The Prophet Bar presents Bilal at 2513 Main st

The Prophet Bar presents Bilal at 2513 Main st

RC & The Gritz, DJ Green Lantern

Friday, May 11, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

2513 Deep Ellum

Dallas, TX

$24.00 - $30.00

Off Sale

This event is all ages

Bilal Sayeed Oliver (born August 23, 1979), better known by his stage name Bilal, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and producer. He is currently an independent artist residing in New York City.

He grew up in a religiously mixed household, his mother being a devout Christian and his father, a Muslim. He regularly attended church with his mother in a small church that consisted of mostly family members. It was there that Bilal grew an interest in music and singing. His interest in jazz music was fostered by his father, who took him to the city’s clubs. Singing eventually became more than an interest. After attending high school at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts, Bilal moved to New York City and studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He studied jazz, and his love for music caused him to use a voice as an instrument.

At the New School, Bilal met Robert Glasper. They soon became best friends, working together on the singer's demo. Eventually, he was "discovered" by Aaron Comess from the Spin Doctors during an after-school jam session. It was with him that Bilal recorded his demo that landed him a record deal with Interscope.

The resulting material landed Bilal a deal with Interscope in his sophomore year, whereupon he promptly dropped out of school; the demo tracks make up a portion of 1st Born Second, his 2001 debut. Glasper's association with Bilal would lead to work with Q-Tip and Mos Def, and the very real possibility of a career in hip-hop.

In 2001, Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second, which featured contributions from the Soulquarians as well as high profile producers such as Dr. Dre and J Dilla. The album showcased a wide variety, from the emotionally charged fan-favorite Soul Sista, which peaked at #18 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, to the political viewpoints of Fast Lane and Second Child. Bilal managed to gain a sizable following and high attendance at his live shows, as well as much acclaim and respect from his peers, many whom noted his range and ability to sing in a freeform style, and his classically trained falsetto. The soulful feel of the album caused Bilal to be labeled as "neo-soul." Bilal stresses that this term does not fit, and throughout his career, his expansion in music and pushing of boundaries proved his point.

In the following years Bilal continued to appear on projects by other artists of both high profile and avant garde, while recording and developing his follow-up set to be released on Interscope Records and featuring contributions primarily from producers Dr. Dre and J Dilla (as heard by Dilla himself). These plans proved to be changeable and the final result, Love for Sale, was an album that appeared to be built around Bilal's own musicianship. A forever evolving artist, Bilal switched it up on Love For Sale, which includes live instrumentation and a vibe completely new and different from its predecessor. However, his anticipation was shot down after receiving disapproval from Interscope. Unwilling to start from scratch, Bilal continued to push his LP. However, near the album's completion, the album was leaked in its entirety on the Internet. Interscope shelved the album indefinitely, hinting that it saw little commercial potential in it. The event sent Bilal into a period of distress,and was considering quitting music. However, many fans and music critics expressed their love for his shelved album online, and Bilal began to perform at many shows, practically touring for his unreleased Love For Sale. This gave him the encouragement to go on and record new music.

After nine years without a properly released album, Bilal made a comeback on September 14, 2010 with Airtight's Revenge, a sophomore LP released under independent record label Plug Research. Bilal describes the album as a retrospective album: an album that explores his experiences and things that he's learned since his last release. An experimental album, Airtight's Revenge blends jazz, hip-hop, electronic, rock, soul, and blues into one raw, genuine collection of music.The successor of a soulful love album, the lyrics of Airtight's Revenge focus on a wide range of topics, including love, spirituality, religion, the economy, politics, capitalism, and much more. The album received immense, positive feedback from fans and praise from numerous music critics. In 2011, Bilal received a Grammy nomination for the song Little One, a track dedicated to his eldest son, who has Autism. Bilal dedicated his Summer tour to his son, naming it the Little Ones Tour and raising money for autism awareness.
RC & The Gritz
RC & The Gritz
With a well-deserved nomination for “Best Funk/R&B Band” for this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards, The Gritz Band is more of an eclectic super-group than your average hip-hop band. Known by some as Erykah Badu’s band, the group is made up of a diverse mix of musicians from across Texas: RC “Rceeezy” Williams, keyboards; Cleon Edwards, percussion; Braylon “Brother B” Lacy, bass; Claudia Melton, vocals; and Jah Born, MPC (drum machine).

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, RC Williams is the musical director of The Gritz Band. Brought up in a family of strong musicians, RC was introduced to every music genre at a young age. While attending Arts Magnet School in Dallas, he committed himself to learning jazz and synthesizer combinations, while advancing to playing keyboards and the organ for Grammy Award-winning gospel group, God’s Property. RC has performed alongside great musical talents like Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, The Roots, Pharell, Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli, Kirk Franklin, Musiq, Bilah, N’Dambi, Floetry, The Game, Soulive, and many more. RC was nominated for three Grammy Awards for his production and writing on Erykah Badu’s 2003 album, World Wide Underground.

Claudia Melton is the vocalist for nationally praised Dallas-based hip-hop/soul group, The Gritz. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas to a family of vital influencers of South Texas music, Claudia began playing violin at the age of four, piano at eight, and saxophone at 11. Heavily influenced by jazz, her father, Claude Melton, was a former President of the Texas Jazz Festival. Claudia perfected her interests and musical talents with advanced jazz studies at the University of North Texas, where she earned a B.A. degree in vocal performance. Claudia has sung alongside a plethora of talented artists, including Grammy Award-winner Norah Jones, Boys II Men, Erykah Badu, Emily King, Dave Hollister, RL of Next, Anthony David, N’Dambi, Case, Choklate, Wayna, Jaguar Wright, Carl Thomas, Rahsaan Patterson, Liv Warfield, and more. In 2008, Claudia was selected by the International House of Blues Foundation as a master teacher and narrator to implement the Blues School House curriculum for 5th-12th grade students in Dallas public schools. Claudia is riding on the crest of new international acclaim for her latest work, One Hour, a track that pairs her unique vocal melodies with the style of Dallas hip-hop sensation Big J of Clever Monkeys and the production of Irish jazz hip-hop performer G Frequency. Claudia’s current project is her first solo album, which will highlight her skillful vocal talent, influenced by jazz, soul, and some of the hippest music today. You can catch her next performance at the Texas Jazz Festival on October 17th in Corpus Christi.

Drummer of The Gritz Band is Cleon Edwards. A small-town guy, Cleon was born in Ferris, Texas. At the young age of two, he began playing drums alongside his father at their church. With the heavy positive influence of his church, Cleon grew and thrived with his drumming abilities and was soon given opportunities to play with influential musicians such as Bobby Sparks, Elbert Taylor, Jr., Robert Sput Searight, Shaun Martin, Daniel Jones, and many others. Over the years, Cleon has performed with numerous artists, including Talib Kweli, Snarky Puppy, Candy West, Geno Young, Myron Butler and Levi, Tim Clifton, Purpose, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, N’Dambi, Freddie Jones, Terrence Mackey and Nu Restoration, Jaguar Wright, and Rahsaan Patterson. He is currently “keeping the pocket strong” for RC and The Gritz Band along with the legendary Erykah Badu, and is currently working on his new album, entitled Musik’s Mind.

Another native Dallasite, Braylon Lacy is the band’s bassist. He has collaborated with such musical talents as Marcus Miller, Waymond Tisdale, and Layla Hathaway.

Jah Born, the band’s MPC player, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Dallas. Violin, cello, and bass were all instruments Jah picked up at the early age of nine. Raised by a father who was a pioneer of the art of DJing, at the age of 12 Jah was given his first set of turntables and a mixer, a gift from his father, who encouraged his son to become a disc jockey. By the time Jah let his music career flourish, he was collaborating with Erykah Badu and began making music with The Gritz Band. Jah currently plays shows with his other band, Cannabanoids.

With a group like this, Dallas should count its blessings. When it comes to The Gritz, hip-hop never sounded so good.
DJ Green Lantern
DJ Green Lantern
Venue Information:
2513 Deep Ellum
2513 Main Street
Dallas, TX, 75226