5 Reasons Why We Still Love Aaliyah
On August 25, 2001, I was heading into my senior year of high school. I was on the phone talking to my best friend at the time. Roasting, ranting… doing what I do now. Except with no audience. Somehow, we talked unto the wee hours of the morning. Right before we were about to hang up, breaking news comes on MTV. It said the small plane carrying Aaliyah and her crew back from the Bahamas had crashed.
LAWDDD!!! I bust out a *WALL SLIDE*! I didn’t even have a name for it then but that’s what it was. I was sooo shocked because she was super young. She had so much ahead of her. The fact that 9 years after her passing, we still acknowledge her at this level means something. So I give you:
5 Reasons Why We Still Love Aaliyah
5. She made dressing like a boy cute. I, too, wanted to rock Tommy Hilfiger boxers that showed over my super baggy jeans. I think Aaliyah may have actually kicked off my LOVE of Tommy stuff. That’s a post for another day. But in high school, I ODed on Tommy Hilfiger merchandise. I thought Aaliyah was the coolest! And since she rocked it, I did too. And her baggy jackets with nothing but a sports bra under? COOLEST. CHICK. EVER. She made Tomboy the new Black. And since I was already a tomboy, she was my fashion icon. *girl crush swoon*
4. She made the swoop bang the black “Rachel.” You know how Jennifer Aniston made the “Rachel” from Friends haircut popular for white women? Well Aaliyah did that to the swoop bang with Black folks. She made sure her hair was gingerly placed over her right eye like so. Shoutout to everyone who thought she had a lazy eye. She was just saying she only needed ONE eye to look at y’all with. You can be mad if you want to be. (-__-)
And I’d like to add that her hair was ALWAYS on point, whether she had weave, tracks or whatnot. She never offended my sensibilities with her hairhat. It. STAYED. ON. POINT. Take notes, folks. Take copious notes.
3. She was adorabo. I mean, her nickname was “babygirl.” And it did give her some innocence. Even after we found out about the marriage to one Pied Piper of Pee, Robert Kelly, we went “Well that girl ain’t know nothing.” And she didn’t. Nowadays, artists are hypersexual. Aaliyah thrust her pelvis at you and you didn’t see her love pocket. You just saw a dance move that involved hips. Now we live in the era of onesies. But Aaliyah was beautiful without much implication of slutbucketness. She was a pretty good medium.
2. She could dance. And sing. WELL. *looks at Ciara* (-__-). I’m just saying. Babygirl was a well-rounded performer. She could dance her butt off. It was like all her parts moved exclusively from each other but together (if that makes sense). She could make her waist move with nothing else. Chick could DANCE. But she could also sing. Her voice was soft and she could carry a note in a shot glass. Unlike some of today’s artists who have the voice for muting *looks at Rihanna*. The fact that I’m impressed with the ability to sing AND dance just lets you know how low my expectations have gotten. But Aaliyah had that complete package.
1. Her music was great and is still worth listening to. On top of all of that, Aaliyah’s music was classic in many ways. A lot of her songs still make me dance and sing (albeit slightly off key). Her songs comes on in my iPod and odds are, I won’t skip them. Well-written and produced songs (shoutout to Timbaland) like hers are to be appreciated. Plus, some of her songs take me back to old memories. Like…
I think my FAVORITE Aaliyah song is “Are you that somebody?” I used to get SO excited when it come on The Box (remember that?). And it also reminds me of freshman or sophomore year of high school. It was homecoming and we were on the bus headed to the football game. Well, halfway there, me and my Ace Kiarri started singing it and doing the dance. Before long, the whole bus joined in for the ratchetness. We got to the stadium and even did the routines in the bleachers. YESSS! Good times.
My 5 favorite Aaliyah songs
* Are you that somebody?
* We Need a Resolution
* One In a Million
* 4 Page Letter
* Rock the Boat
What are yours?
Aaliyah died when she was 22. I can’t imagine the plans she had for herself. I always wonder how far she would have gone had her time not been cut short. How big would she be? Where would she fit into today’s music scene? Which artists would probably be known wayyy less because she slayed ‘em with her existence? It makes me stroke my chin. Would Aaliyah had worn onesies in every video? Would her lacefront make puppies cry? THESE are important questions. I won’t ever get an answer but I shall ponder them anyway. What do y’all think?
RIP Aaliyah Haughton!
P.S. I was watching the “Miss You” video tribute that various artists did for Aaliyah and I may or may not have gotten misty-eyed from it. #ThugTears