1st Born Second

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1st Born Second
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 17, 2001
GenreNeo soul, soul, R&B, funk
ProducerBilal, Mike City, Aaron Comess, Dahoud Darien, Megahertz, Dr. Dre, Dre & Vidal, J Dilla, Andres Levin, Mel-Man, James Poyser, Questlove, Raphael Saadiq, Soulquarians
Bilal chronology
1st Born Second
Airtight's Revenge
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Blender4/5 stars[2]
Chicago Sun-Times4/4 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[4]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[5]
Q3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[8]
USA Today4/4 stars[10]

1st Born Second is the debut album of American neo soul musician Bilal, released July 17, 2001 on Interscope Records. Production for the album was handled primarily by Bilal and Aaron Comess.[11] Bilal's stage name also serves as an acronym for "Beloved, Intelligent, Lustful and Livin' It".[12] Bilal was trained in jazz and classical music before recording and joining the Soulquarians collective, which contributed in producing the album.[13] 1st Born Second features an eclectic sound incorporates musical elements of jazz, hip hop, scat, reggae, and rock music.[14][15][16]

The album attained moderate sales, but received acclaim from music critics upon its release.


Bilal began to familiarize himself with the music scene in New York City, meeting big talents such as Common, The Roots, and Erykah Badu. 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.[17]


The album peaked at number 31 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and it has sold 319,000 copies.[18] 1st Born Second received universal acclaim from music critics; it holds a score of 82 out of 100 at Metacritic.[19] The album earned rave reviews from publications, including The Village Voice, Chicago Sun-Times, and USA Today,[3][10][20] and it also received comparisons to the music of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, Prince, and Curtis Mayfield.[19][21][22][23] Music writer Mark Anthony Neal of PopMatters cited the album as "one of the most significant debuts in black pop during the past 25 years".[24] Vibe's Tamika Andeson called it "one of the best R&B albums of the year".[25]

Track listing[edit]

1."Intro"Dubble, Richie RichBilal1:47
2."For You"Bilal OliverMegahertz3:47
3."Fast Lane"Oliver, Damu Mtume, Fa Mtume, Michael FlowersDr. Dre4:37
4."Reminisce" (feat. Mos Def & Common)Oliver, Dante Smith, James Yancey, Lonnie LynnJ Dilla4:35
5."All That I Am (Somethin' for the People)"Oliver, Dahoud Darien, LynnDahoud Darien3:56
6."Sally"Oliver, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Richard SerrellDr. Dre3:41
7."Sometimes"Ahmir Khalib Thompson, Oliver, James PoyserJames Poyser7:12
8."Love It"Mike CityMike City3:48
9."C'mere (Skit)" Andres Levin2:12
10."Soul Sista"Oliver, James MtumeRaphael Saadiq5:21
11."When Will You Call"OliverAaron Comess4:47
12."Queen of Sanity"OliverAaron Comess5:21
13."Love Poems"Oliver, Keisha WhatleyAaron Comess5:25
14."You Are"Marsha Ambrosius, Natalie StewartDre & Vidal4:17
16."Slyde"Oliver, DarienDahoud Darien4:07
17."Second Child"OliverBilal6:49


Charts (2001) Peak
US Billboard 200[26] 31
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[27] 10


Credits for 1st Born Second adapted from Allmusic.[28]


  1. ^ Conaway, Matt. Review: 1st Born Second. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  2. ^ "Review". Blender. No. August/September 2001. p. 121.
  3. ^ a b Columnist. "Review: 1st Born Second". Chicago Sun-Times: August 12, 2001. Archived from the original on 2009-08-12. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  4. ^ Sinclair, Tom. Review: 1st Born Second. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  5. ^ Nichols, Natalie. Review: 1st Born Second. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  6. ^ Odell, Michael. "Review: 1st Born Second". NME: July 25, 2001. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22.
  7. ^ "Review". Q. No. Summer 2001. p. 96.
  8. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony. "Review: 1st Born Second". Rolling Stone: 64. August 2, 2001. Note: Rating archived
  9. ^ Green, Tony. "Review: 1st Born Second". Spin: 158. September 2001.
  10. ^ a b Jones, Steve. "Review: 1st Born Second". USA Today: D.08. July 31, 2001.
  11. ^ Track listing and credits as per liner notes for 1st Born Second album
  12. ^ Needham, Alex. Review: 1st Born Second. NME. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  13. ^ Columnist. "Review: 1st Born Second". The Washington Post: T.14. October 12, 2001.
  14. ^ Kot, Greg. "Review: 1st Born Second". Chicago Tribune: 23. September 28, 2001.
  15. ^ Farley, Christopher John. Review: 1st Born Second. Time. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  16. ^ Phipps, Keith. Review: 1st Born Second. The A.V. Club. Retrieved on 2009-08-26. Archived 2009-09-04.
  17. ^ "Bilal". Ontheroxentertainment.com. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  18. ^ Herrera, Monica. Bilal To Release Electro-Jazz Rock Album In 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-01-03.
  19. ^ a b 1st Born Second (2001): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-08-12. Archived 2009-08-16.
  20. ^ Cepeda, Raquel. Review: 1st Born Second Archived 2012-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  21. ^ Columnist. Review: 1st Born Second. The Independent. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  22. ^ Product Page: 1st Born Second. Muze. Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  23. ^ Caramanica, Jon. Review: 1st Born Second[permanent dead link]. Blender. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  24. ^ Neal, Mark Anthony. Review: 1st Born Second. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  25. ^ Anderson, Tamika. "Review: 1st Born Second". Vibe: 242. September 2001.
  26. ^ 1st Born Second - Bilal Billboard.com, August 18, 2001
  27. ^ Songs In A Minor, Alicia Keys Billboard.com
  28. ^ Credits: 1st Born Second. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-03-28.

External links[edit]