Giving actual credence to the over-verbalized urban cliché known as "grown and sexy," Musiq Soulchild
and Chrisette Michele
offer contemporary soul music that manages sensuality without being crass. This is still something of a rarity among the "lick you up and down" R&B that still wins most of the airplay and attention, but fortunately Philly's Soulchild and Long Island's Michele reach further back for inspiration. Michele recently released her first album I Am
via hip-hop heavyweight record label Def Jam, where her jazz- and gospel-influenced tone was snapped up by two of the best in the biz even before she could put out her own debut. She appeared on singles by both Jay-Z ("Lost One") and Nas ("Can't Forget About You") over the past year and demonstrated that a throwback sound could be appreciated in a modern context.
Consequence, a rapper from New York who's guested on albums by Kanye West and A Tribe Called Quest, opens.