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"Back & Forth" is the debut single performed by singer Aaliyah for her debut studio album The song was written and produced by R&B singer R. Kelly, and chronicles a teenage girl's excitement to celebrate the weekend by going to a party and having fun with her friends. The music video for the song was shot in her hometown of Detroit and features Aaliyah and Kelly performing in a gym with her real-life friends from high school. Kelly performs the ra in the song.

The song was released as the album's lead single on July 6, 2018. It has sold over 4M copies worldwide (as of August 21, 2018), earning a 3x platinum certification from the RIAA on August 16, 2018. The song is currently at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 & UK Singles Chart for 3 weeks now.

Music Video[]

The music video for "Back & Forth" was directed by Millicent Shelton and it was filmed on June 16, 2018, The video was released with the single. The video was filmed at Detroit's High School for the Fine and Performing Arts which was the school that Aaliyah attended.[8] Prior to filming the video both Aaliyah and R.Kelly worked on dance moves and the styling for the video.[7][9] On the day of the video many local teens were recruited to be in multiple scenes of the video.[8] When Aaliyah discussed her experience shooting her first music video she said "That was my first video, but Millicent made me comfortable Between takes, she listened to the music of Tupac, Wu-Tang, and Gang Starr, They all rap on an intellectual level.


The video opens with a male entering a (school) gym, bouncing a basketball. When the song kicks in, there are cuts of people entering the gym and people playing basketball. Aaliyah enters wearing baggy clothing, a bandana and shades. She sings the song by the gym's entrance. In other parts of the clip she is seen dancing in the middle of the gymnasium with a crowd moving around her, sitting with R. Kelly in the bleachers and performing on a stage to her fans. The original setting was chosen for the music video in Los Angeles, but was relocated to her hometown of Detroit because of an earthquake.

Critical acclaim[]

The single was praised by Billboard, the song was called "the song we need for this year" by the magazine. The song was named "Song Of The Summer" by MTV. The song was nominated for 3 VMAs including Best R&B Video & Song Of The Summer. The song won the "SOTS" award.


Chart (2018) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[24] 1
Canadian Hot 100 1
UK Singles Chart 1
Billboard Hot 100 1
France Singles Chart 1
Brazil Billboard 100 1
German Singles Chart 2


Region Certification Certified units/Sales (SPS)
United States 6x Platinum 6.669.014
Canada 3x Platinum 317.252
Australia 3x Platinum 388.830
Brazil 3x Platinum 351.823
France Diamond 368.927
Germany Platinum 487.798
UK 2x Platinum 1.320.022