Lil’ Mo’s 2004 single “Dem Boyz” sounds both nostalgic and ahead of its time now, with its drum-centric go-go groove. The singer first came on the scene as an associate of Missy Elliott. But Lil’ Mo was generally easier to decipher than the dada-ish Elliott. Mo embraced body positivity (“Hot Girls”), and the pleasures of having a man with a big bank account.
As with Lil’ Mo, the other artists on this bill have been at it long enough to have a mature perspective on romance, struggle and success. Singer and songwriter Avant released his debut album in 2000. With expressive ornamental outbursts, Avant has often sounded a little like R. Kelly, with his sweet falsetto and crisp beats. Like Kelly, Avant is a man who values a home-cooked meal. Also on the bill are Brandy and Ashanti.
The hits from these singers will be familiar to radio listeners. If there’s a unifying message to the music of these different artists, it’s be what you are, follow what you love, have endurance, respect yourself and believe in love.
Lil’ Mo, Avant, Brandy and Ashanti perform as part of the R&B Remix tour at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, on Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $60 to $85. foxwoods.com.