(Song of the Day – 3/28/08)
I was hangin with a friend of mine the other day when he mentioned the new Erykah Badu album (New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War). I realized that I completely forgot. Actually, I’m about a month off…
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can let her soul out onto a recording like Badu. Her raw and unfiltered inner voice is shared with every listener creating an intimate, soulful and real connections.
Badu, while definitely holding her place within the music community has released an extremely strong set of albums that have been, in my opinion, grossly overrated over the past 10 years. Since Baduizm, her power as a poet and musician has grown. Badu exudes powerful feminine energy and continues to be a symbol of the strength of her community, be it women, black or simply a child of this world. Listening to her music does not make me feel better as a critic, but rather, it brings me to the level… and the connection is real.
For her latest masterwork, Badu strays away from the live soul setup to favor a studio approach, bringing in a wide variety of talented producers from across the spectrum. Personal favorites like Madlib, 9th Wonder and ?uestlove are joined by trip-masters Sa-Ra to create what is both real and other-worldly all at once. Dealing with “the issues”with such grace and integrity, Badu has it all contained. Never afraid to be progressive, Erykah Badu brings it once again. Syncopation and downtempo grooves flood the deep and layered tracks in such a way that many have been turned off by its esoteric nature, but the more time you spend with it, the more interesting it becomes.
After listening to the album I was truly hooked on her feel, her sound and her attitude once again. Then a friend of mine turned me on to her latest VH1 SoulStage performance I was totally in love. If you can treat yourself to one music-related activity today, hang out with this show. Back again in the live situation Badu explains that recording is “perfecting a moment” while live “is creating a moment.” You can feel the energy and the group is soooo tight that they shift tempo and structure on the fly, all in stride. It is one of the best performances I’ve seen online and makes me want to do whatever it takes so see her live. Please, PLEASE check it out. It is nothing short of beautiful.
If Erykah Badu is proof of anything, it is the power of real, honest music. Enjoy.
She is, without a doubt, one of the strongest, sexiest women alive… fake fro and all.