YMMV / Aaliyah

  • Awesome Music: Pretty much all of her work. Her self-titled album Aaliyah stands out in particular for every track being well-produced and for being considered one of the most influential contemporary R&B albums of all time.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Not Aaliyah herself, but rapper Drake's involvement in releasing some of her posthumous music in 2012 has earned him a lot of hate from Aaliyah fans. It doesn't help that he featured himself on some of the tracks and didn't involve Timbaland and Missy Elliott at all, despite being her longtime collaborators and close friends.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Aaliyah vs. Beyoncé, or Rihanna. Or pretty much any female R&B artist that benefited from her success. Overlaps with Dead Artists Are Better.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Her debut album is titled Age Ain't Nothing But A Number and was produced by R. Kelly - and there were rumors of a marriage between the two. Aaliyah was fifteen at the time. Additionally the album has a track called "The Thing I Like", which contains this exchange between them:
    Aaliyah: R.Kelly, won't you write for me?
    R. Kelly makes a kissing noise.
    R. Kelly: Here's a little kiss for ya, honey dip. Now I know you got a thing for me..."
    • She turned down a role in Josie and the Pussycats - which features a plot where pop stars die in plane crashes.
    • Shortly before her own death, she was recorded as talking about a mysterious dream she had - where she was flying and felt a sense of freedom and weightlessness.
  • Hype Backlash: At the time Aaliyah had some detractors who felt she owed more to her beauty or production values by Timbaland. This has died off almost completely, and she's regarded as a great singer who died too young. Her music enduring well over ten years after her death shows that the hype around her career was entirely justified - as well as singles like "The One I Gave My Heart To" showing that she did indeed have a powerful vocal range.
  • Sacred Cow: Aaliyah is very fondly remembered as an inspiration to numerous other musicians, and there will rarely be anything but praise for her abilities.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Timbaland perfected his electronic-sounding production style on One in a Million, and it's a staple in R&B today. Given that half the female artists in R&B have been inspired by it, it's might come as a surprise to newer listeners just how new and innovative it was at the time. Likewise Aaliyah was one of the first artists using soft vocals in such a way (or at least one of the first to achieve mainstream popularity) - which is surprising considering just how many artists use that today. And given how female artists as a whole became Hotter and Sexier in the 2000s, it might be surprising that Aaliyah was considered a sex symbol in the 90s.
  • She Really Can Act: A variation for Romeo Must Die. While the film was lukewarmly received, Aaliyah was noted as a possible breakout star from it. The Hollywood Hype Machine got behind her after she starred in it, with many predicting she could break into film as well. People point to certain moments in the film that show potential she never got the chance to tap into.
  • Signature Song: "Try Again", "Rock the Boat" and "Are You That Somebody?"
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • "The Thing I Like" is a song that is best listened to while lying back and relaxing.
    • "Try Again" is all about Heroic Resolve.
    • Her cover of "Journey To The Past" is just as soothing as the movie version.
  • Unbuilt Trope: A pioneer for the staple sound and subject matter of R&B today, Aaliyah's songs avoided The Unfair Sex that is now quite common among R&B artists.
  • Values Resonance: "Hot Like Fire" has the lesser taught Aesop about sex between a young couple. The girl says she's not ready for sex yet, but she knows she will be one day, and promises it'll be great.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Zendaya Coleman was initially cast to play her in the Lifetime biopic, but received lots of criticism for being too light-skinned to be Aaliyah. She withdrew from the film and was replaced by Alexandra Shipp who looks a bit more like Aaliyah - but still received criticism for her performance.