No matter how devout of an Aaliyah acolyte you think you are, you will never trump Missy Elliott in terms of love, respect and devotion for the fallen R&B singer. You will never dress in outfits with her face on them all day every day, you will never name check her in practically every song you make and you will never find a way to mention her in every interview. The only person who has tried to usurp Elliott’s role as number one lover of Aaliyah is Drake. And we all know that resulted in beaucoup de controversy.
In the year of what would have been Aaliyah’s thirty-fifth birthday, emotions regarding this modern day saint of music and mellifluousness are still running high. With the posthumous Aaliyah album officially cancelled in the wake of a music industry backlash against Drake’s involvement, it would seem that Missy Elliott still holds the crown for revering Aaliyah more than anyone. Drake’s love may try to outshine her, but only manages to do so in a creepy way. Apart from mentioning Aaliyah in his songs, Drake also has two tattoos of her and wore an earpiece with her face on it during several shows in 2011.
Even DMX, another runner-up for most ardent Aaliyah fan after Timbaland, had nothing but vitriol to spout toward Drake’s on-blast obsession with the singer and his exclusion of other artists who knew her to help collaborate on the now defunct album plans. DMX stated,
“You’ve been given the opportunity to do the Aaliyah album yet you don’t include anybody that she worked with personally. How do you disregard what this woman did? What this beautiful angel did and say, ‘Oh okay, I’m gonna take it for myself because I’m hot right now and I’m feelin’ myself. How do you just go there with it? Your balls ain’t that big, son.”
Regardless of other people’s ardent sentiments, they will never be able to express their affection for Aaliyah quite like this: