Who Should Star in Aaliyah's Lifetime Biopic?

Categories: Aaliyah

Aaliyah via YouTube
Last week, Zendaya Coleman stepped out of her role as Aaliyah in Lifetime's made-for-tv biopic after a shit ton of criticism was levied by the entire internet (and Aaliyah's family). Luckily, the network that brought us modern classics like Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret and Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever have more than a few tricks up their sleeve to ensure production continues! These are the eight women currently being considered (in our dreams) to fill the shoes of Zendaya Coleman filling the shoes of Aaliyah in Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.

See also: Dissecting the Politically Charged Subtext of Nicki Minaj's "High School" Video

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What's So Funny About A Little Bump N' Grind? R. Kelly, Frank Ocean, And The "Right" Kind Of R&B

R. Kelly.
In case you haven't yet gotten your fill, over the past couple of years, of artists beating Aaliyah samples into a flavorless pulp, not to worry—Yeasayer frontman Chris Keating has got your back. In a Rolling Stone interview published this week, Keating recalls being struck by watching high school classmates dancing to "Are You That Somebody," despite not being into "mainstream music" at the time; he then cites Aaliyah as a major influence on Yeasayer's new record, Fragrant World. Who am I to say—perhaps Aaliyah and the Supafriends truly did resonate with Keating all these years, although it did take until his band's third album for this influence to supposedly manifest itself. Or perhaps, what with a certain Canadian rapper engaging in obsessive melodic fan-fiction, Aaliyah's name is just on peoples' lips at the moment. Or perhaps Keating and his bandmates got the memo that, hey, R&B isn't totally embarrassing anymore—or at least, a specific type of it.

Which brings us to Frank Ocean. Apparently Yeasayer and Ocean were both at the Wythe Hotel on the day of the interview, which led to a receptionist mixup, which led to Keating being asked his thoughts on Ocean. His reply: "I think he is a good new face for the R&B world right now, to kind of usher out—no pun intended—some of these folks. Because, let's get real, R. Kelly is a terrible person. I like R. Kelly and how crazy he is, but he's a terrible piece of shit, a horrible person, really bad all around. Let's get rid of him. Let's gay it up a little [in R&B]." It seems that in between his initial Aaliyah encounter (which would have been just after the release of One in a Million) and his band's music being influenced by her, Keating neglected to Google and find out that Kelly wrote and produced the vast majority of her debut Age Ain't Nothing but a Number.

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Dear Drake: Please Leave Aaliyah Alone

Categories: Aaliyah, Drake

The R&B singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash 11 years ago this month; last week Drake announced that he'd be executive producing a posthumous album for her, and the first taste of that album, "Enough Said," arrived online yesterday. Lest you think that the song would be a chance for people to remember her legacy, think about how singular her voice was, and reflect on how she'd be pushing R&B forward today, it is instead a testament to Drake's ego; it starts with an "uh" from the former Degrassi star, who then, in response to her letting loose a particularly lovely "yeah yeah yeah," offers up a "yo, whassup" that is annoying-guy-at-a-bar-level cringeworthy, and made even moreso when it's repeated. I actually had to shut the song off before my first listen hit the 30-second mark, so irritated was I by Drake's attempts to act not just as its executive producer, but as Guy Steering The Ship And Don't You Forget It, Okay.

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Push It Along: Six Songs That Incorporate The Coos And Cries Of Infants

Not very many hours after Beyoncé gave birth to their daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z commemorated the occasion in song. "Glory" sounds humbled and relieved, and soft enough to bear some marks; at certain points, Jay's voice almost seems to quaver. He goes from revealing a past miscarriage to sharing the precise date of conception, as if still ambling through the ward in elated exhaustion. Next time he leaves condoms on a baby seat, it'll feel like a sitcom joke, not potential diss material.

The kid herself makes an appearance, wailing all over the track. Blue Ivy must be the first infant to receive a feature credit for their sampled gurgles—canny as ever, dad—but she's only the youngest entry in pop's tiny, adorable line of incidental newborns. Given that the subtlety of the effect in question falls somewhere between siren noises and neighing, it tends to be used sparingly yet memorably. Pace Kelis, here are six other songs of the baby.

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I Miss You: Aaliyah's Indelible Influence On A Generation Of Male Artists


For a generation, the unexpected death of Aaliyah Dana Haughton 10 years ago today remains as significant as the deaths of Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac. This especially rings true for millennial men, who were just realizing girls really didn't have cooties when Aaliyah released her debut, Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number, in 1994. In the years since the plane carrying her and her entourage crashed shortly after taking off, killing everyone on board, the fanboy-like appreciation for Aaliyah has only grown.

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