I was watching Dave Chappelle‘s 2005 movie Block Party this past weekend and was thrilled with the number of soul singers on stage, many of whom had not gained stardom at the time of the taping of the film. There was John Legend who had just released an album that year performing with Kanye West and it just so happens that I saw singer Chinah Blac onstage later singing background vocals for Erykah Badu. I did a double take when I noticed singer Maimouna Youssef onstage with Dead Prez as well. Maimouna, who was GRAMMY-nominated with The Roots‘ for the single “Don’t Feel Right” off of their 2006 album Game Theory, is criminally under-recognized given her breadth of talent. Luckily, for though those of us in her native DC and Baltimore, we get an enviable amount of opportunities to catch her locally for performances throughout the Nation’s Capitol. Below is one such performance of hers last week at U Street Music Hall at an event by the nonprofit One Common Unity. With the group
Farafina Kan accompanying her on drums, she performs the song “It Ain’t My Fault,” a song that was once just a lighthearted Mardi Gras ditty. The song is currently receiving attention as a song of triumph for a post-Katrina and post-BP oil spill disaster New Orleans. Check her flow and let us know what you think in the comments.
If you happen in DC the day after Christmas, be sure to catch Maimouna back on U Street for Umoja on U: A Kwanza Celebration, presented by the historic Lincoln Theater and the Adinkra Group.