Don't Know What to Tell Ya

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"Don't Know What to Tell Ya"
Aaliyah dontknow.jpg
Single by Aaliyah
from the album I Care 4 U
B-side "Miss You" (UK)
"Got to Give It Up" (U.S.)
Released May 20, 2003 (UK CD)
June 17, 2003 (German CD)
August 25, 2003 (U.S. 12")[1]
Format CD single, 12"
Recorded 2001; Manhattan Center
(New York City, New York)
Length 5:01
Label Blackground
Writer(s) Steve "Static" Garrett, Timothy Mosley
Producer(s) Timbaland
Aaliyah singles chronology
"I Care 4 U"
"Don't Know What to Tell Ya"
"Come Over"
Alternative cover
Alternative cover for "Don't Know What to Tell Ya"

"Don't Know What to Tell Ya" is a song by American recording artist Aaliyah. It was initially written by Static Major and Timbaland for the singer's third studio album Aaliyah (2001). While it failed to make the final cut, it was eventually included on the singer's first posthumous compilation album, I Care 4 U (2002).

Released in mid-2003 in European and Asian market, the song was the second and final single from Aaliyah's in North America & Asia, the final single off the album was "Come Over".


"Don't Know What to Tell Ya" is about a broken relationship. The song contains uncredited samples of "Batwannis Beek" by Algerian singer Warda Al-Jazairia and "No Respect" by Kool Moe Dee for a drum pattern.[citation needed] In the song, Aaliyah expresses her view on how a man cannot trust his girlfriend and keeps on comparing her to his previous lover, "Don't compare me to your last one/I can't help that she was a fast one, a sassy one/I'm a classy one". "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" was another hit single for Aaliyah in Europe and Asia, peaking in the top forty in countries such as China, Ireland, and Israel.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" was directed by Bill Schacht for Aesheticom and incorporates different scenes from most of Aaliyah's music videos synced to the beat. It went top 5 on MTV Base and MTV Germany. There were two versions of the video - one for the UK and one for Germany.

Cover versions and interpolations[edit]

In 2012, Danny! incorporated the drum pattern from "Don't Know What to Tell Ya", as well as vocals from Aaliyah, into the bridge for "Evil" as homage to the late singer.[citation needed] A sample from the aforementioned "Batwannis Beek" was also utilized.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single[2]
  1. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (edit version) – 3:03
  2. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (Handcuff Remix) – 5:18
  3. "Miss You" (music video)
European CD single[3]
  1. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (radio edit) – 3:35
  2. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (Thomas Eriksen Mix) – 5:18
  3. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (Intenso Project Remix) – 6:58
  4. "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" (album version) – 5:02
  • Note: The "Handcuff Remix" on the UK CD single and the "Thomas Eriksen Mix" on the European CD single are the same remix.


Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 34
France (SNEP)[5] 49
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 57
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 45
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 57
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[9] 49
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 30
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[11] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 22


External links[edit]