Scratch that last Maxwell post of mine, and his comeback woes. Seems like the current R&B HNIC is Musiq Soulchild (until that R. Kelly album drops).
Dude got the # 1 album, Luvanmusiq, on the Billboard 200 chart. A good look for R&B, because, let’s face it: hip-hop hasn’t been the only thing on life support.
Monday I swung by the Metropolitan Pavilion, a.k.a. House of Courvoisier, for Musiq’s performance. When I got there, a throng of 20-something looking girls lined halfway down the block in their NY boho “I’m at a soul show” best.
The party itself was, unfortunately, not popping. And it’s sad because the venue was hot and the legendary Biz Markie, who still looks exactly like he did in the 80s, was slanging out hits on the one’s and two’s like Diddy in ’97.
What WAS popping though was the bar, which was stacked galore with free Courvoisier. I don’t drink, true story, but I couldn’t help but notice.
I also couldn’t help but notice that Jojo Brim (Misa Hylton-Brim’s ex-hubby, Kevin Liles’ advisor at Atlantic, Musiq’s A&R, and industry homie of mine) was definitely having a good time.
He floated through the room looking ten years younger with a small posse of young scantily-clad girls circled around him, like they were the bees and he was the honeycomb.
He then sat up onstage during Musiq’s performance looking like he was singing louder than the audience. He was in the moment. We all were.
Musiq is a fervid, no-nonsense performer. Wasn’t no, “I want to perform a new song for ya’ll I wrote last night.” He stuck to the songs we cared about. The stuff we sang when we thought no one was listening, when some dude took us for granted and rubbed us raw. And when his voice croaked (I think on “Love”) he did the common sense thing: let the starry-eyed, rosy-checked congregation finish off half the set list.