygirls Are You Ready?. Enjoy Guys! :o)


Ultimate Aaliyah: Are You Feelin' Me? Disc Two

If you are a true fan, you'll already know about these hidden gems, but for those who don't, I share with you some tracks where Aaliyah is featured. Firstly we have Man Undercover from Timbaland & Magoo's album Welcome To Our World. I love the beat of this track and I truly believe this shows Timbaland at his very best production wise. The union with him and Aaliyah is a force no one can compare to, and as for the bass, definitely a track you would wanna blast in the car whilst driving.

The second track after is John Blaze from Timbaland's album Tim's Bio: Life From Da Basement where we get to hear a little from Missy Elliot too. Again this is a nice unusual track complimented by Aaliyah's soft, soprano voice. Thirdly we have I Am Music from Timbo and Magoo's Indecent Proposal. This is a very slow paced track which also features Static Major. Again this track puts a lot of emphasis on harmonies, melody and union of alto and soprano pitches combined. In essence, it lives up to the name of the title.

And last but not least we have Hold On from Timbo and Magoo's Underconstruction Part II where Wyclef Jean from The Fugees featuresA very deep, emotional track which pays as a tribute to Babygirl's passing. When you listen to this, you can really feel the pain and heartache in Timbo's vocals. Every word spoken is meaningful, and you can picture it in your mind exactly how he was feeling during the time of such a tragic event. I've taken the liberty of showing these lyrics as they are too deep not to show, you can peep this below along with the videos. Enjoy guys!

You know what?
([Wyclef:] good good good)
I go through a lot, since my baby girl's not here
Life ain't been the same for me
Lately I miss you very much
I want you to hear my pain that I go through (go through ...)

[Verse 1 - Timbaland + (Wyclef Jean)]
It's been three years (AH!), livin this fast life
I think on it, I know one day I won't have life
People don't know me over the time B
They don't wanna know me, they wanna know my G's
Le I quit, things ain't the same no more
But I'ma do my thing 'til there ain't no more (yeah)
I got a plan, I wonder how far I can go
I demand the best for myself, that's all I know
I, done seen the world become
Products of a revolution that we begun (yeah)
Make me wanna split a swisher, I need me one
They keep on copying what we done done
That's why I say ..

[Break - Timbaland]
I know you like my shoes, cause you walk in my shoes
And would you be prepared to see (would ya?)
A life full of money and a life full of girls
But a heart that's really in deep (feel my pain)
A lot of people yellin ("we love ya Timbaland")
But I know y'all really in need (ooo)
I don't know who's in my corner, don't know where is my corner
But I gotta grab all these leaves
So I must ..

[Chorus - Wyclef Jean]
Hey, Timbaland you gotta hold on (hold on)
But you got to be strong
Though the pain almost over
([Timbaland:] My pain almost over)
Look towards the sky, there's only one Jehovah
([Timbaland:] I can't quit yet), you can't quit

You gotta hold on, you got to be strong
([Timbaland:] Uh, my pain almost over)
Look towards the sky, there's only one Jehovah

[Verse 2 - Magoo + (Wyclef Jean)]
Pain, can't you see the pain in my eyes?
The lie behind my cries, don't you sympathize with me
You don't have to wonder when I come
You label me a bum, you fake it ain't suprisin me (yeah)
Funny how Oo got money, people come around
Soon as Oo fail, kick 'em to the ground (yeah)
Not just neighbors, the whole damn town
Own flesh and blood, said I was a clown
But as the world turns, my life can too
And like a gun kills, a knife can too (yeah)
I was stabbed thrice, how 'bout you?
Once by my mom, pops the other two
Child abuse kid, ward of the state
I know it was the past, but I just can't shake
How you had a kid, beat me like a slave
I was only three, how could I misbehave?
I didn't know better, you could teach me first
You said fuck that, then you beat me worse
It's pain in this verse, hard to go on (yeah)
Oo is a man, so I must hold on

[Break - Timbaland]
I know you like my shoes, cause you walk in my shoes
And would you be prepared to see (would ya?)
([Wyclef:] yeah)
A life full of money and a life full of girls
But a heart that's really in deep (feel my pain)
A lot of people yellin ("we love ya Maganoo")
But I know y'all really in need (ooo)
I don't know who's in my corner, don't know where is my corner
([Wyclef:] yeah)
But I gotta grab all these leaves, uh huh
So I must ..

[Chorus - Wyclef Jean]
You gotta hold on (hold on)
But you got to be strong
Though the pain almost over
([Timbaland:] my pain almost over)
Look towards the sky, there's only one Jehovah
([Timbaland:] I can't quit yet), can't quit

You gotta hold on (yeah)
You got to be strong (yeah)
([Timbaland:] my pain almost over)
Yeah, look towards the sky, there's only one Jehovah (yeah)

[Verse 3 - Wyclef Jean]
Yeah, yo, I seen Brooklyn turn into Crook-lyn
The youngn's they spend their life in central Crook-lyn (yeah)
I've seen prom queens, turn into prom fiends
Sometime I ask myself what happen to Dr. King's "Dream" (yeah)
I've seen best friends, turn to enemies
What made it sad, I had to sing at the eulogy
So hard for us to say goodbye
So I puff the lye and stay high (yeah)
The man you said was your fam in the park (yeah)
Saw your face spark when you found out he was a Narc (yeah)
Cause everybody wanna be Nino Brown
They wanna be Nino Brown, they wanna be Nino Brown (yeah)
And the girls they love the Nino Brown
They hug they Nino Brown, they lust for Nino Brown (yeah)
And the fiends they want the Nino Brown
The way he hold you down, when he comes around (yeah) [echo]

[Outro - Timbland - talking]
The pain never stops baby
Lele, I hope ya hear us
Cause life will never be the same without you girl
([Wyclef:] yeah)
Timbaland talkin to you
([Wyclef:] yeah, yo, yo)
We ain't used to nothin
This music industry, will never be the same without you
Nothin but pain, hard struggle
But me and Jimmy D, we're gonna keep ridin for ya
Cause life must go on
You must live on
So we gotta hold on, c'mon

(Hold on) uh, (hold on)
My pain almost over (hold on, hold on)
I can't quit yet (hold on, hold on)
My pain almost over (hold on, hold on)
Nah Lele, me and 'Goo we can't quit, OH!