As we all know, 11 years ago we lost a beautiful, talented woman who was one of the faces of R&B for a majority of the 90s and early 2000s. Aaliyah captured millions with her voice, her style, her appeal, and hits that made us move & groove, whether watching her on TV, film, or just listening to her music in general.
She burst onto the scene with a voice that had us in awe simply because of the hot beats that fuelled her, provided by the likes of R. Kelly. A lot of us know her story of her winning a talent show and being sought out, to the alleged marriage of her and R.Kelly, but looking beyond all of that, the important thing that we cared about, was her music. She knew how to make songs, she made them, and made them well. To this DAY, you can’t tall me that you don’t vibe to Back & Forth or reminisce over a certain someone in Four Page Letter. It’s impossible to go on about a day without thinking about something that relates back to her, especially with artists today that claim to have been inspired by her growing up (Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole to name a few).
When she died, I was walking into my grandfather’s house and the radio was on. CFRB 1010 reported that Aaliyah had died on a plane crash, and from there I really stopped and said “what the hell?” I didn’t curse as much back then, but a lot of expletives would have passed my mouth. A lot of people were at a loss. I watched the 106 & Park Tribute that same day, and I was just like “This is insane. She was just on TV. She’s supposed to be in a movie soon.” Like, I was pretty hurt. I loved listening to Aaliyah, I watched essentially all of her videos, shit I even wanted a girlfriend who looked like her. That’s how deep it was. It sucked. it really did, and I’m sure that I wasn’t the only person who felt that way.
I know that she didn’t know me and vice versa, but at the same time, this was a huge loss for us, somewhat comparable to what my parents went through when they found out that Biggie & Tupac died. Yes, I was still 12 years old and was still learning stuff, but it still hit because, to know that there would be no more music coming from her anymore, I wouldn’t be able to just listen to R&B the same way anymore, and that is still relevant today.
Her impact on in music is still being talked about today because her style not only in music, but the way how she was so versatile in her acting really paced the way for a lot of females. The fact that she was supposed to play the role of TRINITY for The Matrix series, really tells you that she was on her way up to stardom, and ironically enough, a plane ride had to be her cause of death, but she’s still felt today, and will continue to live on through our music as long as the memory of her stays alive. I miss her. I wish she hadn’t of died, because the game hasn’t been the same since, and she was truly the Princess of this. R.I.P Baby Girl, and Happy Birthday. she would have been 33. Wow.
In honour of her, here are all of her albums for you to keep the memory of her alive (Click pictures for download). God Bless.