Ode to Badu

“Sistahs how yall feel? Fellas yall alright?” I was about 6 or 7 when I was introduced to a voice that was so soothing and comforting that I still remember that initial feeling after almost 20 years. I could not even understand at that moment that I was falling in love with music. It was the sultry and velvet voice of Miss. Badu.

“I planned my success; I knew it was going to happen”-Erykah Badu

Just an FYI, my favorite album (of all of my favorite artists) is her “Live” album. The first time I heard it I was riding in the backseat of my mom’s car in elementary school. I could not relate to one thing she was singing about, but I envied the people who were in the audience during the recording. I mimicked them with the seatbelt fastened tightly across my chest and my invisible microphone in my hand. I had all the sassiness in the world as Miss Badu spoke about love, hustle, heartbreak, confusion, and motherhood. She even made a dedication to Chaka Khan. Hearing her sing Chaka was like a musical inception: Slaying inside of slayage. She did that and I am STILL not ready when that track starts. Y’all remember Ms. Jackson by Outkast? That was an apology to her mother and her family. She’s that BAD. 

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                Looking the part via photopin (license)

As I grew older and started to understand the songs she sang; I started branching out and listening to some of her other albums. Pain, anguish, love, admiration, regret, and pettiness flowed from her and into me though one of the most distinct voices I have ever heard. But don’t get me wrong, Badu can have a good time. You can tell when she’s doing something she really enjoys. Also, seeing her interact on social media with others who love her and those who just want attention is so satisfying. Don’t think you can come at her sideways either. She is in a league all her own.

“I consider my musical ability to be a gift from the Creator. It’s not that I try to work hard or nothing like that, it’s a gift, it was given to me, and I appreciate it.”- Erykah Badu

Calling myself a fan really understates how I feel. She taught me the healing properties of music and I am forever grateful for the impact her words has had on me. I added her to the list of women who made me into a woman because she is that much of an inspiration. I call her Mother Earth (I mean if we had a visual on who she is, I’m quite sure this is accurate).

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photo credit: punk27fay Erykah Badu via photopin (license)

Badu is considered one of the pioneers of neo-soul music, I can’t express enough how important she is to black history, music culture, and black women. She is magic and light and seems to be the true definition of  being “your fave’s fave”. The beauty of her music is that she reveals that what makes her….well her, is what makes all of us women, sisters, lovers, fighters, and soul-searchers. She followed me on twitter a few months ago and I just want to let you know that I am bragging about that to everyone I meet. 

“I grew up with all mothers, all women. I come from a long line of matriarchs, very strong women”-Erykah Badu

Whatever plans you have this weekend I encourage you to visit or revisit a Badu album or two. She’s not hard to find. Head straight to iTunes or your music streaming service and get your life. Me personally, New Amerykah Part 2 (Return of the Ankh) will be my weapon of choice against all negativity, strife, and bitterness that seems to ooze out of the world these days. Arm yourself and you will be glad you did and maybe she will transport you as she has done to me many times. We all need it.

Feel free to comment with your fave memory or Badu tune!

Peace and Blessings Blackbirds,

Featured photo: photo credit: ashkatash Erykah Badu @ Fox Theatre NYE via photopin (license)

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