25 Aug 2009

In Death, Does Aaliyah Get Way Too Much Credit??

I don't know if it's just my generation and older who remembered Aaliyah in the 90's before she passed, but my thought today was "OK how many of you remember the date of the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's Birthday or Nelson Mandela's release date from prison?" Not saying the death of Aaliyah cannot be commemorated, but do you feel where I'm coming from? If you're going to be a braniac of historical dates that are prominent in the black community on a global scale then learn a few more and pay homage on those too, and not just Aaliyah, Left Eye, Biggie & 2Pac.

So I've been a lil off Twitter today. I've seen the Aaliyah tweets go by and some folks mention that the whole compare Aaliyah to another artist thing is going on and that they feel it's totally unnecessary...OK, whatever to each their own. You wanna talk about it fine, not a problem, I'll blog about it. 140 characters just aren't cutting it for me right about now.

Maybe it's just me but I'm pretty sure that Ciara would have been doing her thing in the new millennium had Aaliyah been around or not. I'm sorry I'm not about to give Aaliyah that much credit especially when looking at Ci-Ci her huge major influences are Janet and Michael Jackson. Aside from that both are/were vocally not that great, both dance/danced. Aaliyah went to a stage school her choreographed moves weren't all that free flowing [pretty much like how JLO's were] and Ciara is more street/crunk when it comes to her dance flow, which appear to be more natural and not learnt/rehearsed. Aaliyah had it going on in the looks department and they are both black women. Done!

Like I just tweeted to someone, Aaliyah was likeable, attractive and had a great production team behind her. She was pally with the likes of Missy, Timbaland, Ginuwine and DMX who at the time were VERY on top of their game, then some years later Ciara rolled with Missy and Luda.

Times change, music changes. I think it's highly arrogant to assume that Aaliyah was that much of a force in the industry that had there of been no Aaliyah there would have been no Ciara and whoever else that followed. I found her music bearable...meaning, aside from the tracks that were released I had no desire to listen to the rest of her albums. Now I can understand when artists say had it weren't for the likes of Michael Jackson then they don't think they'd be where they are at in terms of their influence. But Aaliyah...no. I hear a lot of "she was an angel. She will be dearly missed" etc etc. Not somebody who set the standard and made a pathway for other young up and coming artists. **shakes head** I have never heard that.

Aaliyah was a beautiful, nice [portrayed in the media] girl, OK so her career started off a lil dramatic with the whole R.Kelly marriage drama. She showed her stomach, wore her hair covered over her eye, wore boxers, danced to a routine and sang softly with no real vocal range and power.

Sorry the only thing she influenced me with was being acceptable to be a tomboy and regain that totally feminine side at the same time. She was one of those girls who you didn't mind your teenage boyfriend liking cause you liked her too [no not in that sense], but like I said she had that nice girl quality about her. Very likeable, like the sister or friend [in your head] knowing that if you met in real life you'd be cool. And yes many years on I still "wave my hands in the air, and wave em round like I just don't care" in the club.

Like today....we have a barrage of female artists whether they are hip-hop, pop or R&B, they are all doing their thing in the industry. And I'm sure that whether Aaliyah had graced the Billboard charts or not they would still be there doing their thing today.

I'm sure Aaliyah would have gotten to a point where the popularity would have died down on the music side, before she passed it seemed as though acting was becoming more of her thing, and I'm sure as the likes of Ciara may have liked her music and respected her as a fellow female artist they would have been both been able to hold their own in the music world today.

If folks want to go there with the whole comparison thing with like for like, and I'm talking in respect to a black recording artist, beautiful, mediocre singer and badass dancer then they need to stop being blinded by Aaliyah and give it up for Janet. I'm sorry, hand on heart I'd be more inclined to say had there been no Janet Jackson then maybe Ciara wouldn't be inspired or motivated to do what she does. Shit y'all... Control, Rhythm Nation 1814 the Janet album, fair enough Miss Jackson "if you're nasty" was never a Whitney or Mariah, but when it comes to "give me a beat!" Janet is on it.

What???? When it comes to female entertainers who fit the mould past and present like Aaliyah, Ciara, Mya etc Janet is the teacher the others merely students.

So no I don't credit Aaliyah for the like of newish-bies like Ciara when it comes to doing what they do. And just because she's passed and has been for 8 years am I about to sport a dunce cap and do a 'we are not worthy' motion in front of her statue like she was the best we ever had. I liked Aaliyah I was just not excited by her like I was by Janet growing up. Although Janet isn't doing it like she was, she's the baddest of em them all in her field...that's if you want to make comparisons......

And all this "there will never be another Aaliyah.." OK as a human being, a presence on this earth yes there will never be, but as an artist, what legacy did she leave behind?

Why do we act the fool when people pass and give them much more credit than we didn't give them when they were here?


  1. Okay,I disagree in many ways.Aaliyah has a LEGACY,thank you and she had vocal range and power,since i'm guessing your not all in to her music like that,then you can't say nothing about having no range.Unless you show proof.As for Ciara,she does those same old moves,Aaliyah was versatile,a dance major.Even if she was choreographed or not,she added in her own twist to it.And people give Aaliyah credit,because you know what,she accomplished a lot for her age and she was a NOT copy cat.She kept it real,and wasn't fake.There WILL NEVER EVER BE ANOTHER AALIYAH ON THIS EARTH.

  2. Such a legacy does Aaliyah have and not mention such vocal power and range *insert sarcastic tone here*, that to this day I have never (along with other weak vocalists such as Janet and Ciara) heard IN MY LIFE anyone audition on a reality show and choose an Aaliyah song. You know why??? NOTHING they sang would garner any interest or raise an eyebrow, let alone show off any vocal talent.

    Funny how the REAL singers with range and power such as Whitney, Celine, Mariah, Jennifer Holiday/Hudson, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin **do you want me to go on....* are the ones who people want to sound like vocally, and time and time again will pick such artists to sing to impress judges to hopefully become a star themselves one day.

    Seriously you have to be shitting me....range and power???? Aaliyah???

    As for the legacy. Michael Jackson left a musical legacy that will stand the test of time. People will miss his presence in the music industry, Aaliyah's not so much, she wasn't innovative or original enough to be missed. People MISS Aaliyah they don't want to have a career like she had. HUGE difference.

    I have PLENTY an Aaliyah catalogue on my iTunes. So please...let me ask again PLEASE name that tune featuring RANGE & POWER of Aaliyah's so I can have a good laugh **cough* I mean listen. I don't think she could even outsing Ashanti and she did a pretty good rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow the other day.

    SMH @ Stans with rose tinted spectacles.

  3. I must say - You are an incredible writer. Whether I agree or disagree with your opinions I can never deny your voice.

    For the record, Aaliyah has a much powerful voice than Ashanti. LOL.

    Excellent post.

  4. She was only 22 when she passed away! And was becoming a rising star when she died. That's why she is mourned, she was so young.

    As for vocal range and power, you commenting that she isn't used on reality shows just says it all for me. While the artists you list are impressive, to me they're also quite generic. Just like the talent on american idol, none of them have any originality either. Think of voices like Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Bjork, Cat Power, Fiona Apple...none of them would have made it on Idol either but their voices are legendary to me.

    To me, Aaliyah had a unique voice. It was very sweet and soothing...not like Ciara, whose voice to me is just breathy. Listen to "At your Best" and tell me whether Beyonce or Alicia Keys could have sung the way Aaliyah did at the age of 15.

    It was also her personality that's made people miss her. She was down to earth, humble and didn't act like a diva at all.

    BTW your Ashanti comparison is ridiculous. No one says Aaliyah was the best singer in the whole wide world but she definetely was better than Ashanti.


  5. Girl, I think I love you! LOL!!!!

    I think you are my sister from another mother!

  6. WTF??? I can NOT believe that you would mention Ciara's name along with any of the other people you mentioned! Ciara has copied EVERYONE from Aaliyah to Janet, Beyonce, even the girl from Pussycat dolls JUST tweeted the other day for copying her poses in a new magazine lol. She has 0 personality or artistic point of view. Her dancing is very repetitive, and she hasn't had a HIT since promise. She has done unofficial remixes for both Janet and Beyonce. when Janet heard ciara singing over Feedback a couple years ago, she spoke out and let EVERYONE know that it was NOT the official version lol. Ciara didn't get the stamp of approval.

    But Whether you like Aaliyah or NOT, you HAVE to respect the fact that she started the whole street be sweet craze that Ashanti, CIARA, 3lw have all sampled & Keri Hilson BITES Aaliyahs Sound so much that she tributes her on her live sets. That is just to name a few btw.

    Aaliyah is alive and well through her followers who won't or can't seem to find new inspiration. Even Rihanna's Fake Dark & edgy which the Aaliyah album clearly showed! Check out the review it received from Rolling Stone before her death!


    Aaliyah had grown sooo much as a vocalist & artist. With the HELP of Static, Missy, & Tim on her side. Who ALL owe their success to HER! If it were not for liyah taking a CHANCE one New producers like Tim & Missy & writer like Static, who KNOWS where music would be now. Nobody would have been able to copy the sound the Liyah brought to the table if it was not for her doing it FIRST.

    Janet said she wanted to work with Aaliyah, Stevie Wonder gave so much props to Aaliyah. So did Michael Jackson, Brandy (with her Afrodisiac Album Great btw) Usher, Beyonce, so many people have given Aaliyah her respect. THAT is ATLEAST OWED because They know what she contributed in her life.

    One In A Million, & Are You That Somebody, were ground breaking singles & they are very important songs to urban pop! Infact The One In A Million album Helped DEFINE the sound of the mid 90's! I respect your opinion that you aren't a big fan, but we have to give credit when it's owed. You can't compare someone like Ciara to someone like Aaliyah. It does a discredit to Ciara because she is not the type of artist. She Swag Jacks EVERYONE. Now if you wanna talk about limited range that goes to ciara HANDS DOWN!

    Also Aaliyah's role in Romeo Must Die had great reviews before her death. Which is why she was gonna be in the Matrix's! & Sparkle and she had done Queen of The Damned (which i was not a fan of) BUT She was CLEARLY on her way to super stardom and Bigger Paychecks lol.

    So i don't what you mean when you say she did not have success in her life. Seems to me she was getting more hype before she died. Not just hype but RESPECT for her work. Because she was an overall Gifted ENTERTAINER. Which is why we call her legend in death.

  7. (emphasis on every other word done on purpose)

  8. I was done after WTF??? It's been a long day. Sorry attention span is

  9. WOW, people are always trying to come at Aaliyah, that woman could sing!!!!! Her self titled CD showed how truly diverse she was. I care 4 U, It's Whatever, and Turn the page (from the "Music of the Heart" movie soundtrack--the song was so tough the movie's opening credits were shown while her voice played in the background), all pure classics.

    No vocal range? Wow! I am glad to see that Aaliyah is still being talked about on forums and blogs, and that others did see and recognize the true talent that she did have. Oh and I agree, I too have seen a lot of artist come after her that tried to capture that "STREET BUT SWEET" style that was all her own, they all know who they are, lol. Aaliyah got mad props when she was alive and her talent was well recognized by the industry which was the reason why she was being sought after for various movie roles and future collaborations with other artists.

    Truth was told when "REZ" the poster a few entries above me stated she put a lot of unknown producers on the map, Tim and Missy being the top two. Just because she didn't run across the stage screaming at the top of her lungs didn't mean she didn't posses vocal range or unforgettable talent which she indeed did and she will continue to be remembered and missed.

    I myself waited in anticipation for each project she was to be apart of. We just have to accept that all didn't and still don't see her as we her fans saw her. But Hey, I ain't mad at yaaaaaaaaaa. Your entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine which I have just posted in this entry, lol. PEEEEEEEEEEACE!

    P.S. I hear you about it being a long day, I had a long day too but its all good!!!!

  10. I disagree all the way Aaliyah is mii idol and i give her alot of credit. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has his own day so i dnt kno y u wuld say that he dnt b remembered on hiz anniversary.. Aaliyah gets alot of credit frm me cuz she died very young and alot of ppl likes here i neva compare any 1 2 her because every 1 has there own style. i kno its ur opinion but jus dnt b puttin things up and not knowing wat ppl do. alot of ppl remember famous ppl. Aaliyah, Left eye,Biggie,nd 2Pac get remember 4 wat they do and so does other famous ppl do...

  11. How could the one I gave my heart to - Vocal range and power

  12. OK, so I know I'm kinda late, but anyway, I don't think that she is any more of a big deal than she was before, but people MISS her. She did create good music, she doesn't have to be the "godess diva of the world," but even so all the things she did were gold and very creative. I don't know why you mention ciara even after you establish that her style is completely different. Should we knock Ciara dead and see if she gets just as much attention? I bet people will miss her too, it's not that they are getting too much credit when they are dead, they are getting the credit they worked for during their life, and people miss them. I don't see you doing as big of things as she was, so does that mean people should not miss you when you're dead?

  13. Wow, Aaliyah could sing! Why can't people accept that! Have you ever heard any of her ballads? Critics only judge her because of the material released as singles, which for some reason does not accurately show all of her vocal abilities! Its so sad that even in death, people throw mad shade at her. Answer this... If she couldn't sing why has she sold 32 mil ( don't quote me) and even have a career in the first place. Another point, for the life of me. I don't understand why people like to bring up other artist and compare! People are going to always be influenced by someone! Example MJ was influenced by James Brown. Are we suppose to claim him to be swagger jacking someone else... NO, please let this rest. Aaliyah has range and could sing.

  14. Like 2pac said himself "You don't realize how good of an artist someone was until they pass away." Aaliyah held a lot of her vocal range back, I don't know if it was her label that told her to do so, or if she felt more comfortable singing in meso-soprano range; but if you listen to her singing 'Ave Maria' which was an audition song she did to be accepted into DSA (Detroit School Of The Fine and Performing Arts) you will see that her voice was really strong and depth. Very rich and harmonized to only be 13 at that time.

    Even when she sang 'Journey To The Past,' Never Givin Up, The One I Gave My Heart To, At Your Best (the ORIGINAL version) and Street Thing Aaliyah could definitely carry a deep note.

    I honestly believe, and no I'm not saying this because she is deceased.. but if still here, she would of displayed more of her range as a singer. Unfortunately, she was not able to continue with her music, that is why so many people come to the assumption that she was a "weak singer, poor stage presence" so on and so forth.

    NO ONE, NOT Ciara, NOT Rihanna.. sure as hell not Cassie or even Keri Hilson or Beyonce could sing in the same range as Aaliyah even with their best vocal recording. Her sound along with her style was truly unique and she did pave the way for SOME of these new generation singers; Ciara DOES site Aaliyah as one of her biggest musical influences as does Keri Hilson, Alicia Keys, Ashanti and so on. So don't get it twisted.

    Anyways, you of course do not have to LIKE Aaliyah, but the truth of the matter is she's only receiving so much praise for what she was doing because while she was walking this Earth, yes she received exceptional praise from her fans and critics but not exactly what she should have. People go back and listen to her albums NOW and realize how big she was about to get. But it's really too late now for them to wanna buy more of her albums or go watch more videos cause she's gone..


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