today is Aaliyah's birthday. what can i say that hasn't been said before? simply put, she changed the game. i was in fourth grade when the "age ain't nothing but a number" album came out. they don't get much better. i've told this story a million times BUT not on focho... so, do you remember back in the day when you'd get those offers from warehouse music or some record label where they'd have stamps of cassette/cd covers? you could get 12 for the price of one, all you had to do was become a member and buy a certain amount every year? well, in the fourth grade i sent one of these back. with all my selections as a new member i didn't have to even make a purchase! (good cause i didn't have any bread anyway!) a week or two later sure enough my parents intercepted my package. snoop doggy dogg doggystyle, the 69 boys, dr. dre's classic the chronic...and so on came with a parental advisory. so what'd they do? they gave me the ONE cassette that didn't have any swearing... Aaliyah's age ain't nothing but a number. i wasn't complaining. it was soooo good(!) and i ran that tape into the ground. on repeat daily. i've always been one to sit in my room and just vibe out to music. whether the radio or a cassette and as far as i can remember this was the first tape i ever owned. better yet, it owned me. i couldn't stop listening. last night i went over the b.a.d. house with my boombox and the Aaliyah discography on my ipizzle. we all reminisced and played our favs over dinner and drinks. i of course had to relay the story of my Aaliyah tape. later my ole lady asked me if she was my first love? it took a second to set in... don't get me wrong, i was already in love with betty wright's tonight's the night, and a BUNCH of tracks by Mary Wells but i never owned their tapes... i never locked myself in my room and played them over and over. i wasn't pouring over their cassette inlets while runnin' their tapes back and fourth. from 'back and fourth' to 'age ain't nothing but a number' to my personal favorite 'young nation' i was in LOVE with Aaliyah. and although i ended up finding all those other tapes in my dads civic under the seat next to the amp... i never stopped listening to my Aaliyah tape.
i can still kinda read her name on my left wrist... i wrote it there three days ago to remind me when i got home from work that i NEEDED some Aaliyah in my life. so yesterday i come home from work and while slapping the shit out of "young nation" i thought to do some research.. 4 hours before midnight i realized it was about to be the birthday of one of Brooklyn's greatest contributions to music...Aaliyah Dana Haughton. God Bless Her Soul.