by Yvette Travillian
This weekend would have been Aaliyah’s 31st birthday, and like most of her die-hard fans, Saturday the 16th was met with sadness. With it almost being nine years since her extremly tragic death I am still feeling the loss of my favorite R&B chick EVER. I was 15 when I first saw Aaliyah’s ‘Back and Forth’ video on Video Soul (for you youngins’ this was what we had on BET wayyyy before 106 & Park to see all the latest videos) and I was instantly in awe. She was in my opinion the coolest girl to ever storm my TV. With the baggy pants, halter top, sunglasses and a doo-rag – she represented the image and persona of urban teenage girls in the early to mid 90’s. Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number was immediately my favorite tape.
Throughout her career Aaliyah released three great albums (and few dope singles in between) representing the different stages of her growth and maturity: She was growing up and so were her core fans and her lyrics were able to coincide with that. It was because of her second album, ‘One In A Million’ that Timbaland and Missy were really able to toy with and expose their awesome production and it was her third album, ‘Aaliyah’ that really showed a young girl becoming a woman – solidifying her place in the game all while introducing herself to a new generation of young fans.
At the time of her death Aaliyah was proving to be a major triple threat: She could sing, dance her ass off and also act. She had starred in and received great reviews for her work in Romeo Must Die and was close to releasing her second feature film, Queen of the Damned. Aaliyah had also starting filming work on the second and third installments of The Matrix (Nona Gaye- daughter of Marvin Gaye took over the role) and was also rumored to be a shoo-in for the leading role in the remake of Sparkle (personally I think she was have been PERFECT to play Sparkle), which was to be produced by Whitney Houston. She was even nominated for an Oscar for her song ‘Journey to the Past’ off the animated feature, Anastasia. Last year blogs were buzzing with the news of an Aaliyah biopic in the works – but I’ve yet to hear much about it as of lately.
Although it still almost makes me angry that she’s not here lacing us with new hotness and I’m often annoyed when I see R&B girls emulating her – but not even bringing it correctly, I am truly thankful that Aaliyah has left behind a montage of insanely dope videos and wonderful music that could still come out today. So as I mourn for my girl I can’t help but smile because I know she touched my life and many others in such a special way and I will never forget her. Rest in peace Baby Girl.