You only get one first time.

The past is prologue:  This  year saw a new drop by Maxwell, an incredibly talented singer that helped define the “neo soul” music movement. (I’ll have to leave the definition, debate and discourse on the details of “neo soul” to the musicologists in our clan (or wikipedia)). His BLACKsummers’night album was his first release in 8 years. In the 8 years between his 3rd and 4th release, this “new” music pushed closer to putting 20 candles on its birthday cake.

This year Me’Shell Ndegeocello’s Plantation Lullabies turns 17, D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar turns 15, Erykah Badu’s Baduizm turns 13, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is 12, and Musiq Soulchild’s Aijuswanaseing is 10. Those of us in college when Plantation Lullabies “Dred Loc” hit the airwaves are just one birthday away from being that “old man in the club”.

Like Maxwell, many of these inaugural artists are 3 or 4 albums down (except the exceptional Ms.Hill…but she’s special). Indeed, even more artists have come up in the neo soul school and graduated with multiple Grammy’s and platinum selling albums. Regardless of whatever is written in the final definition (or whatever is written in wikipedia), neo soul has achieved recognition, respect and permanency.

Nearing the 20 year mark for the neo soul movement, AAPP goes back to what the future looked like with cuts from artists’ first albums…..