28 (29) Days Of Blackness-Cultural Conversation #6: What About Aaliyah? What If…?

With everything from the 1990’s resurging, I think it’s time that we consider what could have been as it relates to the star that was Aaliyah. I cannot stress to you all just how talented and gorgeous she was. Before there was Ciara or a Beyonce–there was Aaliyah. Consider this my Four Page Letter for the Culture. -JBHarris

Image result for aaliyah
Aaliyah Dana Haughton (1979-2001)

I was 20 when Aaliyah died.

I was devastated when she died. She was a style icon for me, and I modeled all my glam then after her, old Hollywood (Dorothy Dandridge, Dihann Carrol) and my mom. I bought every album, could sing every song, and every time I got weave–it would be 16″ in 2-1B packs, and be Aaliyah for a few weeks.

It was fabulous! I was fabulous!

The rumors started in December 2019 Aaliyah’s music would be coming to streaming platforms! When I heard that, my heart leaped! My kids love music and they need some Aaliyah before I can expose them to any other 1990’s music! But, that anticipation got me thinking. This year, Aaliyah would 41. She has been gone from the world 19 years. What would have happened had that plane not crashed?

Well, I think she would have switched from music to acting. I still cannot imagine Akasha being portrayed by anyone else. I think that she would not married Damon Dash–I said it! She was better than him!

I think she would have been a light to those girls coming up behind her. I think her and Beyonce would have been friends! Maybe SHE would have been on the Lemonade album too! I like to believe she would have been one of those triple threat artists–and end up with her own label or production company.

I also think with Aaliyah alive…this R.Kelly scandal may not have gone on as long as it did. I want to believe she would have been a part of her own #MeToo movement; an advocate and mogul. I want to believe had she lived she would have had such a body of music that she would have her own streaming service!

I’ll admit it—when I first saw Ciara with Missy, I saw echoes of Aaliyah. And still do. But thing that I wonder most is what she really wanted—that is the curse of the driven! You see everything, sometimes all at once, and then you try to run after all you see full-force. That same drive I have, I saw that she did too. Sometimes the Awkward Black Girls are visionaries–who need room to dream.

But I end this on a question, dear Torches. What do you think would have happened if Aaliyah lived?

[image from Pinterest]

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