Kanye West Protege Mr. Hudson Overcomes Fever To Begin Conquest Of America

By Jett Wells

Kanye West's latest protégé, Mr. Hudson, showed off his chops last night at the Canal Room in New York for a promotional mini-concert. Having already conquered Europe, Mr. Hudson is starting to make a name for himself in this country, and last night was a good first step.

In a six-song set, Mr. Hudson carried himself with a confident swagger and stage presence to go along with his orchestra-sized supporting band. He didn't look like an artist piggy-backing on a hip-hop titan. Rather, he looked like a man taking over. He didn't do it alone, and his supporting cast was stellar, including a high-energy steel-pans player and backing vocalist. The band members were wearing white outfits and Mr. Hudson contrasted that with his black jeans, jacket and Billy Idol-esque blonde hair.

The show brought together catchy R&B and a little afro-pop, but the crowd didn't catch on fire until Mr. Hudson closed out with his new single "Supernova." He showed his Chris Martin-like pipes in the chorus, singing "And I feel like taking over/ Let me be your supernova/ Before you make the biggest mistake of your life/ Just give me a chance to make it right." The studio version of the song features a guest spot from Kanye West, but Mr. Hudson did it alone and didn't miss a beat.

In the middle of the set, he found himself in a confessional mood and admitted that he quit drinking only a week ago. He took the storytelling further by saying he was performing with a fever, though he said he wasn't looking for sympathy. All the while doing this, he kept referring to the crowd as America; as if he was trying to stress he was a foreigner looking in from the outside. The crowd stuck with him, though, and even offered him up some high-fives. Clearly, the border has been opened wide to him.