My Lyfestyle Through Lyrics
[#ipodonrepeat Aaliyah – At Your Best]
This post is dedicated to my most favorite artist of all time. I’m writing about her now because I’ll be in too much of an emotional mess in a few weeks. This coming August 25, 2011 will mark the 10th Year Anniversary of her death. Since her passing, August has always been a somber time of the year for me. I remember the first time I heard her debut single (I became an instant fan), her debut album (the first CD my parents were willing to buy and reluctanty bought for me), the first time she FINALLY wore a dress in public (she was a tom boy but a girly girl kind of tom boy), her short stint in the music and movie industries. Memories of her eerily haunt me around this time of the year.
Aaliyah. Affectionately known as Baby Girl. Of all the entertainers that have existed and do exist, Aaliyah is the one artist that holds a special place in my heart. Why? She was different. She went against the grain and still carved her own niche in the music business and just barely scratching the surface of an acting career. All that… while maintaining her down to earth personality, humility, loyalty mysteriousness and family oriented environment. She was usually private about her personal life. She did well at keeping the media out of her life outside of her life as a musician. Rumored to have been with Ginuwine, R. Kelly and Damon Dash, Aaliyah never allowed the media to delve into her private life like celebrities do these days. It wasn’t until MTV’s series Diary that she welcomed fans to “a day in the life of Aaliyah” world. Sadly, the Diary special aired a few days before her passing. In the special she was everything I imagined: serious, all business, funny, silly, family oriented, humble, hard working, loyal, creative, beautiful inside and out. I was on an extreme natural high. My favorite part of the entire special was when she took the time out to put on a white punk rocker spiked wig and forced her make-up artist to let lose with a rendition of Ashford and Simpson’s song Solid As A Rock. That moment spoke volumes about her. In the midst of a radio promotional tour storm, her upcoming movie Queen of the Damned movie promotional tour and video shoot of Rock The Boat, Baby Girl found time to be silly and she had an infectious personality that helped a lot with convincing others in her entourage to stop and smell the flowers with her.
Aaliyah had the ability to exude many things artists these days lack: fame combined with humility, fortune combined with no need to be flashy, a creativity unmatched to any other and yet be herself. @Timbaland, my all time favorite producer, stated that Aaliyah would choose picked over beats that platinum artists just said “meh” to and moved onto what would later be more platinum albums. Aaliyah, however, came into the studio asking for the looked over beats and liked most of them. The birth of songs like Are YouTube That Somebody? (baby noise in the beat), One In A Million (sickest beat with birds & crickeys chirping) and Try Again (violin and Timbaland’s voice) stemmed from her keen sense of what she felt was good music. She really had an EAR for music and sounds for her particular voice. Obviously she’s no Whitney, Beyoncé or Christina, but she always knew what worked well with her voice. I miss her dearly and truly.
All the artists that have come out since Aaliyah’s passing haven’t really moved me the way she did. The only artist that has caught my attention because of her originality and eclectic taste in music and sound is Lady Gaga. Others find her unique look appalling and odd, and at first glance that’s understandable but after watching practically every special featuring her, I quite enjoy Mother Monster’s innate ability to make people’s heads turn. The fact that she has gone on record as saying she’ll never move to Hollywood and occasionally takes a random bike ride around New York in regular clothes so people don’t recognize me is something I truly admire. Both Aaliyah and Lady Gaga have that “stop and smell the damn roses people” kind of attitude. I love that about them. And then reality sinks in, Baby Girl isn’t here to smell the roses with u anonger.
“At your best you are loved…” no truer words have ever been spoken or sung. I miss Aaliyah and her originality. These watered down, non-singing, singing with autotune on the track, don’t live up to the hype kind of artists have forced me away from radio, concerts and television. I don’t even waste money buying CD’s any longer. I’ve sat in the rafters waiting for a new artists that will have me as intrigued and interested in their music and persona as Aaliyah did. Too bad not yet.
This is the song I sing whenever I’m in te vestibule of a restaurant or hotel (I’m obsessed with places with great natural acoustics). As the anniversary of her death approaches, I’ll be singing this song more often than usual.
Do you take the time to stop and smell the flowers? I’d recommend you do so.
At Your Best as performed by Aaliyah Haughton
Let me know, let me know
Ah – ha, let me know, let me know
Let me know
When I feel what I feel
Sometimes it’s hard to tell you so
You may not be in the mood to learn what you think you know
There are times when I find
You want to keep yourself from me
When I don’t have the strength; I’m just a mirror to what I see
But at your best you are love
You’re a positive motivating force within my life
Should you ever feel the need to wonder why
Let me know, let me know. . .
When you feel what you feel
Oh, how hard for me to understand
So many things have happened before this love affair began
But when you feel, oh, like I feel
Confusion can give way to doubt
And there are times when I fall short of what I say,
what I say I’m all about, all about
Tell me what it is (Tell me what it is)
Make believe, no need to make believe
Look beyond your own (Look beyond your own)
Try and find another place for me
Cause. . .
Ah, ah, ah – ha
See, at your best baby