Over a decade ago, Mark Anthony Neal rightly called Bilal’s debut album a standout achievement in post-soul black pop and its singer a pimp—a descendant of hypermasculine auteurs Miles and Marvin, capable of masterfully insinuating the vernacular tradition of toasting into milquetoast neo-soul sentiment such as “Soul Sista.” Like the game itself, Bilal’s sophomore effort was Love for Sale, but Interscope didn’t let him sell it. So in 2013, he’s onto Love Surreal, out independently later this month.
Tue., Feb. 12, 9 p.m., 2013

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