Aaliyah, is an R&B singer who still provides musical inspiration for hip-hop’s top artists since her tragic death on August 25th in 2001. Rappers such as Rick Ross, J. Cole and Drake are artists who have sampled and used the late singers vocals on lead singles & mixtape tracks.
1.) For Rick Ross’ mixtape Ashes to Ashes he samples the singer on the “She Crazy” track assisted by Ne-Yo. “She Crazy” samples vocals from Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” from her self-titled third studio album, Aaliyah. On “She Crazy” Ross is spitting about a woman in his life who is down to take risks and support him no matter how costly the risk’s may be because “she’s crazy.”
2.) J. Cole, on his latest mixtape, Friday Night Lights, borrowed the singers voice for the “Best Friend” The original song is from Missy Elliot’s 1997 song of the same title “Best Friend” off her Supa Dupa Fly album and featured Aaliyah who cooed gentle adlibs and vocal runs on the song. For J. Cole “Best Friend” is about the woman he’s seeing who has a best friend who openly disapproves of their relationship despite their up’s and down’s. J. Cole then raps of his wrongs and the arguments the two have over Aaliyah’s vocal adlibs.
3.) Drake found inspiration on his album Thank Me Later “Unforgettable” assisted by Young Jeezy. “Unforgettable” samples Aaliyah’s “At Your Best “ from her 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number. In “Unforgettable” Drake sings/raps about living life as an artist aiming to be remembered and never forgotten. He leaves the start of the song with the Aaliyah sample “let me know, let me know” which Drake uses hoping fans letting him know he’s “Unforgettable.”