Yes, today is the 9 year anniversary of R&B legend Aaliyah‘s tragic death. There are a few things floating around offering tribute, but East Village Radio’s DJ Still Life sent this over today and it hits on a variety of levels: summery, silky, sexy, salacious, okay so maybe those are mostly synonyms.
Still Life runs one of EVR’s best shows “Worldwide Smash,” on Friday’s from 12AM-2AM EST, much of it covering the low-end dance music vibes bouncing around the globe right now. As the title suggests, Still Life has infused Aaliyah classics like “Rock the Boat,” “Try Again,” and “Are You that Somebody?” with digital cumbia, a little uk funky, and even some dembow. Still Life sums up the topicality and context of a Tropicaaliyah tribute nicely saying,
“More than fortuitous mix pairings…the real roots of the project are in Brooklyn’s expanding global bass scene, which itself builds on the youthful re-invigoration of regional sounds happening around the world, where a melding of the traditional with the abrasive is encouraged, and the loping gait of folk dance music effortlessly meets the jagged textures of American hip-hop and R&B. This spirit of re-contextualization and playful appropriation informed the pairing, and the result is a tribute to a performer whose talent continues to unite listeners years after her untimely passing nine years ago.”
My personal favorite is the dembow interpretation of “Rock the Boat,” which highlights Aaliyah’s natural seduction with the languidness of Reggaeton. You can preview the track below, but head to Still Life’s band camp to download the rest and get him some stats as a thank you.