Headlining the Saturday of Spring Weekend is none other than the queen of soul music (and my personal favorite artist of all time), Erykah Badu! If you’re not super familiar with her or her music, have a seat and read up.
Erykah Badu has a twenty-year-long history of revolutionizing the intersections of soul, funk, R&B, hip-hop, and rap, starting with the release of her debut album, Baduizm, in 1997. Standout tracks on the album like “On & On” and “Appletree” cemented her status as a musical icon right from the get-go. A follow-up live album featured the new single, “Tyrone,” which would go on to become wildly popular (and pop up again, almost twenty years later—but more on that in a bit).
Mama‘s Gun, her second studio album, brought even more hits, like “Didn’t Cha Know” and “Bag Lady” as she continued to explore her distinct sound and incredible lyricism. “Danger,” off of her next album, Worldwide Underground, is an absolutely wild trip. Check out this video to get a sense of how wild the drop is. Other popular tracks include “Love Of My Life Worldwide” and “Woo.”
After a five-year hiatus, Badu released the first of a proposed “New Amerykah” trilogy, Fourth World War. The album is filled with amazing pieces, and this live video of “Honey” is maybe my most-watched YouTube video of all time. The second album of the trilogy, Return of the Ankh, features the iconic single (and infamous accompanying music video) “Window Seat,” another personal favorite.
While the third New Amerykah album never saw the light of day, in late 2015, adoring fans were shocked by the release of a mixtape centered around Badu’s remix of Drake’s seminal “Hotline Bling.” The tape, But You Caint Use My Phone, takes its name from the punchline of “Tyrone.” BYCUMP is Badu’s most future-facing work, incorporating trap, electronic music, and innovative effects processing to transform her sound. On the mixtape, you can find covers of Drake, Usher, Todd Rundgren (?), and even herself.
To get better acquainted with her music, check out the Spotify playlist included at the bottom of this post!
But Badu is so much more than her music. Anyone who listens to her lyricism knows that she possesses this incredible wisdom and sophistication—and it reflects in her live performances. Expect too-flawless-to-be-real vocals, an insanely tight band, and lots of tea-sipping this Saturday.
In short, if you’re not going insane with excitement, you should be. Get hyped for an absolutely incredible musician to take the stage this weekend!
(And keep an eye out for me losing my mind in the front row.)