Album of the Day
Meshell Ndegeocello was among the first artists signed to Madonna's label, and "maverick" is an apt description of the singer-songwriter, whose adopted surname means “free like a bird” in Swahili. Her 1993 debut, PLANTATION LULLABIES, mixes funk, jazz and hip-hop with little regard for genre boundaries and offers an outspoken look at racial and sexual identity. With such highlights as “Step into the Projects,” “Dred Loc” and minor hit “If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night),” the collection brought the performer three Grammy nominations, including Best R&B Album. Widely hailed by critics upon its release, PLANTATION LULLABIES helped kickstart 1990s neo-soul, and we'll cue it up now to wish Meshell Ndegeocello a happy birthday.