by (@sllambe)

20 Years Later: 10 Important Numbers In Aaliyah’s Life

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It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago today, Aaliyah slinked onto the scene with her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. The R. Kelly-produced album helped define the New Jack swing sound made popular by acts like Bobby Brown, Color Me Badd, Tony! Toni! Toné! and even Whitney Houston. While the album wasn’t a runaway hit, it did go onto sell 3 million copies in the U.S. alone and immediately found fans among critics and consumers alike. Two years later, One in a Million would catapult her to even more success, but songs like “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” and “Back & Forth” established a new sultry R&B diva ready take control.

On the 20th anniversary of her debut album, VH1 is taking a look back on all those ages—ahem, numbers—in the singer’s short life.

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by (@fdot415)

Happy 35th Birthday, Baby Girl: Remembering Aaliyah Through Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

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Aaliyah Dana Haughton would have turned 35 years old today had it not been for the tragic plane crash that took her life and eight others in 2001. It’s phenomenal how easy it still is to be swept up in imagining what could have been for the R&B singer, dancer, actress and model who burst onto the scene with her debut Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number as a high school freshman. After all, Aaliyah was only fully in the public eye for seven years before her death at 22. And yet, in just those few short years, the “Back & Forth” star truly embodied the title of that initial multi-platinum release.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Where Aren’t They Now? 15 Talented Artists We Lost Too Soon

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Plane crashes. Substance abuse. Gun violence. All 15 of the artists on this list of musicians, rappers, and singers were taken at a flourishing point in their careers, and devoted fans continue to mourn their loss.

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Jessie Ware Imitates Alicia Keys’s Spoken Word Verse In “You Don’t Know My Name”

Jessie Ware loves Sade. And Aaliyah. Her south London tight-knit Jewish family upbringing was a house filled with soul and R&B. It’s no wonder she digs the sultry Alicia Keys‘s spoken word bit on “You Don’t Know My Name.” Read more…

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Gotye’s Voice May Have Been Taken Off T.I.’s “Memories Back Then” But Peep The “Somebody That I Used To Know” Bassline Sample

A lone woman on a track with three great emcees outshines her male peers. Allow us to introduce you to Kris Stephens. T.I.‘s “Memories Back Then” featuring B.o.B, Kendrick Lamar and Kris Stephens on the chorus should’ve made Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head. Originally the banger was titled “Somebody That I Used To Know” with a sample from Gotye from his song of the same name, according to Hip Hop Wired. It’s assumed a sample clearance is why we have the new version with vocals by T.I.’s artist Kris Stephens. And no shade to Gotye at all because we adore him, but we couldn’t imagine this track without Kris’s sultry voice. Read more…

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Aaliyah’s “Quit Hatin’” Has Surfaced With No Word On The Posthumous Album

An old-new Aaliyah song hit the ‘net making fans miss the fallen singer even more. “Quit Hatin’” is the airy R&B  drum heavy ballad produced by Knotch and Dre Sinatra. It’s the classic tale of a woman’s friends warning her against a new lover. And Aaliyah’s response is for them to quit hatin’. It’s been almost 12 years since the unfortunate tragedy so the vocals are at least  a decade old. Plus, she’s singing about 20″ rims. People have either graduated to 24′s or no rims at all. The production however is much newer than the vocals giving the record a new millennium feel.  Read more…

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Happy 34th Birthday To Aaliyah: Remembering The Singer Through A Clip From Her Behind The Music

It will never not be sad remembering the great Aaliyah whose life was taken far too soon in the tragic plane crash in 2001. Today the R&B singer with such an angelic voice would’ve turned 34. VH1 re-aired Aaliyah’s 2001 Behind The Music with new interviews including her dear friend Missy Elliott. During the hour special you’re reminded why her life and music touched people in the way it did. Aaliyah was the voice of a new generation of women while not alienating men. Read more…

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Timbaland And Missy Elliott Are Back At It For “Party Anthem” Ft. Lil Wayne And T-Pain

It’s beginning to feel a lot like yesteryear, and by yesteryear we mean the golden days of the 90s. Who other than Missy Elliott and Timbaland on a track can bring on a rush of nostalgia? Sure it’s not the first time the two have jumped on a track together recently (Missy’s “9th Inning” in September) but the continuation of the duo making music together means there’s only more to come. And this makes us happy.

Despite its namesake, “The Party Anthem” is a pretty chill mid-tempo track featuring Lil Wayne, T-Pain and Missy. Where has T-Pain been? The song gets exciting when Missy comes in with her fast semi-animated flow. “Saying I’m too old to rap, I’ll be rapping til I wear dentures,” she raps. “I’m back on the mic with Timb,” she reminds. After Drake’s announcement of co-producing Aaliyah’s posthumous album without any involvement from Missy and Timb, fans felt slighted. Aaliyah made great music with the pair. (Have we forgiven Drake for this yet?) It’s just good hearing the two friends and collaborators recording together again. All we need is the 2013 version of “Up Jumps Da’ Boogie.”

Timbaland f. Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott & T-Pain “The Party Anthem” [Hip Hop DX]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Ciara Embodies MJ Out In The Desert For “Got Me Good”

Any singer can hit a few eight count steps in their video; only Ciara can deliver it with perfection. She makes it look easy. Earlier today we celebrated Ciara’s 27th birthday with an awesome GIF wall featuring 27 of her hottest dance moves. Here we are hours later–amazed, once again–by the R&B singer’s choreography in her latest video for “Got Me Good” from her forthcoming One Woman Army. Forget a boat load of useless props when you’re a true dancer like Ciara. The visual for this party record is minimalist–backup dancers, a few jeeps, a couple guys, all in the middle of a desert. “Nobody can make me feel like dancing all night,” she croons on the uptempo dance track. That’s how we feel while watching her channel a little bit of Usher, MJ and Aaliyah. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Lil Wayne Thinks Drake’s Aaliyah Project Will Be “Awesome”

For what it’s worth, Drake‘s got the go-ahead from Lil Wayne to pursue his much ballyhooed about Aaliyah project. “It’s an awesome collaboration,” the YMCMB head-honcho said, in a  short interview with the Associated Press at a DeWeezy skatepark opening. Drake, as we know, is a huge Aaliyah fan, and Wayne is, too — he says her music is “still better than a lot of music out there now,” and he feels its important to make it available for fans. “Everybody know what Aaliyah did and done for music and culture, period, and it’s always good to do that, for not only for people like that, just for her fans — you know what I mean?”

Most details are still fuzzy on the project, but one thing is for sure: not everyone seems to believe as much, and key Aaliyah collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott, Aaliyah’s family and a particularly scathing DMX have all raised questions as to Drake’s rights to the material. However, Lil Wayne assures that “Drake’s a very thoughtful person. Everyone knows that.” We do, Wayne, we do.

Lil Wayne on His New LP, Drake’s Aaliyah Album [NR]
Lil Wayne: Drake-Aaliyah Project Will be ‘Awesome Collaboration’ [Billboard] Read more…