Soulquarius Sets New Standard To Prove R&B Is Alive & Well

When the Soulquarius line up was revealed months ago, R&B fans from all generations went into a frenzy to prepare for “an R&B Jam” that would soon become a night of fun, soulful love ballads and 90’s hip hop classics. The event would take place in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory Grounds on Saturday night (Feb 18). Aside from expected rain, obvious crowd control issues and production difficulties throughout the evening, the Soulquarius music festival would prove that despite a constantly evolving music industry, R&B remains a genre that is timeless.

So what happens when some of your LimeWire faves and 90’s icons all come together for a music festival? The fantasy R&B jam featured performances from Erykah Badu, R. Kelly, Ashanti, Brandy, Monica, Mya, Pretty Ricky, Kelis, The Dream, Baby Bash and Ja Rule to name a few, who all performed at various stages throughout The Observatory Grounds. The Internet, BJ The Chicago Kid, Willow Smith and Ari Lennox were also on the line up and appealed to the younger demographics during the first half of the day. The Internet sung their hit, “Girl,” and Ari Lennox treated the crowd to songs from her EP, Pho.

(Photo Credit: Vickey Ford of Sneakshot for Okayplayer)

Ja Rule and Ashanti reminded everyone of their 106 & Park number 1’s with a banging set featuring “What’s Luv” and “Always On Time.” Singer Lloyd surprised the crowd and performed “Southside” alongside a stunning Ashanti as well.

Later inside The Observatory, pandemonium emerged once Pretty Ricky’s set reminded us of the sensual “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number,”  “My Body” and “Playhouse.” No seriously, the crowd knew every word. It felt like middle school all over again. Mya, who later graced the stage in long blonde locs performed alongside her band classics like “Fallen” and “Lady Marmalade.” She marveled the crowd with her dancers and sexy choreography.

Erykah Badu, who was also the co-headliner, performed a list of iconic jams that included “On and On,” “Didn’t Cha Know,” “Out My Mind,” “Just In Time,” and “The Healer.” Badu not only brought down the house with her poetic voice, but had a few of us crowd attendees in tears–myself included.

(Photo Credit: by Drew A. Kelley,)


Miss Jaz is the "small town girl, big city hustle" from Cleveland, OH. The self proclaimed superwoman is a child of hip-hop & NYU graduate student.

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