Some artists lose their edge as they age. Gone are the days of Prince's sexpot performances. By the 1980s, Donna Summer vowed to not sing her biggest hit "Love to Love You Baby" — something about those 23 orgasms didn't feel very Christ-like. Even Coko from SWV refuses to perform sexually explicit songs like "Downtown." Therefore, minutes before the raunch and soul diva hit the stage at the B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill in New York City on Saturday night, the audience buzzed: "Will she 'go there' as she once did in her heyday?"
For those who don't know, Millie Jackson is arguably the first artist in Black music to tackle topics like sleeping with married men, oral sex, child support and all things naughty. Before Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj — there was Millie Jackson (However, Lil' Kim's Hardcore or Nicki Minaj's mixtapes aren't as X-rated as Millie). Well, don't fret Millie fans. The Brooklyn native is as nasty as ever. She dropped countless F-bombs in her 90-minute set, making the most hardcore of rappers seem like choirboys.
Hitting notes exactly as she did over forty years ago, Millie ripped through her opening song, "Breaking Up Somebody's Home." Regardless of her potty mouth, she will always be a legend and an important figure in the history of soul music, mainly due to her timeless voice, which is often compared to Gladys Knight.
At first listen, the audience braced themselves for a watered down version of Miss Millie. But by the second verse, the lyrics changed: "Tired of being alone, feelin' like f-----g up somebody's home!" The ladies (and some of the men) shouted, "Go on, Miss Millie!"
Jackson let out ferocious versions of "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right," Def Leopard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Old B-----s Got It Going On." She left her soul on the stage in power ballads like "If You're Not Back in Love by Monday" and "If You Could See Me Now."
In between songs, Millie went on hilarious tirades. She brazenly ranted about her "coochie" being molested by airport security (Miss Millie didn’t mind doing hip gyrations, thrusting herself at the audience), married b-----s and especially R&B music. "Turn on your radio and all them b-----s sound just alike! Auto-Tune, tune out — auto-tune b-----s!" The crowd cheered. She even took a stab at Robin Thicke, "I was watching TV and I heard Robin Thicke is the new king of R&B!" The audience mumbled while the Grammy nominee declared R&B was dead.
Millie didn't hesitate to chop up audience members who were interrupting her show. "B---h, didn't you say you had to leave?” Millie hollered at one woman snapping a picture. “Get the f--k out!" For this audience, an insult from Millie Jackson was an honor.
The highlight of the evening was Millie's classic "The Symphony," where the Goddess of Raunch repeatedly sings "F--k You." Millie appeared at her happiest telling everyone to f--k off. While some might argue her crassness is too much for a 68-year-old woman, as Millie said, "This ain't for church folk!"
But again, momma can still do magic tricks with those vocal pipes. She received a well-deserved standing ovation for the encore, a stirring version of Phil Collins' "I Wish It Would Rain Down."
Overall, she was uncouth, lowbrow and downright offensive — and the crowd loved every millisecond of it! There will never be another Millie Jackson.
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