Music Review • “Now, me and baby got this situation. See brotha got this complex occupation.” Erica Wright AKA Erykah Badu stepped onto the scene like a thief in the night and gave us one of the most talked about albums of the 90’s. Baduizm gave Badu that “Queen of Neo-Soul” title and rightfully so. This is one of the few albums that gave neo soul the commercial success it deserved.
After dropping out of Grambling State University to focus on her music career, Badu gave the music industry incense, & turbans with a side of jazz & R&B. The debut single “On & On” pulled us in with those drums & 808 blowing out the speakers where she sings about world issues and how the world keeps turning despite of what’s going on. The hit gave Badu her first Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance and hit #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hip Songs chart. Can I keep it real with you? I didn’t know WTH she was talking about lyrically until I hit my 20’s. All I knew was that beat was FYE!
The 2nd single “Next Lifetime” hit on being in love with a man but longing for another one. “I know I’m a lot of woman, but not enough to divide the pie.” Those lyrics alone explained the entire song. Crazy part is the leading man in the video was her then boyfriend Andre 3000. Let me find out she was lusting after another man while with the homie 3 stacks. LOL!
Then she dropped my favorite song of hers “Other side of the Game.” I have never been in that type of situation she was singing about, but I felt all the emotions. That song just take me to another place that I can’t explain. It’s the jazz tone & her soulful voice that makes me feel so at ease when I listen to it. *puts track on repeat as I’m writing this*
Overall, this is my favorite album of Badu with Mama’s Gun coming in at a strong 2nd. She gave all the aspects of neo-soul with jazz and R&B. This is the album that introduced us to incense music. When you listen to it, you are either about to light incense or burn some sage. I can literally picture Badu in the studio with all the lights off with candles and incense surrounding her as she lays on the floor while recording.