1st Born Second

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1st Born Second
Studio album by Bilal
Released July 17, 2001
Recorded 2001
Genre Neo soul, soul, R&B, funk
Length 75:55
Label Interscope
Producer Bilal, 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
(2010)Airtight's Revenge2010
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Chicago Sun-Times 4/4 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly A−[3]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
PopMatters favorable[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]
Spin (7/10)[8]
USA Today 4/4 stars[9]
The Village Voice favorable[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,[2][9][10] and it also received comparisons to the music of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, Prince, and Curtis Mayfield.[19][20][21][22] 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".[6] Vibe's Tamika Andeson gave it 4½ out of 5 stars and cited it as "one of the best R&B albums of the year".[23]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"   Dubble, Richie Rich Bilal 1:47
2. "For You"   Bilal Oliver Megahertz 3:47
3. "Fast Lane"   Oliver, Damu Mtume, Fa Mtume, Michael Flowers Dr. Dre 4:37
4. "Reminisce" (feat. Mos Def & Common) Oliver, Dante Smith, James Yancey, Lonnie Lynn J Dilla 4:35
5. "All That I Am (Somethin' for the People)"   Oliver, Dahoud Darien, Lynn Dahoud Darien 3:56
6. "Sally"   Oliver, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Richard Serrell Dr. Dre 3:41
7. "Sometimes"   Ahmir Khalib Thompson, Oliver, James Poyser James Poyser 7:12
8. "Love It"   Mike City Mike City 3:48
9. "C'mere (Skit)"     Andres Levin 2:12
10. "Soul Sista"   Oliver, James Mtume Raphael Saadiq 5:21
11. "When Will You Call"   Oliver Aaron Comess 4:47
12. "Queen of Sanity"   Oliver Aaron Comess 5:21
13. "Love Poems"   Oliver, Keisha Whatley Aaron Comess 5:25
14. "You Are"   Marsha Ambrosius, Natalie Stewart Dre & Vidal 4:17
15. "Home"   Oliver Bilal 5:23
16. "Slyde"   Oliver, Darien Dahoud Darien 4:07
17. "Second Child"   Oliver Bilal 6:49


Charts (2001) Peak
US Billboard 200[24] 31
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[25] 10


Credits for 1st Born Second adapted from Allmusic.[26]


  1. Conaway, Matt. Review: 1st Born Second. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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)
  3. Sinclair, Tom. Review: 1st Born Second. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  4. Nichols, Natalie. Review: 1st Born Second. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  5. Odell, Michael. "Review: 1st Born Second". NME: July 25, 2001. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Neal, Mark Anthony. Review: 1st Born Second. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  7. DeCurtis, Anthony. "Review: 1st Born Second". Rolling Stone: 64. August 2, 2001. Note: Rating archived
  8. Green, Tony. "Review: 1st Born Second". Spin: 158. September 2001.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jones, Steve. "Review: 1st Born Second". USA Today: D.08. July 31, 2001.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cepeda, Raquel. Review: 1st Born Second. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Herrera, Monica. Bilal To Release Electro-Jazz Rock Album In 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-01-03.
  19. 19.0 19.1 1st Born Second (2001): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-08-12. Archived 2009-08-16.
  20. Columnist. Review: 1st Born Second. The Independent. Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  21. Product Page: 1st Born Second. Muze. Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  22. Caramanica, Jon. Review: 1st Born Second. Blender. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  23. Anderson, Tamika. "Review: 1st Born Second". Vibe: 242. September 2001.
  24. 1st Born Second - Bilal Billboard.com, August 18, 2001
  25. Songs In A Minor, Alicia Keys Billboard.com
  26. Credits: 1st Born Second. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-03-28.

External links