Bilal is a timeless artist. There are few cats that can go from being on a major music company (with J Dilla and Dr. Dre producing on their debut effort), spend nearly a decade in label limbo, come back with a sophomore LP that sounds absolutely nothing like their first foray into the game and still command the respect and fan base necessary to be a working international artist in 2013. He just has it like that.
The Philadelphia songbird reunites with Master Teacher Shafiq Husayn for the most recent leak from his upcoming third album, A Love Surreal. Co-written by Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, “West Side Girl” is funky and soulful in ways that his sophomore album Airtight’s Revenge wasn’t. Fiq lays the foundation with a deep backbeat while Thundercat frets the bass in ways only he knows how.
Bilal’s third LP should be an interesting one. From the sounds of this track and “Back To Love,” it seems he’s not experimenting with the fusion sound that was so prevalent on Airtight’s Revenge, instead doubling back onto the page he was on for Love For Sale (the project that was supposed to follow his debut but was bootlegged and never saw official release). Since I consider that unreleased LP to be his artistic peak to date, it goes without saying my interest is definitely piqued.