I Care 4 U (song)

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"I Care 4 U"
Single by Aaliyah
from the album Aaliyah and I Care 4 U
B-side"Don't Worry"
ReleasedAugust 12, 2002 (2002-08-12)[1]
Format12" promotional single
Recorded2000[2] at Magic Mix Studios and Music Grinder Studios in Los Angeles
GenreNeo soul[3]
Aaliyah singles chronology
"Miss You"
"I Care 4 U"
"Don't Know What to Tell Ya"

"I Care 4 U" is a song by American R&B recording artist Aaliyah. It is a romantic R&B ballad written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland. The song was originally recorded for Aaliyah's 1996 album One in a Million, but the recording was withdrawn after its completion and re-recorded in 2000 for her 2001 self-titled third album.

"I Care 4 U" charted for 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002, peaking at number 16. It was released as a radio single in 2003 in promotion of Aaliyah's posthumuous compilation album I Care 4 U (2002).


"I Care 4 U" was written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland, who also produced the song, and recorded at Magic Mix Studios and Music Grinder Studios in Los Angeles.[4] Aaliyah originally recorded the song for her 1996 album One in a Million, but it was completed after the album had finished post-production, and she chose to save it for her next album.[5] The song is a soft romantic R&B ballad whose female narrator,[6] according to Aaliyah, says "don't cry, I'll wipe your tears. I love you, just give me the chance to show you."[5]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"I Care 4 U" is a Neo Soul ballad and it has been compared to the work of R&B singer Angie Stone, the song features beatboxing, an electric piano and multi-tracked vocals provided from Aaliyah.[3] According to Bob Waliszewski from Plugged In "I Care 4 U" offers support to a guy stinging from a breakup".[7]

Chart performance[edit]

"I Care 4 U" debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as an "album cut" in the week of June 1, 2002.[8] It charted for 20 weeks on the Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs).[9] It peaked as an "album cut" at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of October 16;[10] it spent 20 total weeks on that chart as well.[9] Along with "More Than a Woman" and "Rock the Boat", the song helped give Aaliyah a strong presence on the radio following her death in 2001.[11]

"I Care 4 U" was released as a promotional recording for the compilation album of the same name in 2003.[12] In April 2003, it was released as a 12-inch single with the B-side "Don't Worry".[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Ross Scarano from Complex praised the production of the song and went as far as comparing the song to the work of Angie Stone. According to Scarano "If it weren't from some low-in-the-mix beatboxing and complicated drum programming, "I Care 4 U" wouldn't register as a Timbaland production. The electric piano and extremely earnest multi-tracked vocals give off the sheen of neo-soul; this is Aaliyah doing Angie Stone".[3] Luke McManus from the Irish publication RTE felt that Aaliyah showcased her voice more on the song and that her new found vocal ability matched the "brilliance of the backing tracks" on the song.[14] Daryl Easlea from BBC UK praised Aaliyah's voice on the song saying. "I Care 4 U, a Missy Elliot co-write, would be a conventional ballad on a more obvious soul star's album. It's what Aaliyah doesn't do that make it still sound stunning – it would have been so easy to over-ladle the emoting here".[15] Michael Odell from The Guardian praised the song and compared the it to the work of singer Gladys Knight. Odell stated,"I Care 4 U, cowritten by Missy Elliot, is the sort of 1970s style ballad that Aaliyah's aunt, Gladys Knight, would approve of - but again it's stripped down and rebuilt with layers of haunting keyboard and lo-tech vocal percussion".[16] Russell Baillie from The New Zealand Herald described the song as "soul-sass" and he felt that "Aaliyah's voice weaves through the sparse but punchy arrangements with a mix of sultriness" on the song [17]

Track listing[edit]


Credits adapted from Aaliyah (2001) liner notes.[4]