Known for redefining the RnB genre, Aaliyah constantly defied boundaries through her soulful voice and mysterious sex appeal. Her fans had the privilege of watching Baby Girl grow from a hood fly tomboy to a powerful, strong woman over the course of her decade long career.
Yet, she was more than woman. She was a visionary, a charismatic artist often referred to as angel amongst mere mortals during her waking life. Signing her first record deal at age 12, we were allotted ten short years to watch her flourish and thrive before her untimely death. Recognizing a world that has rotated fifteen times without Aaliyah’s presence is depressing – as stylist Derek Lee recently told Vibe, “It’s just like when you see a flower, and you see it’s about to flourish, and somebody picks it, so it can’t grow anymore. Things had the potential to be so magnificent.”
In honor of the life she lived, the legacy she left and the bountiful gifts she gave us, I’m recapping Aaliyah’s best music videos. Join me in paying homage to Aaliyah Dana Haughton.
Rock the Boat
Her most beautiful music video with the most heartbreaking aftermath. “Rock the Boat” is some of the last footage ever captured of Aaliyah, as she passed on her way home in a tragic plane crash. It is clear that Aaliyah had truly transcended to the next level of creativity in this video with her exalted style and natural sex appeal.
Leather pants are equal parts timeless and chic in this “Romeo Must Die” hit.
More Than A Woman
This video set a precedent for the rest of the 2000s – the elevated dancing, innovative technology, and white Chanel catsuit later became widely-referenced music video motifs.
One In A Million
Forever one of my favorite love songs and forever some of the best onscreen chemistry.
Are You That Somebody
Quintessential 90s hip hop choreography plus green lipstick make the visuals to this Grammy-nominated track some of Aaliyah’s absolute best.
The One I Gave My Heart To
Her voice takes the center stage in this video, reminding everyone that she had some major range.
If Your Girl Only Knew
Cameos from Lil Kim, Miss Elliot, Timbaland and Ginuwine, leather du-rags and Aaliyah’s androgynous choreography make for the ultimate visual girl power anthem.
Four Page Letter
Baby Girl is so fire at 3:30, dude has to cover his eyes. In case anyone was wondering what my goal in life is – it’s to recreate that moment.
We Need A Resolution
Draped in black mesh and doused in purple eyeshadow, one of Aaliyah’s most iconic fashion moments is captured at 1:00.
I Miss You
Then and now, we all miss you like crazy.