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Aaliyah biopic on Lifetime slammed by rapper Timbaland

At left, Aaliyah performs at "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at the NBC Studios on July 25, 2001, in Burbank, California. At right, Timbaland performs at the "Chime for Change: The Sound Of Change Live" concert at Twickenham Stadium on June 1, 2013, in London.


Kevin Winter/Ian Gavan/Getty IMages

When it comes to making a biopic about his late friend and music partner Aaliyah, Timbaland says producers from Lifetime need to "Try Again."

The rapper took to Instagram during Saturday night's airing of "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" to join many other viewers who strongly criticized the made-for-TV flick about the singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001 at 22.

"Hope y'all not watching this," Timbaland wrote in one Instagram post, accompanied with a promotional image for "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B."

Hope yall not watching this!!!!!!!!

A photo posted by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on

Timbaland posted over a dozen additional messages condemning the biopic -- one post read "Lifetime Disrespects AALIYAH" while another featured a split-screen shot of Aaliyah and Alexandra Shipp (the actress portraying the singer) with the words "Dust Yoself and Try Again" -- in reference to Aaliyah's 2000 hit single.

A photo posted by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on

A photo posted by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on

In another post, Timbaland thanked fans who didn't turn in to watch the biopic. He also directed some of his messages towards the film's executive producer, Wendy Williams.

"Wendy Williams, you know you f***** up right?" read one of his posts.

On Sunday, the rapper released a follow-up post on Instagram, stating that he had made his feelings toward the film abundantly clear while also admitting that he may have inadvertently given the biopic even more press in the process. He also promised to further address his issues with the film at a later point in time.

Timbaland wrote, "A fan said to me Timbo chill Man U just blowing the s*** up and I said true statement so fans ain't s*** we can do what's done is done but what we can do is not feed into nomore but I will speak on it loud and clear !!!!!!!! Stay I will announce the time and place soon !!!!!!! Yes the whole world will hear!!!!!!stay tune."

Ever since production was first announced on the biopic, the project has come under heavy scrutiny from fans and industry insiders. Aaliyah's surviving relatives did not feel that the low-budget made-for-TV film would be produced on a scale grand enough to do the late singer justice and denied the filmmakers the rights to use her music. None of Aaliyah's original songs actually appear in the film.

Casting had also been an issue. Singer Zendaya had initially been set to star in the lead role, but many were quick to address her perceived lack of physical resemblance to Aaliyah. She eventually bowed out of the project and was replaced by Shipp. Other casting picks, such as the actress chosen to play Aaliyah's producer Missy Elliot, were also heavily criticized as being inaccurate to their real-life counterparts.

Timbaland wasn't the only viewer who had issues watching "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B." The biopic was panned by top publications like The New York Times, and viewers at home responded similarly.

Many took issue with the film's story, lack of Aaliyah music and the depiction of the singer's brief marriage to her much-older protege, R. Kelly, during her teens.

The online hate over the film is so strong that it has even become a trending topic, with hashtags about the subject cropping up, such as #LifetimeBeLike and #LifetimeBiopic.

Tell us: What did you think of "The Princess of R&B"?

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.