Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon “Dame” Dash has opened up about his past romantic relationship with late singer Aaliyah on the ten year anniversary of her passing.
Despite a hectic work schedule, Dame said they always cherished the time they had together.
“The energy we created together for people to observe was kind of crazy. We’d be in a room full of people talking to each other and it felt like everyone was listening but it would be just us,” Dame explained in an interview. “It would be like we were the only ones in the room. It was like something was going down in history every time I was with her. Every time I was around her I felt it was the place to be. Our time together meant so much that when we got more time, we felt like that [engagement] would be next. She was one of the best people I ever met. Even with the pain I felt, I would do it all over again.” (Billboard)
Days following her 2001 fatal plane crash, Dame revealed plans to marry Aaliyah.
“We were definitely gonna be married. As soon as she had time, we were getting married — like after ‘The Matrix,’ ” he said. “She was the one — she was definitely the one for me. It wasn’t an official proposal, we had just talked about it, you know?” (MTV)
Earlier this year, Young Money rapper Drake credited Aaliyah for inspiring his career.
“Aaliyah has probably had the most impact on my career because when I made a choice to start singing, it was because of something my father had told me, which was, ‘There’s no rapper out there that sings and raps and does both things well.’ And he’s like, ‘In order to be successful, you’re going to need something other than what everyone else is doing. So when I started singing — I was rapping already at the time so I had an identity in rap but when I started singing, I needed something to reference…I didn’t ever want it to be a male because then I would sound like that person, so I just found comfort in all of Aaliyah’s music. And her melody choices and the things she talks about and how she conveyed these amazing emotions but she never got too sappy. She always kept it ‘G.'” (Soul Culture)
Last August, on the anniversary of her passing, Drake released a dedication letter in memory of Aaliyah.
“I’ve never lost a parent, a friend, or a lover but I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I remember getting the news that you had passed and it connected with my heart like a clean shot from Muhammad Ali. I was crushed. Not only was I one of your biggest fans but I was truly in love with you. I loved the way you carried yourself, the way you dressed, the confidence with which you addressed passion and relationships in your music. I said to myself that even if we never met, I wanted a woman in my life just like you. I am pained that we will never get to connect now that music ended up being my career path. But you should know, we all listen to you everyday and we remain inspired and moved by all that you’ve given the world. I hope I make the right life choices so I can end up in heaven where I know you rest your head. I’ll continue to make music in your honor until the day we finally meet. Dinner’s on me!” (Statement)
Aaliyah passed away from a plane crash ten years ago.
A star in the R&B world before she was even out of her teens, Aaliyah’s promising career was tragically cut short by her death in a plane crash at age 22. Even with only three albums under her belt, she’d already earned a place as a talented trendsetter among the R&B elite. Following a successful transition to a more mature image, Aaliyah played a major role in popularizing the stuttering, futuristic production style that consumed hip-hop and urban soul in the late ’90s. (All Music)
Check out Drake reflecting on Aaliyah below: