Hot Like Aaliyah: Remembering The Trendsetter Eight Years Later

It is hard to believe that it has been eight years since the world lost the beautiful, passionate, and multi-talented soul that is Aaliyah. Utilizing the statement “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” on her 1994 debut, Aaliyah immediately raised eyebrows and captured the hearts of music enthusiasts worldwide. While we could not see what the future would hold for the young woman who slid across a pure white set with one lone dancer in “One In A Million” and flipped the script on the single “If Your Girl Only Knew,” it was clear that Aaliyah was a force to be reckoned with from day one. Even eight years later, Aaliyah’s style, lyrical content, and spirit continues to live in the hearts and minds of millions. Instead of looking at the untimely death of Aaliyah in depth (August 25, 2001), it is much more pleasing to review five of Aaliyah’s most valuable, unforgettable and trendsetting moments — moments that remain untouched, even in 2009. 1. “Back and Forth” – Aaliyah (“Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” 1994) With a backward baseball cap and bandana to match, Aaliyah shattered what some might have deemed a proper road to success for a traditional R&B female in the 90s. Essentially showing that she was different and able to hang with the boys, Aaliyah proved that she was no cookie cutter or manufactured artist in 1994. 2. “One In A Million” – Aaliyah (“One In A Million” 1996) A song that would later be used to describe Aaliyah, “One In A Million” picked up where the Top 5 charting “Back and Forth” left off. In fact, “One In A Million” still remains one of Aaliyah’s most praised songs and videos. Notably featuring a then burgeoning Ginuwine, “One In A Million,” ushered in a more sexy, sultry and focused Aaliyah. 3. “Hot Like Fire” – Aaliyah (“One In A Million” 1996) With assistance from Timbaland, Aaliyah turned the heat up, yet again, in the video for this 1996 single. Also featuring a then burgeoning, Missy Elliott, “Hot Like Fire” features Aaliyah solidifying her skills in front of a fire truck, fully equipped with a fireman’s garb. 4.”Try Again” – Aaliyah (“Try Again” 2000) It’s been along time we should’ve left you without a dull beat to step to… If you were around in 2000, there was simply no way that anyone listening to a radio or watching videos on MTV and BET could have avoided this single and video. Aaliyah, taking the truthful adage “dust yourself off and try again,” yet again reinvented her look and sound and yet again struck Gold! 5. “We Need A Resolution” and “Are You That Somebody” While the intention of this article was to pick out five trendsetting moments, it is almost impossible to do so. Therefore, we’ll call the last two videos a “double feature”. Yet again reinventing herself while remaining elegant, poised, sexy and focused, Aaliyah made sure everyone knew who she was with the singles “Are You That Somebody” and “We Need A Resolution”. The latter of the two, “We Need A Resolution,” ended up being one of her final videos and also a video that raised the bar but, it was the dance moves and poise in 1999s “Are You That Somebody” that zeroed in on Aaliyah’s ability to act as a chameleon. Changing almost effortlessly from one scene to another, Aaliyah proved once and for all that she could adapt to even the most foreign of elements. Watch the videos below and let us know, which Aaliyah video or moment touched you the most.


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