On the 25th of August in the year 2001, Aaliyah and a few of her associates were killed in a plane leaving the Bahamas on its way back to the states.  At the time this news brought me sadness;  i had come to adore Aaliyah’s music and looks.  she was about 2 years older than me, and thirteen years of age i was infatuated with her and had many a fantasy involving her likeness and myself.  She was on MTV all the time with the “back and forth” video, which in my young opinion was probably one of my top3 songs that year/summer.

Her early work with R. Kelly would pale in comparison to her collaborations with Missy Elliot and Timbaland.  “If Your Girl Only Knew” was a good single, but it just a primer of sorts for the genre pushing sound of “one in a million.”  having been a fan of sum drum and bass music, i quickly took to Aaliyah’s new sound, and so did everyone else.  Soon many clones would arise but none came close to Aaliyah’s Minnie Ripperton-like honey dipped cool.  I would never dare say it was all about Aaliyah, bu once she passed it was clear Timbaland lost his muse.  It would take him to work with Nelly Furtado to regain some of himself back.

“are you that somebody” gave her a bigger audience.  her movie with Jet Li did the same, allowing her to do more of the same for the soundtrack (her “standards” were so far ahead of her so-called peers).  she released great music in her last days, “we need a resolution” is one of the underrated songs of the decade.

with all that said my favorite song of hers is still from her first album.  “At Your Best” is the the perfect teenage song.  A young girl cooing adult lyrics (no doubt written for her).  It is dramatic enough without taking itself too serious.  What a groove.

aaliyah-at-your-best.mp3

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