Bethonie Butler
July 16, 2007 AT 08:01 PM EDT

On Friday I took a trip to New York’s(non-colonial) Williamsburg to seesinger/bassist/funk master MeshellNdegeocello perform an intimate, low-key show. Theclub was small and stuffy, but the atmosphere made her music that much morepersonal. There was no choreography, no sparkly stage costumes — just Meshell (in shorts and ahoodie), her bass, her beats, and thistalented musician on guitar.

The $15 coverwas, to say the least, a steal. This woman has been nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, her music has been featured in films (she sings “Fool of Me” during this scene from Love and Basketball), and she hasworked with everyone from John Mellencamp (they collaborated on a cover of VanMorrison’s ”WildNight”) to Prince. But like her performance style, her career has been decidedly low-key.And while I wish more people knew about her (can you hear me now?), I think her choice to focuson the music (as opposed to a glitzy image) has worked for her.

Who are some of your favorite underrated artists,PopWatchers? And do you like them to stay under the radar, as your little secret? Or would you rather see them join themainstream?

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