I normally do something via FB for Aaliyah, but I think I'll share with you guys this year...
So weird how I became a fan. Searching for baby names and finding hers as the feminine form of my now ex's name. I had never paid attention to it, never seen it spelled that way and didn't know the meaning. Days later, "Back and Forth" premiered and I thought it was interesting. I had every album and I remember the day she died, just like I remember what I was doing when Whitney and Michael died.
Some people think that fans glorify musicians and idolize them from some place of worship...well, some do...but, I love the artistry that's gifted to them. THEN they gift it to us. The same way I hold onto last year's birthday card is the same way I hold on to music "given to me" on a specific day. I can remember so much of my life by music.
My first love and I had sex to Prince's "Adore". Cheryl Lynn's "Encore" will always give me visions of NYC (It came on the radio while on an outing to the movies). Miki Howard's "Come Home to Me" will remind me the day an extended family member died...and Fantasia's "Even Angels" reminds me of when my Grandma died in 2010. So many more songs...so many life events attached.
Music is the sound of poetry and love and anyone who can convey those things to me is someone who becomes a favorite.
What inspired me about Aaliyah is that she never seemed to be fazed by much. Us Capricorns get a bad wrap for seeming cold, unmoved and detached, but that's hardly it. At our best, we're disciplined (a lot of us are and a lot aren't). We're classy and conservative and very private. We share what we think you need to know and the rest is none of your business. In spite of Aaliyah's earlier scandal involving her alleged marriage to R. Kelly (a more troubled Capricorn)...I rarely saw any drama attached to her name. We definitely like to stay drama-free...well some of us. lol
At 22, the year of her death...she was on her star's rise. I can remember being excited to see the new Matrix movie with her in it. I wasn't cuckoo over the movie Queen of the Damned. I honestly thought it was more of B or C movie....c it on broadcast cable. lol
I did listen to her last studio album over and over. Songs that were never widely released stayed on my playlist. "It's Whatever", "Loose Rap", "I Refuse", and "Those Were The Days"...got played incessantly along with the radio faves, "We Need A Resolution", "Rock The Boat", "More Than A Woman" and my favorite "I Care 4 U".
I could hear her maturity shining through and her independence. She seemed to be coming nicely into her young woman...leaving behind a lot of her boyish wardrobe with "One In A Million".
When she died...I remember it airing on MTV and I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. A plane crash...8 people died. Families devastated ..fans dumbfounded...questions of 'why' abounding. The time on the clock was 6:16 when I found out. All I could think was that she was exactly 6yrs and 6 days younger than me...and her birthday was the 16th. Eerie...to a weirdo like myself, LOL
I remember the funeral on TV and the 22 released doves...the white horse and carriage and her mom weeping uncontrollably. I even remember how slowly but eventually...her whole clique fell apart, leaving the music scene with drips and drops of them...but, never like when "Baby Girl" was alive.
She was their muse...and that's the part that's saddest. Someone whose spirit we only saw in pieces of her music and performances...was FAR more to those who knew her and lost a piece of them when she left.
I just keep playing her stuff. Just like I do Whitney, Michael and so many others who passed on and left a rhythmic legacy of notes and keys.
Love her or hate her...there was no one like her.
Happy Birthday, Aaliyah...