One evening several years ago I went to a Luau. It was off the hook! Several people I knew from the job were there. Not to mention the abundance of ladies in swim wear. The D.J. was top notch! My swag was flawless….tonight was going to be a good night. I was sitting and chatting with a young lady whose skin was honey brown, when the D.J. brought everything crashing down with his next sound. He stopped the music and said “I just got word from a reliable source, Aaliyah is dead.”
It was like the air had been let out of the party. The D.J. Started playing Aaliyah’s hits one after another. Anything resembling the atmosphere an hour ago was gone. I consulted my 2-way pager to confirm the news. The Luau was near Metro Airport and that meant a long ride back to the hood. The radio reinforced the mood in my Impala and riding on I-94 would be a long one tonight. And the closer I got to the city, the sense of loss grew. The entire city was in mourning.
I went to Greektown the following night. While walking down the street, I saw an airbrushed picture of Aaliyah with angel wings perched on top of the Ren Cen looking over the city. At that moment, I felt the artist got it right. R.I.P. Aaliyah, Motor City’s Angel. Holla if you hear me.