Live: Res at Inside The Artists’s Studio, DC

Res 1 at BB&P 12-3-09

Photos by Tashir Lee.

To some Res is one of the best singer songwriters in Modern R&B. To others, she’s not yet a household name. However, to a small group of fans in Washington, DC last week, Res was the center of the world.

Fans packed the Langston room of Busboys and Poets to hear an acoustic performance and a Q&A with DC’s DJ Stylus Inside the Artists’ Studio, modeled after actors’ show on Bravo, sold out quickly, and the finale in the series was one of the best yet.

Res 4 at BB&P 12-3-09

The setting was an intimate stage: Res starts off timid and slightly nervous but instantly gains control of the crowd. She’s almost shocked when people know her songs. The setlist included a mix of tracks from her classic How I Do, and her latest, Black Girls Rock. Her latest, seem more personal and focused than her previous efforts: Res took the guitar to play a song, Let You Go on a left handed guitar. “I’m too cute to cry all day, ” the lyrics go, “I wish you weren’t such a fucking waste of time.”

To some Res is one of the best singer songwriters in Modern R&B. To others, she’s not yet a household name. However, to a small group of fans in Washington, DC last week, Res was the center of the world.

In several songs Res rails against the industry that never was comfortable with her. On the Idle Warship track “LA Famous,” she talks about her frustrations with the handling of her image and the lack of promotion for her album.

And that was the bulk of her post performance discussion. Why did she not get the play that other stars received?

Res 5 at BB&P 12-3-09

Discovered by Hank Shocklee, Res was on a world-wind path to stardom. The favorite in backrooms of the record label, her album, How I Do was greenlit and funded. Unfortunately, being a multi-dimensional Black woman causes issues for the label. “I’m a buffet type of chick,” she says about her music. “They didn’t know what department it should be marketed to.”

The discussion was intimate and candid. In response to a question about Nas’ verse on the track “Ice King she says “I didn’t like what he did” to gasps in the audience  “but truthfully everything ain’t for me to like”. She then goes on to tell the story about how she nervously approached him at Baja Fresh in LA. Came to the first show in LA.

Res and Stylus at BB&P 12-3-09

Her Second album was never released, and was mirred in label drama. Frustrated, Res asked to leave and never got another deal. But don’t fret–the past 8 years Res has been living life, traveling the world and living on the beach in LA. However, due to public demand, she decided to release her latest album, the free Black Girls Rock.

All in all, Inside the Artists’ Studio was a great way for fans to connect with their favorite artist on a more personal level. At the end of the night, Res and Stylus took questions from the audience. “I personally believe people are ready to see Black people do different shit,” she says in response to one question, and its true.A few questions and several marriage proposals later, I can say that everybody in the room that night was ready for some “different shit.” Are you?

Res 2 at BB&P 12-3-09