B. Slade Talks Music, Sexuality, and Fave Hot Spots
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B. Slade is anything but conventional. The gender-genre-bending singer and songwriter thrives on blurring the lines. Whether it be the sound of his music or the orientation-focus of his lyrics, Slade, the artist formerly known as gospel singer Tonex, has no distinct category for his art. "I don’t have to compromise my sexuality, spirituality, or my artistic presentation," he tells VIBE. "They are all a part of the contradictions that makes us all--I just publicly wear them." The two-time Grammy nominee changed his moniker to B. Slade after going public with his sexuality and being shunned by the gospel community in 2010. Since then, he's used his new-found freedom to explore his artistry through his music and fashion. Last month, the independent artist released his latest album, "Stunt Bitch," which he describes as '80s music meets contemporary pop. Some of his music has been featured on BET's Second Generation Wayans thanks to his own TV and film licensing company. "Lyrically nothing is definable," he says of his new project. What's for sure is that he's in control of the driver's seat and isn't making any apologies. Check out B. Slade's favorite restaurants and shops in New York and California. [Photo by @RickyDay]
NEW YORK - "I found out about Billie’s Black by way of another place called Native and it came highly recommended. At the time it seemed like a place where people who really enjoy the art of food could sit down and paint that meal all the way out. My favorite is the mac and cheese. It’s always made just right. There’s a Caribbean taste to it that gives it an edge that other soul food restaurants don’t have. They serve great drinks, which is hard to find. Usually it’s too strong or too sweet. It’s a perfect blend of old Harlem class and Uptown chic. They recently remodeled and I thought it would be a perfect place to shoot my music video for 'Tipsy.'"
At Billie's Black the soul isn't just in the food. Live musical performances, a friendly staff, unrivaled gourmet soul food, and great people watching. Though the neighborhood has witnessed a lot of change in its backyard, there's a semblance of the old Harlem--less business, more community. Dishes like the "crack" catfish, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese are easy winners, and the drinks pack a huge punch. The restaurant, which has a renovated stage in its corner, is also used as a venue for musical performances from singers, spoken word artists and the like, serenading patrons who get both food and music for the soul.
Vibe Guides | B. Slade Talks Music, Sexuality, and Fave Hot Spots