There was once a Drake interview in which he said something along the lines of: Aaliyah is incredible because “her perspective was so G’d up.” I wholeheartedly agree, and I see exactly what he meant. Was Aaliyah lady-like, did she show vulnerability, and was she delicate when she wanted to be? 100 percent. But a lot of the time, her approach to discussing the male/female relationship dynamic was so nonchalant, that for the lack of a better term, she came across like a guy a lot of the time. She wasn’t afraid to talk about sex openly, or to be the player, and not the played. I mean, let’s take a look at the second verse of “Are You That Somebody?”:
"Won't you pick me up at the park right now
Up the block while everyone is sleep (sleep, sleep)?
I'll be waiting there — with my trench, my Lugz,
My hat; Just so I'm lowkey
If you tell the world
Don't sleep..you know that would be weak."
Babygirl was trying to keep it on the low (in Lugz nonetheless). Twigs is the same way. She’s not afraid to talk about a romantic situation keep the reality of it exactly what it is. “Hours,” from Twigs debut studio album LP1 (due on August 12th) echoes this sentiment, as well as “Papi Pacify” of course, from EP2. You don’t need much imagination to envision those being Aaliyah songs — cutting to the chase, even if raw, honest, sexuality is that chase. Twigs has written about masturbation; Aaliyah has written about infidelity and promiscuity. They’re both willing to go places that a lot of female artists are often afraid to.
They’re Both Dancers
Twigs is a legitimate, trained studio dancer. There are videos of her dancing all over the internet (including the one featured below, a routine she performed for Dazed Magazine in promotion of her song “Ache”). And of course, Aaliyah’s dance moves and constant use of choreography are two things we look back on with fondness, like in the “Try Again” video for instance. The way they both used dance - mystically, sensually - adds to the general sense of intrigue that you associate with them.
For a while, we didn’t know what Twigs looked like (and I’ve been paying attention to her since before the "Papi Pacify" video). She doesn’t really tweet, she doesn’t engage with her Facebook whatsoever. I honestly can imagine Aaliyah approaching social media with the same mentality — tons of people throughout history have agreed that “the key to Aaliyah’s charm is her mystery,” as TIME Magazine stated back in 2001. There’s an indescribable enigmatic, cryptic energy that they both exude. There’s a certain softness, a secretive ambiance that comes from a place of both darkness and delicacy that you can find in just about every piece of work that they’ve made.
Here’s another excerpt from that TIME article that featured Aaliyah, back in 2001: "Aaliyah tends to dress all in black--black dresses, black boots, black whatever. She will venture into other hues, but her fashions are almost always stylish and sleek. She says there’s a darkness that comes out in everything she does."
If you google FKA Twigs, or take a look at her Instagram (@FKATwigs), you’ll see that they both tread the same waters. Fashion is clearly a way that both of them express themselves. Lots of gold jewelry, baggy jeans, sports-bras-as-tops, and other various eccentricities drape Aaliyah and Twigs, and highlight their unconventional personalities.
Bonus: Two Weeks Video
Does this not remind you of Aaliyah in "Queen of the Damned"?
Ro Ransom gives you a quick breakdown on who exactly FKA Twigs is, while drawing some comparisons to the late Baby Girl.
No, Tahlia Bennett, the artist formerly known as Twigs is not actually Aaliyah — I would never pigeonhole her artistry with such a blanket comparison. I also could never put Aaliyah’s entire legacy and everything she’s worth to my generation into a nice, neat, compartmented box. But beyond the fact that they both have consistently made incredible music; there are so many various ways that Twigs reminds me of Aaliyah, that it’s almost eerie.
With that being said, click through to see where the comparisons between the two singers lie. This also serves as a good introduction to FKA Twigs for those unfamiliar with the burgeoning singer.
[Editor's Note: Ro Ransom teamed his feature with a cover he did of FKA Twigs' "Water Me". Listen below ]