All Articles Tagged "erykah badu"
When a woman glides into a room the way Erykah Badu did for her Genius Talk during the BET Experience in LA this past weekend, you know you better listen up.
Ms. Badu has always been unapologetically herself, which isn’t easy for a brown-skinned Black girl with natural hair in a world that hates those features — and even more difficult in an industry that says light, white, and tight is always right. And yet, we can now turn on our TV screens and see the second coming of Baduism embodied in Janelle Monae, which is why having these two on a panel sponsored by AT&T appropriately titled “Free To Be” was one of the best things to come out of Los Angeles Saturday afternoon.
The confidence these singers have isn’t easy to come by. In fact, when Genius Talk moderator Reggie Ossé of The Combat Jack Show asked the ladies how they do it — it being be their out-side-of-the-box selves — Janelle Monae said she almost didn’t, recounting how she debated succumbing to a more mainstream image when she was back in Atlanta trying to get discovered. Of course the way she’s currently embraced by the industry is a testament to her good judgement call, but beyond helping bridge the gap of what’s acceptable beauty, Monae said the heart of her movement is being true to self. “You have to live with you so you better learn to love you.”
Even Erykah Badu admitted doing things outside the norm doesn’t always come easy to her. “It’s not that I don’t experience fear, it’s that I understand fearlessness comes first,” she told the crowd, adding that “Everything we do in America as Black women or Black people is a political statement.”
One example of that bold fearlessness regularly on display these days is Black women’s decision to wear their hair natural, according to the lyricist. “We’re making a political statement when we’re wearing an afro or we’re wearing locs; we’re being who we are, especially in a society that does not encourage that part of our beauty.” Acknowledging that at the end of the day how one chooses to wear their hair is an aesthetic choice, Ms. Badu said, “It really doesn’t matter as long as you are clear about who you are.”
Being clear about who you are is an awareness Monae supports as well, admitting that before she achieved international fame she was hypercritical of other women who had large platforms they didn’t always use for the greater good, so to speak. Now in a position to assert her own positive influence on other women, Monae said she had to learn the truth of the matter is “Everybody’s purpose is not yours.”
Thankfully, Monae has made her purpose artistic expression in all forms which is why she signed four artists of similar mind — like “Classic Man” Jidenna — to her Wondaland records imprint. The young beauty also stated that as she continues on in her journey in the world of music she hopes to make another female artist feel the way Erykah made her feel when she came into the industry because “The best thing a woman can have is her sh*t together.”
To spice up an otherwise dull and uninspiring space, I’ve been known to switch the background image on my computer’s desktop at work. I fill the screen with shots of my favorite music artists, faraway lands I’d like to visit, abstract goodness – things that make my heart smile. Plus, I’ve got that whole dual monitor action going on so I can look over at one screen and be say, “Well, isn’t that pretty?” when I need a distraction. And I need a distraction often because my day job sucks.
Cue in the stunningly bad a** photo of Erykah Badu you see above. A 2014 Givenchy shoot for Purple Fashion Magazine, the pic is a perfect blend of sporty, glamorous elegance. I mean, the woman could rock a band-aid and call it fashion and we would all believe it.
My company’s new CEO, let’s call him Mark, a middle-aged White man who lives and works in a different state, recently visited the office. This was not our first encounter. We exchanged CEO-employee appropriate pleasantries before: “How about this weather, huh?” You know,
You know, ish like that. As Mark made his rounds, he paused when he saw the image of Badu on my computer screen. I should have expected an off-kilter remark on account of the image’s boldness, but I truly wasn’t prepared for him to ask me, “Is that you?” It sounded like less of a question, actually, and more like a statement. Dumbfounded and in no mood to call him out for being an ignoramus, I said a quick little prayer, took a deep breath and calmly corrected him. “It’s Erykah Badu,” I said. He replied, “Who’s that? I’ve never heard of her.”
As Mark made his rounds, he paused when he saw the image of Badu on my computer screen. I should have expected an off-kilter remark on account of the image’s boldness, but I truly wasn’t prepared for him to ask me, “Is that you?” It sounded like less of a question, actually, and more like a statement. Dumbfounded and in no mood to call him out for being an ignoramus, I said a quick little prayer, took a deep breath, and calmly corrected him. “It’s Erykah Badu,” I said. He replied, “Who’s that? I’ve never heard of her.”
Just kill everything inside of me, why don’t you?
Never mind the fact that Badu has been around for, like, eleventeen hundred years, won four Grammys, graced countless magazine covers, and given interview after interview. I guess Badu’s music just hadn’t reached his corner of Mars yet.
More importantly, let’s bear in mind here that Erykah Badu and I look nothing alike. Trust me, we look nothing alike. Under other circumstances, I would have been flattered to be mistaken for the iconic beauty and soul maven, but this was a White man saying this, owner of a gaze that historically undervalues Black women. In that moment, I realized that the tired Black people look alike stereotype is still alive and well. To top it off, I was hit with a double whammy: I was being both seen and unseen at the same damn time. Allow me to explain.
Mark’s eyes saw an image of a Black woman. His mind thought, Nneka is a Black woman. Putting two and two together, he wrongfully equated that the two (the image of Badu and me in the flesh) were one and the same. He didn’t utter the stereotype out loud, but he may as well have. In that moment, he saw me solely as a color. These are the same eyes that fail to see Black women’s complexities, our differences, and our inherent, God-given beauty. Eyes that view us as homogenized, one-size-fits-all entities. A mindset that sees no problem in uttering statements like, “She’s pretty for a Black girl,” or that exoticize our so-called otherness. Limited scopes, narrow perspectives.
This all speaks to a much bigger problem found in white-dominated workplaces. According to the Black Women’s Roundtable 2015 Report, Black women in the U.S. with bachelor’s degrees are paid on average $10,000 less than White men with associate’s degrees. And according to a recent Essence Black Women at Work Panel, many Black women in the workforce are afraid of being labeled as the angry Black woman, so they won’t say anything when they find themselves in uncomfortable positions in the office. Mark’s mistake was a clear example of how Black women are often undervalued and unseen, a phenomenon that occurs both in and out of the workplace.
After Mark left, the room fell silent. My coworkers and I laughed and quickly bonded over the awkward exchange. Despite his mistake being an annoying one, Mark’s naivete and questionable comment didn’t keep me from posting and admiring Erykah Badu’s beautiful image on my desktop. And in it, I see all of the eccentricities that make Black women beautiful.
One of the problems with social media is that unless you’re Skyping, too many things are easily interpreted as “shade” or sarcasm. People can’t be honest about anything without the instigation of followers whose whole purpose of going on-line is to be entertained by the squabbling of celebs and no one can make a joke without following it with a bunch of smiley emojis to convey they’re ”just playing”.
Well Azealia Banks wasn’t feeling what Erykah Badu had to say about her music last Thursday as the two traded a few insults after Badu expressed that she “tried” listening to Azealia Banks. According to a a Vibe article, the exchange went a little something like this when a fan (@pradahungry) asks Ms. Badu if she ever listened to Azealia Banks:
“@pradahungry Does @fatbellybella listen to azealia banks? Always wanted to know.”
“@AZEALIABANKS @fatbellybella @pradahungry lol, what’s the shade?”
Azealia apparently didn’t appreciate that Erykah Badu wasn’t giving her work raving reviews and accused the “Window Seat” singer of being jealous:
“@AZEALIABANKS When artists grow old and begin to recognize their own mortality they throw shade at younger spirits”
“@AZEALIABANKS We see it happen ALL the time.”
“@AZEALIABANKS Whether or not you like me… You are WATCHING, and that’s what’s most important.”
Erykah Badu didn’t get what all the fuss was about and cool, calmly and collected checked Azealia:
“@fatbellybella Well s**t I did try. Maybe you’re right.. I’m just to old to get it. You cool tho?”
To which Azealia, clearly still in her feelings, responded:
“@AZEALIABANKS @fatbellybella I’m cool, I was just trying to make sure you were cool….”
“@fatbellybella @bhrisbrown lol you just keep rocking ur head wraps and buying ur musky oils off the table on 125th.”
The last comment was in reference to another fan (@bhrisbrown) who pointed out that Ms. Badu had her location turned on and was reppin “Queens”.
When will folks realize it’s OK for folks to not be a fan of your work and not be jealous or feel threatened by you. Everything is not a personal attack. If you can’t handle Twitter without your ego getting bruised, maybe you need to log out.
When your mother is Erykah Badu, people will be interested to know if you, her children, will be able to carry a tune. Well, a recent video the singer posted on Facebook proves that her daughters Puma and Mars can certainly sing.
In what looks like a rather candid mommy-daughter moment, Erykah, Mars and Puma are laying in bed singing Colbie Caillat’s “Try.”
If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a very inspirational song that reminds women that you don’t have to compromise yourself in order to be liked.
“You don’t have to try so hard,
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing.”
It also asks the very important question, “Do you like you?”
We don’t know what Erykah does with her children everyday but it’s really nice to see that her daughters, and other young girls across the country, are hearing and internalizing this message at such a young age.
Take a listen to the video below and tell us what you think.
How Much Did She Make? Erykah Badu Sings On The Streets Of New York For Money As A ‘Hustle’ Experiment
Though she could be in the studio creating the follow-up to New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), Erykah Ba
du is instead focusing her energy on doing experiments, funny ones, like singing on the streets of New York City for not only money, but to see what responses she can get from those passing by. When explaining her video (which was shot on her iPhone), Badu said that this isn’t supposed to be some deep commentary on the struggles of the homeless or performers who show off their talents to make ends meet. It’s just an idea she had for “entertainment purposes only” that she wanted to document.
“I just kind of always wanted to see what it would be like to sing for money on the streets. In no way is this video a reflection of my feelings about homeless or unfortunate families nor individuals who have no other means of survival in our world. Tho each individual set of circumstances is unique, We must all do our share in OUR WORLD. Instead this short film was shot w/ my iPhone and edited in iMovie for entertainment purposes only and serves as a personal ‘hustle’ experiment for me.”
And she’s not kidding. She’s not singing a particular song in a moving manner for pedestrians, but instead, makes up a song that I guess we can call “Give Me Your Money,” sings about not wanting to get a job all while joking with people on the street until they drop change in her huge hat.
The song went something like this:
Give me some money/Please, sir, give me some money/Sister, I need some money/Please, can you give me some money?/Haven’t sold a record in about two years/Haven’t sold a record in a long time/A b***h need some money.
Badu made some money, but it was only $3.60. But what’s interesting about that is if you’ll recall the lyrics from her debut single, “On & On,” Badu was “born under water, with three dollars and six dimes.”
I think she could have made a lot more if she wasn’t in Times Square wearing gold chains and singing jibberish. But I have to give her credit for putting herself out there. She definitely was entertaining. Check out the humorous clip for yourself below:
“I Don’t Want To Be A 40-Year-Old Rapper”: Andre 3000 Talks Outkast, Battling Depression And If Erykah Badu Really Changed Him
Every Outkast fan lost their s**t just a little bit earlier this year when Andre 3000 came out of hiding to get back on stage with Big Boi for a string of performances at different festivals and events. Their first big unveiling after such a long hiatus was at Coachella in April, and well, let’s just say that reviews were mixed (though I enjoyed it…). Speaking on his return to the spotlight with The New York Times, Andre 3000 was open and honest about that performance, his issues with performing as a part of Outkast at this point, his own musical endeavors, depression and his son, Seven. He also spoke on that running joke that Erykah Badu had all the men she’s been with dressing and acting different. Here are some highlights from that chat:
His Issues With Performing And The Coachella Criticism:
I think people could see it at Coachella, the very first show. It was foreign. My head wasn’t there. I kind of fluffed through rehearsals. A few hours before the Coachella show, I get a message that Prince and Paul McCartney are going to be there. My spirit is not right, and idols are standing side-stage, so as the show started, I’m bummed. This is horrible. In my mind I was already gone to my hotel room halfway through. So Prince called a couple days after. It was my first time actually talking to Prince. He said: “When you come back, people want to be wowed. And what’s the best way to wow people? Just give them the hits.”
I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. He said: “I’ve been there. I’ve tried to do other things. After you give them the hits, then you can do whatever.”
Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. If I feel like I’m getting to a place where it’s mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on. But I felt like: Let me do it now ’cause these kids [in the audience], it feels good to know that they’re happy. I really don’t actually get anything from performing. … I feel good in being able to look at Big Boi and say, ‘Hey, man, we did it.’ Big Boi’s got these great records on his own, but this means something else for him.
Worries About Staying In Rap:
I remember, at like 25, saying, ‘I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.’ I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood.
I struggle with the verses. I don’t sit around and write raps, I just don’t. Now the only time I’m really inspired to write raps is if an artist that I enjoy invites me to their party. So if Future calls and says, ‘Hey man, I want you to do this,’ I don’t want to let Future down. I don’t want to let Lil Wayne or Drake down, because I love them.
Why He Left In The First Place:
My thing is I’m an idealist. What I get off on is doing things people said could not be done. And so if I’m at a place where I feel like I’m regurgitating or doing the same thing, it’s doing nothing for me. I get bored really fast. I saw a certain thing in rap. It started becoming acceptable. It wasn’t rebellious. So what could be more rebellious than singing love songs, emotional songs [on his half of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”] when everybody else is mean-mugging, saying “I’m a player.” I want to say: “I love these bitches, man. I really do.”
Apologizing To Big Boi On T.I.’s Song, “Sorry”:
We’ve left millions and millions of dollars on the table. We didn’t even tour for our biggest album [Speakerboxxx/The Love Below]. I just wanted to say I know how hard it must be.
His Past Relationship With Erykah Badu:
It’s funny, the parallels [to me]. People like to joke about [his former girlfriend] Erykah Badu, the mother of my child: “Oh, you completely changed.” I was on my path before I even met Erykah. But one thing I can say. I’m singing around the house, and Erykah’s like: “That sounds great. Why you not doing it?
Being A Better Father To His Son, Seven:
Seven’s been going to school in Atlanta for the last two years. I wake up every morning, take him to school, pick him up from school, going to soccer games, going to wrestling matches. Total dad, which is cool, because so much of that was taken by my early Outkast years. We were at the height, so a lot of the time that should have been [spent] with him, I’m on the road entertaining everybody else.
If The Loss Of His Mother And Father Made Touring Hard:
No, it was actually the biggest blessing ever. These shows force me to have to be in front of those people, so it was good therapy for me.
You can check out the full insightful interview over at the Times website. Let us know what you think about all that Andre 3K had to say.
If you’ve been around children lately, you know that the movie Frozen speaks to them on a deeper level. We adults may be able to appreciate the animated, Disney film but the little ones bond with it. There are countless videos of children singing, dancing and humming the theme song “Let It Go” all over the internet. It’s practically an epidemic.
And while you might think children who are exposed to superb music, wouldn’t have the same reaction to the catchy song, Erykah Badu’s daughter proves that’s not exactly the case.
Over a month ago, the soul singer posted a video of [presumably] one of her daughter’s watching the movie and singing the song…with fervor.
While baby girl was into it, Erykah, on the other hand, was not.
Check out the comical vines below.
Peep the captions on the videos:
“If I hear this song one more damned time tonight I’m gone break down nervous..”
“Ooo please let it go..”
Do you have a child in your life who can’t get enough of Frozen? If so, know that you’re not suffering alone.
Twitter is the place most of us go to write about our fleeting emotions throughout the day, subtweet about your job, comment on the latest pop culture event or share the good and bad news of the internet with the rest of your followers. And unless you’ve managed to join the elite club that is Black Twitter, for the most part, your tweets are a drop in the bucket. But if you’re a celebrity, your thoughts and feelings are weighed more heavily and your presence on this social network puts you in touch with adoring masses or an angry mob.
Most celebs need to ignore the haters and naysayers. But Erykah Badu aka @fatbellybella is just not like most celebrities. And if you come for her and she sees you, you can bet you’re going to get mildly clowned… for an extended period of time.
And honestly, the way some people come at Erykah, most of it is quite justified.
Click through the following pages and see what I mean.
Over the past few weeks, Common has spoken quite openly about his relationships with both Serena Williams and Erkyah Badu. During a recent chat with The Breakfast Club, he went on to further expound on his relationships with these celebrity women, as well as his past relationship with actress Taraji P. Henson.
While the actor and rapper says that he was definitely serious about both Erkyah and Serena, it doesn’t really seem that a reunion between either couple is likely.
“It’s like once I’ve experienced that person its like man, sometimes life goes on,” he explained. “I can’t say I never would go back but Serena and Erkyah was the most serious relationships that I had as an adult and after, it’s one of those things, it’s like, ‘I have to move forward.’ It was real love right there. Both of those women I could’ve married. I was like if I’m not supposed to be there, we’re just supposed to be friends.”
Speaking of marriage, Common doesn’t seem too sure that he’ll be making the big leap in the future—or ever.
“I don’t know. I was thinking about that last night while talking to one of my lady friends. I don’t know if I’m marriage material, maybe someday” he expressed.
“I be focused on my music and my work a lot. Sometimes that’s hard to balance with a relationship. I do like relationships, but a lot of times when I’m in relationships, I don’t make my best albums. Put it this way, I would have to find the right relationship. You know, a woman who understands the time that you gotta give. to your work. That’s really what it is.”
He also further explained his previous comment that Erkyah has that “good good.”
“The hood knows what it is. Erkyah got something with her, she got something special. Erykah a raw girl, she got a lot to her. She’s from the hood, point blank. She’s just one of those people from the hood that’s artsy, artistic, spiritual, she’s got a lot to her.”
As for the public believing that Serena broke his heart, Common had this to say:
“Me and Serena was together. We broke up. I don’t know specifically her and Drake, it felt like obviously something was going on [after we broke up], I ain’t dwell on it too much. I ain’t have no problem with that, you do what you do. After a while I felt like in some of Drake’s songs he was saying stuff that was subliminal to me. And I was like, you just don’t know nowadays cats be doing them sneak disses and after a while it was like I’m just going to come out and say what I need to say. It was a show I was at and I left and Drake said something out to the crowd, some tough stuff. So then I was like, ‘aight, it was that time’ because I knew he was directing it to me. We kept it on record and after that it was squashed.”
The Chicago rapper-turned-actor also confessed to confronting Serena about her relationship with Drake.
“I definitely talked to her about it. At the end of the day, once she aint ya lady, what can I say? It don’t have nothing to do with me at that point.”
He also seemed to confirm rumors that he once had a thing with Kerry Washington by releasing a bashful giggle.
“Easy, easy. Ain’t no scandal here. She’s married now.”
Out of all of his celebrity exes, Common says his mama loved Taraji the most.
“My mother loved Taraji and funny enough she got cool with Serena even more after we broke up.”
Watch Common’s full interview on the next page. Thoughts?
Everyone has to start out somewhere and somehow, and in the music industry, it’s not easy. Beyoncé started with Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake got his start with N’Sync. The following famous folks named in this slideshow have had some crazy success solo (some more than others), but at one point, they tried to get their careers off the ground or hone their skills in bands and groups. These are 15 singers who started in groups.
Around the time that New Jack Swing was still everything in music, Elliott was a part of a group called Fayze, and good friend Timothy Mosley (Timbaland) was the group’s producer. Eventually, Fayze’s music was heard by musical genius and Jodeci member DeVante Swing when they sang for him after a Jodeci concert, and he signed them to his Swing Mob label. The women went from Fayze to Sista, and though they worked on an album with Timbaland and DeVante, it was shelved. When Swing Mob went down in ’95, Sista went their separate ways, and Elliott focused on working with Timbaland, and other former Swing Mob members, Ginuwine, Tweet and Playa.