Monday, 30 September 2013

Lil' Kim ft. Aaliyah & The Notorious B.I.G.: Queen Bee



Released: November 12th 1996
Recorded: 1995 – 1996
Label: Undeas/Big Beat

Hey guys! :o) Here's a track which Aaliyah is featured on with 90's Hip-Hop Queen Lil' Kim and Hip-Hop legend Biggie Smalls. I discovered the track from the mixtape – The Aaliyah Duets Album which showcases some of Babygirl's best duets alongside other performing artists and groups. You can download the mixtape here via http://www.datpiff.com/Aaliyah-The-Aaliyah-Duets-Album-mixtape.10680.html.

The track itself is called Queen Bee in comparison to the uncensored version called Queen Bitch which obviously Babygirl is not featured on. Aaliyah isn't really singing much on this, however, when she sings the hook 'I'm the Queen' all I gotta say is yess! Bow down! lol! Aaliyah was the Queen in her own right, the way she sings it sounds so hauntingly beautiful it's captivating. Now again, you know all me, I like to know where all the samples come from. If we look at the very core roots of the sample, it actually originates from Roberta Flack's – Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye. If you listen to the song carefully at 2:50 you will hear the piano riff which has been sampled. You can check this out down below to compare and contrast. 

Now, I'm not done yet, because I have heard this same classic piano riff in so many other songs, that it's only fair I share it with you guys. When we talk about Lil' Kim, we all know how close she was with Biggie both on the mic with their lyrical content and off the scenes with their relation. Biggie in fact helped Lil' Kim on this lyrically, since she was learning the ropes of how a rapper should deliver, so below I have also uploaded the original Queen Bitch which was written by Biggie himself. Last but not least, we have Mary J. Blige ft. Lil' Kim's – I Can Love You. Again this song also samples the piano riff, and who can blame them, it's so catchy that it would make anyone want to listen to it. Anyhoo, for all you music lovers out there, sit back, listen and enjoy! :o)







Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Aaliyah ft Rashad Haughton: Death Of A Playa


Released: March 11th 1997
Recorded: 1996 Pyramid Studios
Label: Blackground/Atlantic

Here's the B-side from Aaliyah's 4 Page Letter single titled Death Of A Playa, which features her very own brother Rashad Haughton. The song itself was produced by Timbaland and written by both Aaliyah and Rashad. Later on it was also included on the US version of Babygirl's Double A-Side single release of The One I Gave My Heart To and Hot Like Fire. Now personally, when I first came across this track I was going through a very dark period of my life, so when I listened to it, I felt a connection with it straight away, as the mood of it is so dark and mysterious, it just takes you to a whole other dimension. Essentially, kind of mirroring Aaliyah's personality, as she was always quite the 'mysterious' character. Also, both Rashad and Aaliyah's vocals blend so nicely on this track, you can really tell that they put a lot of thought and time into making this.

The song talks about how you get with a guy who originally started off as a bad boy 'playa', thinking he could get any woman he wanted to, until he comes across that one special lady in his life who changed it all, causing the 'death' of the playa within him. She made him realise the worth and value of a woman by the power of her undenying love for him, thus changing his whole outlook and perspective on relationships as a whole. Now personally, I have never encountered this, but I'm sure some of you guys out there may have. If anything, I love the fact at how Babygirl always touched upon topics that were rarely ever talked about, and on this occasion here is one of them. Anyways, please check out the video below to listen and enjoy! :o)


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Contact: The Aaliyah Archives


Hi everyone! Just a quick shout out for you guys. Anyone who would wish to contact me with any queries or feedback, please feel free to do so via theaaliyaharchives@gmail.com. I've put a lot of time into making this blog, so it's only fair that I get to hear from yourselves. If you're lucky, I might even feature some of your questions/thoughts on my blog. Again, thank you for all the daily views, it is much appreciated! :o)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Aaliyah: Danc'n ft. E.T. Selfish (Unreleased Track)


Released: 2010
Recorded: Unknown
Label: Blackground Records

Happy Saturday everyone! :o) To make your saturday even more special, here's another unreleased track by Babygirl called Danc'n featuring E.T. Selfish, and production by Digital Black from Playa. Now here's something which makes you wanna just jam all over the dance floor! I gotta say that when I first heard this, it was love at first listen. The hook that Aaliyah sings is so catchy that by the time you have listened to it, you'll keep hitting that replay button! Now that's not all I've got for you folks. To really understand about the whole process of the track, here's a little interview from Digital Black and E.T. Selfish themselves who talk about Danc'n in more depth which you can find below. Enjoy guys! :o)


Digital Black: “That’s the hook I wrote. That was a group signed to Keybeats and again, this is how Aaliyah was. If she messed with you, she messed with you. She didn’t really mess with anybody else out of the circle, so if you were part of the circle, she didn’t only want to see herself blow up. She was trying to do as much as she could for everyone in the camp. That’s how “I Don’t Think They Know” came about.”
E.T. Selfish: “When the family got back from Australia, everybody set up shop in LA to mix the Aaliyah album. We were in the studio one day (Digital Black, KeyBeats & Selfish). Black & E. Seats pulled up the track and told us to go to work on it. The song already had Aaliyah’s vocals on it from when Digital Black wrote the song in Australia. So of course when KeyBeats & Black offered it to us, we wanted to kill it. We wanted everybody to hear it and relate. We wanted to make you feel like you were in the club, on the dance floor, getting it in till they turn on the lights.”


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Aaliyah: Time (Unreleased Track)


Released: 2003
Recorded: ?
Label: Blackground Records

Hey guys! Sorry I have been MIA on my blog due to work. But don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you! :o) Here's a rare unreleased track that some may not be aware of. The track is called Time and ironically Aaliyah didn't have enough 'time' to complete the whole of this song, so if you check out the first video below, that is the original where Babygirl is singing the hook –

"It ain't enough hours in a day, to do it all
It ain't enough days in a week, to do it all
It ain't enough weeks in a month, to do it all
It ain't enough months in the year to do it all..."

All I can say is aint that the truth! Lol! At the moment I have to say this is how I have been feeling this week, since there really isn't enough hours during the day. It's like when we were younger time would just drag on so slowly, but as we get older the hours, days, weeks, months and years seem to just pass us by like the speed of light. Now when I first heard this, I always wondered how the completed version would of sounded if Babygirl had enough time to complete the track. Since I loved this song so much, I was trying to get a hold of someone who was very good at editing and mixing music, until I came across a video I found on youtube by a guy named Simon Ruddy (you can check him out via Youtube). Now this guy answered my prayers as he actually sang over the blank parts and made the song sound complete. Fitting into the theme of the song, I gotta give huge props to this guy for doing a great job, so well done! Now unfortunately, I did upload this awhile ago, but the video has been deleted, so if you would like to listen to the full completed version please email me at theaaliyaharchives@gmail.com :o)
                                                                    

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Aaliyah ft. Yaushameen Michael: Girlfriends (Unreleased Track)


Released: 2007
Recorded: Unknown
Label: Blackground Records

Another rare gem for you guys! Now personally, I don't really know much about this track since it is so rare, but it came out around 2007. As for the recording and label I am not 100% sure, so if anyone knows just give me a shout and I will credit you on your research! :o) Now, what I do know is that the track was meant to be featured on underground rapper Yaushameen Michael's album, but was never released for unknown reasons. Quite recently a new version of Girlfriends has been mixed which sounds more modern, but personally I find that whoever mixed it did a terrible job! For starters Aaliyah's vocals do not fit well with the beat at all! In all honesty people shouldn't fix something that isn't broken, hence why I am sharing the original version of the song, which is more suited to Babygirl's style.

I remember when I first heard this song, immediately I was like damnn, is that Babygirl rapping? Then I realised oh, it's some next chick lol! What's interesting about this track is how fresh it sounds both lyrically and musically. The rapping could do with more improving in terms of making the diction more clearer, since this is very important, but other than that I really love this joint. At one point, Yaushameen actually sounds like Missy Elliot near the end of the song, talk about crazy right? As for the whole theme of the song, again it's a topic that not many have touched on. It talks about how although men be throwing dirt, making call to girls etc... basically, the act of a 'playa', it also talks about how women also do the same. As the saying goes, "One man/woman goes, and another man/woman comes". Check out the video below for this dark, mysterious track! Enjoy! :o)

Tim Barnett: “That song was never a joint that was for the album. Yaushameen was a Southernaire artist and that song was always something meant for Yaushameen. She was a huge fan of Aaliyah so Static was like ‘I’m going to get Aaliyah on one of your records,’ so Static wrote it.”


Aaliyah: Where Could He Be ft. Missy Elliot & Tweet (Unreleased Track)


Released: February 10th 2005 (Leaked)
Recorded: 2001
Label: Blackground Records

Where Could He Be is a rare unreleased track which leaked around February 2005, and features the likes of Missy Elliot and Tweet as backing vocals. The song was originally meant to be included on Aaliyah's final studio album, but never made it to the cut. During 2005, the song got a lot of air play on the radio, and was expected to serve as a single for her second posthumous album titled The Aaliyah Duets Album. However, Blackground was not having any of this and stated that the track was illegally leaked, thus resulting all radio stations to remove the song. Quite a shame really, because the song was so popular on radio stations that it almost managed to chart on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. 

Now as for samples you all know me, I had to go to the very root of of this one. If you listen to the chorus, you'll notice that it actually samples Lisa Stanfields – All Around The World (classic 90's joint) which you can find down below to compare. Anyhoo, please check out the videos below and enjoy guys! :o)


 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Aaliyah: I Have A Dream...



Dreams. We all have them, whether we remember them or not. Goals and aspirations, a different type of dream, but nonetheless it's still a dream. On this occasion Aaliyah did. Just weeks before Aaliyah's passing, she talked about a dream she had where she describes herself floating, feeling weightless and flying. I have to say I got a little emotional when I first read this, as I saw a lot of myself in her. Now I'm not one to be begging lol But I genuinely felt a connection with Babygirl when I read this.

Another thing to note is a dream that a lot of Aaliyah fans had at the same time, which consisted of Babygirl in her Rock The Boat video. There isn't a lot of information on this, but from what I know talking to other Aaliyah fans like myself, we all had the same/similar dream. If you guys have had any dreams about Babygirl, feel free to share them in the comment box below. Anyhoo, please read the full written interview which took play in Paris, France around mid July time.

I HAVE A DREAM ...

It's dark in my favourite dream. Someone is after me. Don't know why. I got fear. Then, suddenly I lift off. I fly away. Far away. How do I feel now? It is like swimming in the air, free and without any weight. No-one can reach me. No-one can touch me. It' s a wonderful feeling. Otherwise I am alarmed by this dream somehow. What does it mean? That I want to escape from the real life sometimes? But from what? From success or the pressure of show business? No. I enjoy every second of my fame. If I could rewind my life back to the start I wouldn't change a thing, honestly. When I was a little girl I knew already: I want to become famous. I always worked hard for this dream, very hard. I took singing lessons and joined performances at school. I did everything to become a good entertainer because pretty looks won't make up a star, whether in the music business nor in the movie industry.

Retrospectively many people insinuate that I hadn't a real childhood. That's a lie! My parents always had taken care that I had enough time to play. I missed nothing. In general I grew up regularly. I was a normal girl, almost. Because not every girl had her first stage experience with the age of nine. I remember this day exactly. A great wish became true as I joined a concert given by my aunt Gladys Knight in Las Vegas but I was anxious. I was afraid of the audience and afraid to fail. My bashfulness obstructed me at that time. I loved to escape into my dreams.

Today I am still a dreamer, a daydreamer. In a conversation with friends often I digress from the original subject. I stare self-forgetful at remoteness. Were I am then? I have no idea. Probably in higher spheres. Sometimes I really don't know. I am somehow mysterious, that's it. Even my parents don't know sometimes, how I think. Likely they put up with the fact that I am an introverted person. No, introverted is the wrong term. I have a complex personality. Actually I am nice and open but often I seclude myself. Other people are afraid of being alone but I like it. At least from time to time. Sometimes I lay on my bed in my Manhattan apartment and look only out of the window. I dream.   

In my dream I am in Egypt, the land of my dreams. The culture and the pyramids - that fascinates me. You know, I'm sure, that I was an Egyptian in an earlier life. Only this way I can explain my fascination. This country casts a spell over me immediately although I knew it only from pictures. As I was very young my mother showed me holiday photos of friends. I saw hierogylphes, pyramids, masks, the people, strange ceremonies - I dived into another world. To explore this world is my greatest dream.

One day I will travel to Egypt. I will be there, were Cleopatra and the pharaoes lived. Unfortunately I can't meet them anymore. If I had a time machine I would visit the ancient Egypt. Who knows, perhaps Cleopatra and me would become very good friends. At least I would have a live experience of that ancient culture which I only know from books. My books about Egypt are sacred. I use to read every story about Egyptian kings and queens. Sometimes I watch just the pictures. I dream to stand in front of these imposant buildings. Or I make a movie in Egypt. My favorite character to impersonate is Cleopatra. If there will be a remake of that movie I will apply for this character immediately!

But it hasn't to be this project. The main thing is to work in Egypt. I approached this wish by my participation in the making of The Queen of the Damned. In the sequel of Interview with the Vampire I impersonate the Egyptian queen Akasha. I admit it was like a fullfilled dream but unfortunately the movie wasn't produced in Egypt. Also my current involvement in the making of The Matrix II and III don't fullfill my dream. This time I am in Australia. It is a nice country, but even it's not Egypt.   

Otherwise I have a great partner on the set: Keanu Reeves. Surely many women envy me this but I find him just a nice person. He is reserved as me - I like it. The man of my dreams - no. I prefer masculines who let me feel safe and secure. He must be strong as an Egyptian warrior. If I find someone like this I will marry him. Like all little girls I have dreamed always of a traditional wedding ceremony with horse and carriage and wearing white wedding dress. I am hopelessly romantic. I want a man and children - a lucky family. This wish has to take second place yet. Next I want to let come true another dream, no, two dreams. I will design clothes and accessories together with a friend. Perhaps next year already. My second dream is not tangible yet. My movie career has priority at the moment but when I am fully established as an actress I want to have a break. Then I want to enroll on a college. My subject of studies will be egyptology, of course, nothing else I could imagine.

(Source – http://www.rarevinyl.de/soul/aaliyah8.html)

Digital Black ft. Aaliyah: Don't Think They Know


Released: 2005
Recorded: 2001
Label: Elite Muzic

Now before I begin this post, I believe that people should always understand and be aware of where the original samples come from. Now as dedicated Aaliyah fans, we all know that the song Don't Think They Know was a rare, unreleased track which was originally a duet with Playa's – Digital Black. Recorded in 2001, it was later released on his album Memoirs Of A R&B Thug in 2005. Afterwards, a whole frenzy took place in 2013 and we encounter Chris Brown's – Don't Think They Know (first introduced as They Don't Know, but was later changed for digital retailers) who adds his own little flavor to this track on his album X.

Now when I first came across the little snippet of Chris Brown's version, I gotta say that I was both excited and skeptical. Excited because nothing brings me more joy then knowing what Aaliyah is featured on, but skeptical as I know a lot of rappers such as Drake for example, who seem to be a little too 'obsessed' with someone who is not even around. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Drizzy (more so his singing compared to his rapping) but sometimes people go a little too far, and we have to remember that respect should be of the utmost high importance.

With that being said, I am really impressed by Chris Brown's version of the track, production wise Babygirl's vocals fit very well. Still got love for the original though. The only criticism I would have is the video, as it doesn't really fit with the song content. I can understand someone waning to do something for a good cause, but keep the content coherent. On a positive, I like the use of red, black and white in the video since these were colours which Aaliyah was very fond of (You can clearly see I have thought out the layout of my blog accordingly!) Another important factor which not many people would of realised is that Chris Brown has a interpolation from Jon B's – They Don't Know. You can find the video down below to see how the lyrics have been sampled.

I also came across a full written interview from Digital Black himself talking about Chris Brown's version (read below for interview) which you can also find here at http://youknowigotsoul.com/. Enjoy guys! :o)

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Chris Brown’s new single “Don’t Think They Know’ featuring the late Aaliyah. Of course fans of Aaliyah would already know that the song is actually a remake of the record she originally recorded with Digital Black from the R&B group Playa. YouKnowIGotSoul had a chance to speak with Digital Black about the history behind the track “Don’t Think They Know”.

The origins of “Don’t Think They Know": "It was a trip, J-Dub gave me the track in Australia when Aaliyah was working on “Queen of the Damned”. It was one of those records that I specifically wanted to do for the fans because Aaliyah really cared about her fans. It was a song to give back to them. Just knowing her and being around her, I just tried to write a record to let the fans know that we would do this thing for free because it’s an honor for people to appreciate our music. We recorded the record when we got back to LA and that was after they had mixed and mastered the album, so it was supposed to be on Playa’s album".
Finding out Chris Brown would be remaking the song: "I was blessed, I felt it was an honor because of how many songs Static and I had recorded that haven’t been released. For him to choose a record that was probably already heard, it was an honor. In this business, you do it with a chance of making money which is good, but for me it was also confirmation that the Playa sound is still alive. I always felt we were underrated as a group, so it’s just confirmation that years later, a record that wasn’t even heard, would come out. It just shows you that you’ll never know how long it takes for that seed to become a tree, but once it becomes a tree, it bears a fruit. It’s a blessing".
Chris Brown’s version: "I love it. I’m a fan of Chris Brown. He’s one of the true singers in the younger genre of R&B/Pop. I’m just being honest, it’s a dope record. I love what they did".
Thoughts on new artists using unreleased Aaliyah material: "It’s a touchy subject. I’m indifferent with it because I feel both sides. I understand the people who say the stuff shouldn’t be touched and I feel the people who feel like it should come out. Aaliyah poured her heart out to everything she did and sometimes you feel like it’s a shame that some of the stuff won’t be heard".
Playa’s influence on the new generation: "Drake sampled us last year and Chris Brown is using our record now. I know I can speak for Static Major and Smoke E. Digglera on this, when you do music you want people to enjoy it. Sometimes it takes a minute for people to catch on. I know we have a huge underground following and I know I’ve heard people say that Playa was the most underrated group. I guess our legacy is still being written. I’m just enjoying my view right now. I mean come on man, Chris Brown and Drake listen to our music. I wish Static was here to see it. It feels pretty good though, I can’t complain".
Future plans: "I’m working with my son on his project right now. I’ve been working with a few producers and just getting my feet wet again. I still do music when I feel like it because I’m a father as well. The next thing is definitely my son Richy B, he’s only 18. All my kids sing and I wasn’t singing as a good as my daughter when I was 14. You definitely heard the last of me because with music, you’re always a hit away".

And there you have it! But that's not all, if you really wanna go into depth here's Chris Brown's reasoning behind the video. (Source http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1709531/chris-brown-dont-think-they-know.jhtml) 




Monday, 2 September 2013

Aaliyah- No Days Go By


Released: 1996
Recorded: 1996
Label: Blackground Records

Here's a not so familiar track which is on Aaliyah's Got To Give It Up Single. At the time, it was released as a second single in the UK. No Days Go By is featured as a B-Side and was one of Aaliyah's self-compositions. I have to admit that I really love this slow jam joint. Lyrically, it talks about a person who misses the happy times they spent with that one special person, before it all went downhill. Although it's a sad song, the message is positive because as Babygirl says – 'I'm gonna be ok'. Production wise, you really have to love that 90's vibe. Anyways, please enjoy the video and lyrics below! Feel free to leave comments! :o)





Chorus:
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the things you do.
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the
things you do. (No)

Verse 1:
You're on my mind, all day and night,
You're all I'm thinking of..the
way you treat me right.
My days with you (With you)
are here no more,
We had some good days but I
know this for sure.

Chorus:
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the things you do.
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the things you do.

Verse 2:
We got a special thang, I
never could explain,
Straight up the way I feel
it doesn't seem real.
(You know) I never hurt you
[ Find more Lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.org/j4A ]
(So don't go) don't go nowhere.
Cos you know that this
heart, I'll always share.

Chorus:
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the things you do.
No days go by, that I'm not thinking of you,
And no way can I, forget the things you do.

Bridge:
You said your love was true
But I don't see that now
You left me all alone
Broke up this happy home.
Why'd ya have to lie?
Why must it be this way?
Well all I have to say,
Is I'm gonna be ok.

Chorus x1

My love, goes on and on and on
My love, on and on and on
My love, goes on and on and on
My love, on and on

My love, on and on and on
My love, on and on and on
My love, on and on and on
My love, on and on

Chorus x2

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Aaliyah: Vibe Magazine, August 2001

Here's a written interview of Aaliyah just weeks before her passing. Thanks and credit to Chris on helping me find these articles! Much appreciated Mr! :o) You can find him here at http://dathiphoplife.blogspot.co.uk/. Enjoy everyone! More articles coming soon! :o)