Tuesday, March 30, 2010

erykah badu... envelope pusher

I remember when Erykah Badu came on the scene in 1997 with Baduizm and my nephew who was about 9 at the time asked me, in his own words, what the hell is she saying Auntie K? (he always was a little cusser)... My response was, after I laughed at him, she’s telling the truth, her truth, the world’s truth, whatever truth... it's a story she’s telling and all that matters is how you interpret it.


Sometimes I wish she had an explanation for each of her songs written, or a little snippet of what she was thinking of when she wrote it, anything to allow me to get in her head for a minute but then would the song mean the same thing for me if I was spoon-fed her thoughts… probably not.

That brings me to New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, her newest release available today. I am hyped, as always, and I already downloaded it. I have yet to be disappointed by anything Erykah has produced and even though Part One was a little dark, its message hard to swallow, I was and still am enlightened… her music makes me think and jam…

One of the things that I admire is that Erykah pushes the envelope… the political, the cultural, the emotional… if you have ever seen her interviews, she’s hilarious and to see her live is an awesomely, spiritual experience.

Window Seat… her newest release… the one that’s played on the radio, probably the only one that will be played on the radio… If Erykah is more than a radio artist, it is simply because of her fan base.  While most mainstream artist get tons of airplay, most soul artist do not.

The controversial, uncut, video of Window Seat has also been released and it is posted below. This video, along with her body of work is bound to be misinterpreted, mis-taken and most of all, it's bound to make you think..




5 comments:

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

I will admit that she tries to be different. I think she 'tries to be different' so much that I really could take her or leave her. Some artists try hard to push the envelope while others do it and make it more believable.

I like her music but she came out in the 90s saying she was 'doing something different' when it was really just a mixture of blues, soul and jazz. I digress...

The video was boring. I get what she was trying to do but was the nudity really necessary? If she was trying to be vulnerable, why take off everything but the headwrap? I was baffled and I have a degree in film and video!

But once again, she has caused controversy that will place her name on the lips of most people right as her album hits stores. Coincidence? I think not...

MsKnowitAll said...

Kay C... I know Badu can come across quirky and unbelievable but I still dig the mess out of her. When she came out in the 90s, her sound was different than what was the mainstream.
What artist doesn't want controversy? What artist doesn't want to be on everybody's lips? The only problem I have with Badu is that she feels the need to answer Why? questions....

GC (God's Child) said...

3 cheers for Ms. Badu
she has managed to be different and thought-provoking without being intentionally shocking

Lovebabz said...

I love her! I love the fact that she is naked without being sexual! So much of the videos have women naked, with heels and lollipops. In most videos women are accessories, their nakedness is eye candy. Ms Badu says being naked is not about sex or showing off the body, but being seen and heard at the same time.

I loved the symbolism of doing it guerilla style and referencing the JFK assasination... a throw back to history... kill anyone or anything that goes against the grain, that goes against group thinking. Yes this video required a different intellect indeed. Entertainment that forces you to think provocatively. I LOVED IT!

Don said...

Yep. This is true @ probably the only one that will be played on the radio… If there is anything that annoys people the most ... it's when they do not conform to what is considered as normal ideology.

That alone, I believe, makes Erykah Badu interesting. Then, once you consider the fact that she has a method to her 'intelligent madness,' she truly becomes an artist. With some pretty good music, as well.

The video: I liked it. Sometimes, especially in America, you have to ruffle some collars and step on some toes to make people stop and listen. I think Badu accomplished her mission considering the fact that she was expecting to get arrested during the video shoot, but didn't.

She definitely has a mission...what that mission is, I have no idea. But I am under the belief it will be worthy.

I saw your comment on the post: You had me crying laughing at your ending sentence. That definitely plays a part, doesn't it? LOL!