A Musiq-al Affair

Neo-soul has completely turned around the world of hip-hop and R&B; artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and John Legend have contributed their musical talents to this new sound. Yet, the artist leading the pack right now is Musiq Soulchild.

South Philadelphia-born Taalib Johnson, better known as Musiq Soulchild released his fourth album Luvanmusiq on March 13, 2007, and has since held on tight to his No. 1 position on The Billboard 200. Musiq is currently on a promotional tour with liquor connoisseur House of Courvoisier and made a pit stop at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion on March 26.

On Monday night, the long line of guests wrapped both sides of the Pavilion. But the mild 25-minute wait before reaching the red carpet entrance proved to be well worth it. Two of Courvoisier’s lady representatives welcomed the guests into a dimly lit 13,000 square-foot room.

BET on-screen personality Big Tigger hosted the event along with DJ Biz Markie. They held down the stage for two hours once the doors opened, blazing old-school tracks such as Lauryn Hill’s “Killing Me Softly,” and Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.” DJ Biz Markie kept the vibe going as the crowd came to life singing along to lyrics and swaying to the bass-thumping beats. By 10:45 p.m., a flash of lights scattering on stage signified the crew’s long awaited arrival. Back-up singers, the guitarist, and the drummer with the candy-red sparkling drum set positioned themselves on stage. The clock struck 11 and Musiq finally appeared to set off the performance. Dressed in a black leather jacket and hat ensemble, a white tee, and a gold chain to top him off, he opened his show with the song from his 2000 album Aijuswanaseing, “Just friends.” As the night progressed, he would switch up singles from various albums, such as “Halfcrazy” from his first No. 1 album in 2002, Juslisen, and “Teach Me,” from, Luvanmusiq, which only left the crowd asking for more.

“I came from Oakland, California just to watch Musiq again,” said fan Denisha Delone.

She wasn’t the only fan singing along to every song, including one of his crowd pleasers, “LOVE,” where a handful of fans showcased the letter L with their fingers, waving them in the air. Musiq did not dare end the night without his No. 2 single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard Chart entitled “B.U.D.D.Y.” By this time, the crowd’s vibes were so intense that Musiq actually ended the night with a freestyle dance contest alongside Big Tigger.

The event as a whole was a major success with live music, hilarious hosts, one-of-a-kind entertainment, a relaxing venue, and a supportive crowd. Musiq’s songs could have lasted a bit longer instead of hopping from song to song, since it was hard not to get wrapped up in a good song without him switching to the next.

Despite the length of the songs, Musiq’s performance was a huge success. And as event-goer Sirron noted, “I enjoyed the show, Musiq sounds just as good live as he does on the album.”