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Bilal On World Cafe

Growing up in Philadelphia, Bilal Oliver (better known as Bilal) lived in a world full of church music, soul and jazz. Taking his passion to New York, he performed frequently at night clubs, eventually forming strong relationships with artists such as Common, The Roots, Q-Tip and J Dilla.

Labeling his music as "jazz-fusion/rock type funk," the genre-hopping crooner released his sophomore album Airtight's Revenge last year — his first record in nine years. Interscope infamously shelved 2006's Love For Sale when it leaked online.

"[Common] started calling me Airtight and it kind of stuck," Oliver tells World Cafe host David Dye about the album title. "The revenge is talking about my last record that was bootlegged. It never came out, but it started a lot of buzz underground.

"Even though it was bootlegged, the revenge is that we're still going strong."

Copyright NPR 2016.

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