Thc tide of Bilal Sayeed Oliver's stunning debut, 1st Born Second, is derived from the concept that he was thc "first born prodigal son of the second generation of contemporary soul stirrers."2 We all know the usual suspects: Badu, D 'Angelo, L-Boogie (Lauryn Hill), Jilly from Philly, Mos Def, Ndegeocello, Maxwell, and the original new-schooler Lenny "How come black radio don't support me?" Kravitz. But Bilal could be the second coming of the playa, playa, pimp-pimping like Marvin (the original Soul 0.C.), big pimping like Rev. Al (before that grit incident),

"diamond in the back, sunroof top, digging the scene with the gangsta lean" pimping like Miles Dewey. Bilal, the playa, playa, pimp for the new millennium. By pimping, I mean the ability to "pirnp" from the deepness of a black masculinity that is alternately virile, vibrant, visceral, viscous, and vicarious. Like that pimp-scholarToo Short reminded us some time ago, "Pimpin' ain't easy."