A classically trained vocal veteran, Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, which boasted the popular single "Soul Sista." The follow-up, Love for Sale (2006), was shelved but leaked entirely online yet was well received to fans and music critics and has become an underground classic. In the following years, Bilal has collaborated and performed with some of the industry's most prominent artists including, Beyonce (Fighting Temptations), Common (Like Water for Chocolate, Electric Circus, Be, Finding Forever), Jay-Z (American Gangster), Erykah Badu (New Amerykah Part One, New Amerykah Part Two), Robert Glasper (All Matter), Boney James (Better With Time), Musiq (Soulstar) and The Roots among others. He also covered Radiohead's "High & Dry" for the 2006 Radiohead tribute, Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads. Bilal also appears in Dave Chappelle's Block Party.