The cool girl will always trump the pretty girl, but when you find a good mix of both you’re in for a world of trouble. Her name was Crystal Young and she looked like Christmas morning; granted we were in elementary school, but even back then she was “that girl.” Over the years others recognized this truth and although our lives would each take different twists and turns I always kept fond memories of her. My freshman year of college I received a phone call from a friends telling me police cars and an ambulance were sitting outside of her mother’s home; hours later I found out she was murdered as a result of an on-going argument with her boyfriend. In my own way I have struggled with her untimely demise, not because we were the best of friends or selfish reasons, but the memories of the past. Although nothing can replace our conversations and laughs, hearing her name in conversations all these years later is refreshing and inspiring.
I caught wind of the posthumous release of a new Aaliyah song, entitled “Enough Said,” and I was beaming for the rest of the day in anticipation of the record. I could care less about the producer, who was featured, or who dropped it first on the radio; every second of that three minute and fifty-three second song was all about her. People have spent hours debating who should have a part in the project, which is all well and good, but it seems we have gotten away from the fact that Aaliyah has new music on the way. We watched T.I. and Lauren London skate to it in ATL and heard a few artists sample her voice, but it has been more than ten years since her last release. I’m not sure how much music is in that vault, but just knowing there are songs we haven’t heard pushed my anticipation for the project to new heights.
As a man it’s tough to listen to women’s R&B these days, as the content does not transcend gender lines, but Aaliyah was somehow able to put things in a way, harmonize in a way that made her music enjoyable to all parties.
Would I snap my fingers and my neck while listening to her music?
No. Not even close, but I definitely felt the genuine originality, which has always spoken volumes about her as an artist.
Finding a muse in an era of uninspiring ideas is tough, but having one for myself allows me to understand the plight of others. How can I fault another person for having his or her own? The pundits and critics point their fingers at Drake for his hand in the song, but why? Whenever he drops a verse, people flock to it. His words not only polarize fans through speakers but through a variety of social networks as well. The Haughton family approached him about doing the song, and from what I’m hearing Drake and 40 would like past involved parties to have a hand in the project as well.
We develop these opinions on issues based on bias, but forget about what is real these days. From twitter thugs clowning Gabby Douglas’ hair as she won the individual gold medal at the Olympics to unregistered voters arguing about issues, sensationalism has begun to trump substance. We’re worried about logistics, as if we’re somehow entitled to new music from her; we’re not.
Unlike the sad truth in knowing new memories with Crystal are impossible, fans of Aaliyah including myself, have been given a gift in knowing she will have a new album out sometime later this year. Instead of pointing fingers, we should pause for a second and embrace the moment for what it is, as opposed to trolling angrily about things we cannot control.