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Musiq released his debut Neo-Soul album, Aijuswanaseing, (pronounced ‘I just wanna sing’) in 2000 on the Def Soul music label. The album was notable for the unusual spelling of its title and certain songs. The unique spelling style is still a tradition on his albums to the current day. Although Aijuswanaseing wasn’t a huge commercial hit upon its initial release, it eventually went on to sell more than a million copies, partially due to good word-of-mouth, as well as support from American urban radio and Black Entertainment Television.

Unusual Spellings:

Sometime in 2001, Musiq dropped the Soulchild part of his name and begun to just go by “Musiq.” In May 2002, Musiq’s second album, Juslisen was released, led by the single “Halfcrazy.” It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, the first of Musiq’s albums to do so. The album took Musiq’s penchant for unusual spelling a little farther: many of the album’s had one-word song titles consisting of two-word terms, such as “Caughtup,” “Previouscats” and “Bestfriend.” Like his first album, Juslisen went on to sell more than a million copies in the United States.

The Return of ‘Soulchild’:

Also in 2002, Musiq appeared on the hit song “Break You Off” by his fellow Philadelphia natives, hip-hop band The Roots. Musiq’s third album, Soulstar was released in 2003. It has been his least commercially successful album to date, but still managed to sell half a million copies. Sometime in 2006, Musiq added the ‘Soulchild’ portion back to his name. He had stopped using it, he once said in an interview, because he felt unworthy of the name. But in a 2007 interview with About R&B Guide Mark Edward Nero, he said he brought the Soulchild part back because the name ‘Musiq’ by itself was hard to market and promote.


In March 2007, Musiq’s fourth album (and second in which he used the full ‘Musiq Soulchild’ moniker), was released. The album, LuvanMusiq (pronounced ‘love and music’) was led by the single “Buddy,” which features a sample of a 1990s song of the same named by the Native Tongues hip-hop clique. The album was also Musiq’s first release on his current label, Atlantic Records. In December 2008, his second Atlantic album, onmyradio, was released.

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