Bilal live at the Hi-Tone 

This Wednesday night, New York singer Bilal will take over the Hi-Tone with locals Marco Pavé and JuJu Bushman. Bilal (full name Bilal Sayeed Oliver) released his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, a record that featured production by Dr. Dre and Raphael Saadiq and included the hit single "Soul Sista." The album also featured A-list guests like Mos Def and Common, and immediately garnered Bilal comparisons to Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Sly and the Family Stone.

click to enlarge afterdarkbox_bilal.jpg

Following the success of 1st Born Second, Bilal began working on his sophomore follow-up Love for Sale. The album was intended to showcase a different side of the up-and-coming New York singer, but thanks to a leak that released the entire record online months before the scheduled release date, Interscope Records shelved the album and Love for Sale never saw the light of day. Fast forward 10 years, and Bilal finally released his sophomore album Airtight's Revenge, this time on the independent label Plug Research. The album was met with favorable reviews and marked the beginning of a much more productive period for Bilal, as he released the albums A Love Surreal in 2013 and In Another Life late last year. Local rapper Marco Pavé doesn't perform very often, but this weekday show in an intimate setting is a great chance to catch the up-and-coming wordsmith.

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