#31: Aaliyah ‘Rock the Boat’

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The good news is Aaliyah made our countdown again, but today’s entry, “Rock the Boat,” makes it a little more bittersweet.

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Aaliyah’s genre-pushing, self-titled third album, debuted with the futuristic and sexy “We Need a Resolution” produced by Timbaland. Only two other tracks on the album would have his touch, but a few other producers came through and kept the momentum going, adding texture to the project and taking it in directions none of us expected. “Rock the Boat” was a track that rose out of the perceived dilemma of not securing Timbaland for the entire project. KeyBeats and Static Major of Playa gave Aaliyah a song that not only stayed in line with her musical progression, but also in many ways harkened back to a classic ’80s soul groove with its teasing vocal arrangement and lyrics.

The clip for “Rock the Boat” would be her last, as we all know, we lost her once the video’s shoot was complete. A few choice shots in the video seem to capture Aaliyah in moments that will always define her–angelic, humble, and playful. She was truly in the zone for the song and the video, and although we miss her painfully, this track still gives us cause to celebrate the life and musical legacy of Aaliyah and Static.

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