Down with the Clique

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"Down with the Clique"
Single by Aaliyah
from the album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number
ReleasedMay 1, 1995 (UK)
RecordedNovember 1993; Chicago Recording Company
(Chicago, Illinois)
Songwriter(s)R. Kelly
Producer(s)R. Kelly
Aaliyah singles chronology
""Age Ain't Nothing but a Number""
""Down with the Clique""
""The Thing I Like""

"Down with the Clique" is a song written and produced by R. Kelly for R&B singer Aaliyah's debut album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. It is the fourth official single in the United Kingdom from the album. Released in 1995, the single, which also features Kelly, peaked at number thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart. The song was the fourth UK Top 40 single for Aaliyah.


When recording Down With the Clique Aaliyah developed an interest in producing and she watched and helped R Kelly work develop the song. According to Aaliyah “When we were recording ‘Down With the Clique,’ I watched how Robert [Kelly] laid the drums and everything. He taught me to play the piano a bit, and I’m also trying to learn the mixing board, though it looks complicated. The studio is my first love.”[1]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"Down with the Clique" is a Hip hop inspired song and on the song Aaliyah displays a "silky cooing" with her vocals.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

"Down with the clique" was released as the albums 4th single and it was the first single from "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number" to not be released in the US. The song peaked within the top 40 on the official charts at number 32 and within the top 40 and top 10 on the official Dance and R&B charts at number 25 and 5 respectively.[3][4][5]

Critical reception[edit]

Kenneth Partridge from Billboard gave a mixed review of the song, He felt that Aaliyah sounded unnatural singing lines such as "I guess it's time for me to wreck shop" and he thought that the song was too much like an R Kelly song. Ulitmately he thought that it was "adorable" about how she commits to her persona which fits well with the song.[2] Bianca Gracie from Fuse felt that Aaliyah was embodying an effortless swagger that guys twice her age could only dream of having"; She also praised Aaliyah's "mellow" "deep" voice on the song as well.[6] Nakita Rathod from HotNewHipHop mentioned that despite the controversy surrounding Aaliyah's debut album she was still able to be a young, free teenager with songs like "Down with the Clique".[7] In a review for Aaliyah's debut album "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number" Tonya Pendleton from The Washington Post praised the production of "Down with the Clique" saying "Kelly’s hip-hop inserts provide a funky contrast that carries over to “Throw Your Hands Up” and “Down With the Clique,” all paeans to the fun-loving good times of adolescence"[8] .


Chart (1995) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 33
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[10] 25
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[11] 5


  1. ^ "A look back 20 years to the debut album of Aaliyah, the R. Kelly scandal, and her Timbaland-produced follow-up that set the R&B format on fire". Wax Poetics. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  2. ^ a b "Aaliyah, 'Age Ain't Nothing But A Number' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "Aaliyah". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "AALIYAH'S 15 BEST DEEP CUTS & ALBUM TRACKS". Fuse. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Remembering Aaliyah: 20 Great Tracks From The Late Singer". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  8. ^ ""Age Ain't Nothin' but a Number"". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Aaliyah: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  10. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2017.