18 years ago today, the music world was blessed by single-named soul siren Aaliyah when she released her critically-acclaimed 2001 album, simply self-titled Aaliyah. The Princess of R&B was well on her way to changing that title to queen with this project, which unfortunately would be her last due to her death in a plane crash just a month after its release.
One of the last interviews she did ended up also being one of her greatest; a half hour-long artist profile for MTV’s hit docuseries Diary. Aaliyah’s episode aired on August 8, 2001, a little over two weeks before the tragic plane crash that took her life after filming the music video for the album’s next single, “Rock The Boat.” It still stands as one of the best looks into the private life of a musician who prided herself on a mysterious appeal that made albums like Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number (1994) and One In A Million (1996) achieve multiplatinum status. As with most shows like this, a lot of b-roll is usually left on the cutting room floor, sometimes hours or even days of footage just sitting in the vault.
Today, MTV proved that they’ve definitely got some rare Aaliyah clips stored away for a celebratory day like, say, the 18th anniversary of the deceased legend’s most heralded body of work. Take a look at the never-before-seen segment below:
This month is the 18th anniversary of #Aaliyah's self-titled final album, and in honor of the legendary late singer, we're throwing it back to our 2001 interview where she talked about putting the LP together, and hoping fans would feel it ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xgOfIlrE3X
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) July 17, 2019
In the clip, Aaliyah reflects on the process of creating her self-titled LP, bigging up many of the producers and writers that helped along the way like Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Tank, J. Dub, Bud’da and the members of Playa, specifically fellow missed music impresario Static Major. It’s an extended version of a clip that made it into the official Diary episode, and even the mere seconds of rare footage where she speaks in a tone that predates the current ASMR craze already has fans demanding that the full unedited version be released as well. Whether or not that happens is entirely up to MTV, but we’re with the fans on this one — give us more Aaliyah!
Watch the extended clip from Aaliyah’s 2001 MTV Diary episode above, and revisit our feature article from last year on why her self-titled album and 15 other Blackground Records LPs deserve to be released on streaming services by clicking here. R.I.P. Baby Girl!