When Bilal arrived on the R&B scene this year, many black men must have thought to themselves, "Oh, shit, here comes another one of those Sensitive Brothas." Here was another soul man who performs songs about giving it up for the ladies and how hard it must be for them and how he'll always be there for them and shit like that. Next thing you know, he appears bare-chested in all these panty-wetting videos. Just when men had gotten their women to stop fantasizing about D'Angelo butt-bald-nekkid in that "Untitled" video, another smooth-talking brotha comes along and screws things up for the rest of us!
Well, the bad news is, yes, he is one of those Sensitive Brothas. But the good news is he's an exceptionally soulful Sensitive Brotha. In fact, once you take a listen to the music on his engrossing debut, 1st Born Second (Interscope), you'll begin to wonder why there aren't more men like him out there.
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Coming from the land of Philadelphia, where contemporary soul music gets revolutionized, like, every other day, Bilal is a richly influenced yet consistently original performer who can be both thoughtful and commanding. He can belt out a tender ditty like "Soul Sista" with the same ferociousness he brings to the bump-and-bounce rampage of "Sally" or the straight-up G-funk of "Fast Lane." So it ain't all walking barefoot and shopping at Whole Foods for this brotha. He may be sensitive, but dammit, he's still a man!