Reflecting on Aaliyah’s Musical Career on Her Birthday

It has been an eventful week here in Japan. The flu season has been very active this year as already 1.3 million people have caught the flu. I was unlucky to be one of those affected. However, it is getting better.

In the US, my home country, it wouldn’t be a big deal to have the flu. Just stay in bed, take some medicine, and you be good a new in a few days. But, here in Japan, it is a bit different. I have to take off work for up to five-seven days and be quarantined from the public as the virus is feared here.

So, to pass the time, I been watching videos on Youtube, listening to music, and just sleeping. While I was sick, I nearly forgot it was a birthday for an influential singer in the 90s. Her music was part of my music collection when I was growing up.

The Princess of R&B

Aaliyah’s birthday was last Wednesday: January 16. She would be 40. Sadly, her life got cut short 18 years ago when a plane carrying her and her production crew crashed in The Bahamas. A brilliant light that was extinguished far too early.

Yes, Aaliyah has recently been in the news as there has been a new R Kelly documentary broadcasting in the US. But, we aren’t going talk about R Kelly or his personal involvements with Aaliyah as I want to focus this post on Aaliyah. Yes, I am going to feature a song from the first album, that was produced by R Kelly, but that is because I want to highlight Aaliyah. Also, the album turns 25 this year.

I’m So Into This Groove

Like I said above, I have been listening to lots of music on this bout of the flu. And one the albums I been listening to constantly over these six days is Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. Now regarded as a classic 90s’ R&B album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number is a laid-back album that features not just R&B but other genres like urban dance and hip hop.

The eighth track of the album is “I’m So Into You” and is my current favorite the album. It’s full of energy and a summer-like cool groove. I feel like this tune is styled like a tune from such groups like SWV, Jade, or similar tunes from other 90s’ R&B girl groups. The reason is found in the instrumentation: the high-tuned synthesizer fluttering in the chorus, hardware samplers, and the drum kit’s swing beats.

The song has a great up-beat. Yet, it feels really chill and laid back. Don’t you feel the same? Take a listen with this?

What is your Aaliyah song? Comment below! I would LOVE to hear them! By the way, when I was a kid, my favorite song by Aaliyah was “Journey to the Past”. I was a big Anastasia fan. Then in middle school, “Try Again” was super popular.

30 thoughts on “Reflecting on Aaliyah’s Musical Career on Her Birthday

  1. When she passed, I cried as if it was someone so dear to me. I felt like we got to know her with her music this includes her first album. She was honest and that is what I loved about it.

  2. I enjoyed your second song. Very pretty & smooth I must say. Also, thank you for stopping by. Here at 4M we have freebie picking every other week & then we have a theme. You can find the theme in my side bar at XmasDolly’s & you can visit other’s playing along also where you signed up. Have a great day & thank you for playing along.

  3. Amy,

    I didn’t even know who Aaliyah was until we watched the movie, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED. She was a very pretty girl, so I Googled her and learned that she was a singer but I do not recall any of her mewsic. I listened to her #1 chart hit, Try Again, but it didn’t ring any bells. She has a lovely voice, so I’m not sure why she escaped getting my ear’s attention except to say I was raising my then small children. That always keeps the mind preoccupied. lol Happy Birthday and RIP Aaliyah! Thanks for joining the 4M crew on the dance floor, dearheart!

    • aisasami says:

      I was a middle schooler when”Try Again” came out. And that song was everywhere on the radios and TV stations, especially with MTV’s “Total Request Live”. I would run home every day and watch that show because I want to see my favorite artists. After her death, her music was so popular with the youngsters. She is the memories of those who grew up with her music.

  4. My fave Aaliyah song is “Rock the Boat”, which I had no business listening to at a tween age lol. A few years later, I loved “Try Again” and basicall anything with Timbaland the producer.

    • aisasami says:

      I love those songs. I first got into Aaliyah because of “Journey to the Past”. Then “Try Again” was all over the TV stations and radio. Then, when she died, “Rock the Boat” was a hit.

  5. I feel bad for the generations to come that will not know this beautiful souls music and story! I have said on numerous occasions that if Aaliyah was still around alot of artist would have some stiff competition because her music was raw and real!

  6. Nicole Anderson says:

    Her untimely passing was so tragic and affected so many of her fans. She was undeniably a great talent and who knows how far she would have gone and what she would have continued to create, had she lived.

  7. Aarika says:

    This is a really interesting post. I love learning about a new artist (new to me) and your life in Japan. Keep on being fabulous!

  8. mhyn says:

    i love the second song. music is a part of my life. i am not a social butterflyso music is my only escae to this crowded world. =)

  9. I also remembered when her plane crashed and all the shock and tributes to her – but I had never listened to her then, and, in fact, I never listened to any of her music until just now. I did like the vibe of the first song. So many young musician lives have been cut short tragically. It’s too bad I didn’t listen to her music the first time around.

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