Musiq Soulchild, originally known as Taalib Johnson, officially began his professional singing career in 1995, blending the childhood musical influences of blues, funk, gospel, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B. Born and raised as a Philadelphian Muslim, Musiq began to freestyle as a teenager on the open mic circuit where he dabbled in various musical styles. Instead of continuing his high school education, Musiq dropped out to pursue a career in music. It would be during this time he officially adopted the persona of Music Soulchild he admitted had a more spiritual connection to himself than what he was born with.
On November 14, 2000, at twenty-three years old, Musiq Soulchild released his debut album under the label, Def Soul Recordings. The underground music scene, combined with his club performances, earned him enough recognition to earn his opportunity to see his name achieve Billboard success. Aijuswanaseing as an album that became certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America enabled him to succeed at that. Since then, Musiq has released eight more studio albums, plus a total of three extended plays (EP), and a compilation album. So far, he has twenty singles to his credit, as well as being featured in twelve collaborated singles.
Top 10 Musiq Soulchild Songs
#10 – Chocolate High (featuring India Arie)
Together, Musiq Soulchild and India Arie perform the single, “Chocolate High,” which was on Arie’s fourth studio album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, which was released on February 10, 2009. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked as high as number nineteen. This love song, performed in a soft, melodic R&B format, had both artists at their vocal best.
#9 – I Do
From Musiq Soulchild’s eighth studio album, Life on Earth, “I Do” was the only single that appeared on the US Billboard music chart, namely in the category of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, as it charted as high as number eleven. In 2017, it was nominated by the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance but lost to Cranes in the Sky, performed by Solange. Throughout the song, I Do’s beautiful composition mix of piano, guitar, and snap of the fingers added that classic R&B touch to a song that simply got better with Musiq’s seductive vocals throughout.
#8 – IfULeave (featuring Mary J. Blige)
The collaborated performance between Mary J. Blige and Musiq Soulchild produced the hit single, “IfULeave,” which charted as high as number six on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted at number seventy-one. The piano-rich track came from Musiq’s fifth studio album, OnMyRadio, which was released on December 9, 2008. On the US Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart, IfULeave peaked at number one. In 2010, IfULeave was nominated in the exact same category as another song that featured Musiq Soulchild’s vocal talent with the Grammy Awards. Neither it nor Chocolate High earned the win as the awards ceremony awarded Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals went to Jamie Foxx and T-Pain for their collaborated single, Blame It.
#7 – Forthenight
Soulstar was Musiq Soulchild’s third studio album, which was released in 2003. The single, “Forthenight,” was the first of two tracks that reached the US Billboard charts where it peaked at number eighteen on its Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number fifty-three on the Hot 100. R&B at its best, Forthenight featured Musiq Soulchild’s attempt to win over a lady friend’s affection for the night is delivered with an easy listening beat that is enticing enough to at least dance to it throughout the performance.
#6 – Teachme
Released on March 13, 2007, Musiq Soulchild’s fourth studio album, Luvanmusiq, later became certified gold by the RIAA. From it, the single, “Teachme” became the second time a track from the album would realize chart success. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked at number two and charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number forty-two. Soft and soulful, the piano-rich single featured Musiq’s beautiful delivery of vocals at its best.
#5 – SoBeautiful
In 2010, “SoBeautiful” was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance by the Grammy Awards, which was the third single released from Musiq’s fifth studio album, OnMyRadio. On the music charts, it peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Adult R&B Songs, and at number eight on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, SoBeautiful charted at number eight-one. Almost hypnotic from the start with the synth sounds, the inclusion of Musiq’s vocal pitch seductively entices the listener of this song to get caught up in the mix of melody, rhythm, and soul at its best.
#4 – B.U.D.D.Y.
“B.U.D.D.Y.” was the first single from Musiq Soulchild’s fourth studio album, Luvanmusiq, which came out in 2006. The song charted at number thirty-six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song earned Musiq a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2008, but the win went to Prince and his hit, Future Baby Mama. Apart from most of the singles released, B.U.D.D.Y.’s soft hip-hop style still maintains a seductive tone only Musiq can deliver.
#3 – Dontchange
On May 7, 2002, Musiq Soulchild released his second studio album, Juslisen. The second single released from it was “Dontchange,” which charted at number seventeen on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the US Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart, it peaked at the top. Dontchange is the perfect love song for couples, romantics, and every music fan who believes in the power of love being able to overcome any emotional obstacles that can potentially get in the way of that ideal happily ever after outcome.
#2 – Love
From Musiq Soulchild’s debut album, Aijustwanaseing, “Love” became the second single released in 2000. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked as high as number two. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted at number twenty-four. Musiq’s performance of this song inspired the gospel group, Trin-i-tee 5:7 to record an altered version of it, which they titled Lord. Soulful music at its best, Love’s success owes its success as a song to Musiq’s remarkable talent as a vocalist who seems to have mastered the art of delivering a solid R&B classic.
#1 – Halfcrazy
In 2002, Musiq Soulchild released his second studio album, Justlisen, which became a platinum-certified success by the RIAA on its own. The first single from that album was “Halfcrazy,” which was originally released as a vinyl recording. The sample music from Francis Lai’s Vivre Pour Livre was used to mix with Musiq’s vocal performance. To date, Halfcrazy is Musiq’s most successful hit single as it reached number two on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart and at number sixteen on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The song was originally offered to Dru Hill’s Larry Anthony, who did record it but chose not to keep it as an official track on his debut album. Halfcrazy was then partially rewritten before being given to Musiq for him to perform. With a margarita glass in hand while on the deck overlooking the landscape, Halfcrazy is one of those songs that is more than just an easy to listen to classic. The soulful impact Musiq adds to this song an element of class that makes it a favorite among fans who appreciate good R&B music that seems timeless.
Top 10 Musiq Soulchild Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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