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Aaliyah— Still too soon.

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Everyone is going nuts about this Aaliyah biopic that Lifetime butchered. I sat down and watched the whole thing so I could come to my own conclusions. Poorly cast? The worst since The Michael Jackson Biopic starring Flex. Poorly written? Well, it was cheesier than Velveeta. I could go on and on. I mean they cast a 90lb actress to play Missy Elliott, who is famously curvy. It is as Hollywood-ized as anything I’ve seen this year that is not self-mocking.

I watched the whole thing and wished it were a better representation of the the r& b princess that I and all of my girlfriends so desperately wanted to be like. They butchered her essence and condensed her life down into a few shoddy misplaced events. That is why everyone is so mad. We all loved her and rooted for her and we all were taken aback when she died tragically at 22. She set the tone for an entire generation of pop r&b stars. The audacious street styling of Rihanna is owed to Aaliyah blazing the trails with her midriffs and baggy pants. Ciara’s entire career could be considered an ode to Aaliyah, vocally and physically. Teyana Taylor, Nicki Minaj in her early career, “Soldier” from the last Destiny’s Child solo album. People pay homage to Ms. Houghton to this day.

Aaliyah meant a lot, symbolically, to a lot of people who are still young enough to hate Lifetime for dishonoring her legacy with a rushed, careless, and bland scripting of her short life.

From a teenager’s perspective in the ’99 and 2000, Aaliyah was cool, pretty, and marched to her own beat. We all tried to mimic her “Are You That Somebody?” dance moves with friends. I, myself, am guilty of ruining my mom’s eardrums trying to hit her falsetto notes.

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I mean, Aaliyah meant so much to me as a kid that I paid to see the tragic, “Queen of the Damned” movie twice and bought it on DVD. She made me want to have a bad accent and even worse vampire teeth. She was a trailblazer and she did it without showing everyone the insides of her cooch, the areola of her boobs, or the crack of her ass. She proved that sexiness is from within and not based on how much skin you show. That’s a crucial lesson from my bootleg thinkpiece.