All Articles Tagged "erykah badu"
It really sucks when one of your favorite artists releases a good album, and then decides to take their sweet time releasing a follow-up. Sometimes it can be blamed on a sabbatical, not liking the direction of their new music, or an artist simply just playing games. No matter what the reasoning behind such delays, for fans, it can be maddening, especially when folks (and their reps) keep saying it’s on its way. Enough with the lies! Just drop the music already! Here are nine examples of albums we’ve been waiting on and yet they still haven’t seen the light of day (and some probably won’t).
Has anyone else noticed that when it comes to today’s R&B singer, people only speak on Beyoncé and Rihanna? And when they do, a majority of the time, it’s to have a debate about which diva is better. Somebody has to be ‘on top.’ In the year 2013, women in the R&B game (if not all of music) can’t seem to co-exist to fans; they have to be at the top, or they need to find a new job. Only one can be the head you-know-what in charge, and it’s not based on actual talent anymore, but who sells the most songs, albums and tickets for their tour, and who has a wealth of outside projects bringing them money. Being a successful brand has trumped being an-all around gifted singer/musician. It absolutely sucks.
I miss the days when singers and female rappers hopped on each other’s tracks. I miss when they made cameos in each other’s videos. I miss when they could show the world their talent and sell records with their clothes on, and in the case of someone like Aaliyah, with baggy clothes on at that. And most of all, I miss the days of R&B singers actually dropping R&B tracks and not going completely pop and electronic dance to sell some singles. The day of the talented R&B singer and her soulful music has shifted drastically, and instead of showing solidarity, half of the time, folks are beefing with each other on Twitter over frivolous drama. It’s sad when you consider the bevvy of singers that were around making moves in the ’80s and ’90s by themselves and in groups.
This realization came, not after watching yet another twerk-filled video, but after having a conversation with a co-worker who came to the conclusion that the R&B game is getting smaller and weaker. We were talking about a particular artist who despite some light buzz, still hadn’t had an album released by her label, and was somewhat “famous” for just being seen. My colleague wound up saying, “I just don’t care about R&B singers anymore,” and that kind of made me sad.
In my mind, I thought about how geeked up folks would get about a new Mary J album back in the day. I thought about people’s excitement over Jill Scott and her sound, singing in unison “I’m getting tiiiiiired of yo s**t” to Erykah Badu, blasting Lauryn Hill (though she was also Hip-Hop), jamming to Zhané, dancing to a Janet track, trying to do the Toni voice, and cooling out to Sade. Now, as previously stated, it’s either Bey or Rih. Anybody else gets limited love because for one, everybody’s trying to do MORE than just sing (they want to be on TV and act and take forever to put out new albums). It’s also because we, the media, give a majority of shine to the women only on top, and also because these big names won’t take a break from the spotlight because of fears of fading out of importance and getting a tad bit irrelevant. How long was Bey really on maternity leave? And I think we’ve all come to expect an album a year from Rihanna (she’s got three months left to drop something).
But another big part of it is that the singers looking for shine are lacking star power. They might be able to sing their behinds off, but their label won’t drop their album and would rather let them resort to mixtape after mixtape because they don’t have the “It” factor that singers from back in the day had. Most R&B singers and female lyricists had their own unique style and sound years ago (though in the ’80s everybody and their mom had to do big curly hair). Today, everyone looks the same (you either have a cascading weave or a short cut shaved on the sides with a lot of hair at the crown), everyone’s dressing the same and then blaming each other for stealing old styles, and the tracks don’t necessarily stand out (everybody’s writing angry love songs or boring ones). So the women, in turn, don’t stand out.
Aside from gifted singers who don’t receive as much shine as they should (Janelle Monae, Elle Varner, Melanie Fiona, etc.), R&B is on struggle mode. And if it wasn’t hard enough, some folks doing well who should be considered R&B are trying to act like they’re more rock or dance so they won’t be stuck in a box. The sound has changed with the times, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that impressed. I want that old thing back…
Controversy and music videos seem to go hand in hand. From musicians exploring the dark side of human nature or pushing the envelope when it comes to religion, these 14 music videos certainly had us questioning their “artistic” elements, but we’ll let you be the judge.
Tags:Blurred Lines, Born Free, christina aguilera, controversial music videos, Criminal, D'Angelo, Dirrty, Drill, eminem, erykah badu, fiona apple, Gutta Time, Hate Me Now, Master P, Metallica, MIA, miley cyrus, nelly, p. diddy, Pagan Poetry, Robbie Williams, robin thicke, Rock DJ, stan, tip, Turn The Page, Untitled, Window Seat, Wrecking Ball
I always look at women with buzz cuts as extremely bold and beautiful, mostly because I don’t have the courage to chop my hair off to such a low cut. And probably because I don’t trust my bald head to be so smooth and well…bump-free. So let’s just say I live vicariously through the following beauties, who look or have looked absolutely fabulous with their buzz cuts over the years. And maybe they’ll even give you the courage to try something new with your hair too…
The beauty we know best from Rush Hour 3, who is also a gorgeous French model, chopped her curly coif off years back, and even showed it off in the film (to the shock and damn near horror of Chris Tucker’s character). Lenoir even took it a step further when she dyed the look beach blonde. But the above look, widow’s peak and all, we like best!
What do you get when you mix two of the most talented and creative names in R&B? Surprisingly, a slow and sultry jam.
Janelle Monáe and Miguel, the queen and king of gravity-defying pompadours, team up for the third single off of Monáe’s upcoming album, The Electric Lady, called “Primetime.” On it, both artists sing about waiting for that perfect time to be together, drop everything (including the mysterious facades) and just be. Miguel definitely sounds good crooning next to Monáe as she sings soulfully. The guitar solo adds extra funk to this slow jam as you find yourself bobbing your head slow to it, wondering why it isn’t longer once it begins to fade out too soon. “Primetime” is extremely different from Monáe’s previous singles for The Electric Lady, including “Dance Apocalyptic” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” with Erykah Badu, and it’s still miles ahead of what others are putting out right now. Let’s keep it real.
Check out the single for yourself below and let us know what you think. We’re loving it!
Whether they’re rapping too fast or singing too low, we can never understand what these entertainers are saying once they get behind the mic. We still love them, of course, but we’d just like to know what exactly they’re saying on a track every once in a while .
A friend and I were talking a few days ago about the BET awards. I know, a day late and a dollar short, but we had nothing else to really talk about after talking about our day. Of course, as Erykah Badu fans, we mentioned the performance and how excited we were seeing one of the Queens perform.
Erykah killed it, no, slayed it, with her infectious voice and hypnotic cool. She also never fails to bring her confidence and her bodacious, ahem, assets. But, Erykah has always been like this — the spiritually grounded Earth Mother who cared less about what anyone thought of her, which only made her even more attractive. It’s this vibe that many said turned some men into putty. From Common to Andre 3000, Erykah has history with a few men who “changed” because of her. Common went from newsboy hats to Dashikis. Andre started wearing loincloths. Not to mention, Erykah also has three children – one from Andre — each from a different father.
As a result, Queen Erykah was deemed crazy and then the jokes started coming. First, many of them were harmless — “If you get with Erykah, you may start wearing African cloths,” one of my friends used to say. And, then, similar to the comments I saw on Twitter during the BET Awards, they got a little more problematic — “As long as he doesn’t look at her in the eye, young Kendrick should be fine.”
As funny as it sounds, the comments are pretty alarming.
But, Erykah isn’t the only one who’s been deemed “dangerous” to the male species. Rihanna was said to have made Matt Kemp lose focus during his last few baseball games of the season and made Chris Brown lose his mind… (I’m not even going there). Rumor has it Kim Kardashian is the reason for Kanye’s dramatic musical “transformation” and why he’s sold out to the same commercialism he criticizes so strongly in his music.
What makes comments like these so problematic is not only the blame on a woman for another person’s behavior, but also the “weakness” of a man. It says that if a woman, in particular may be from another country, practice a different religion, or is even aware of her sexuality openly – all traits that can be attributed to Rih, Erykah and Kim – she’s too dangerous or “too much to handle.” Listen, if my turban, maxi skirt and bamboo earrings make a man stop practicing his religion or, worst-case scenario, taking showers, I wasn’t the one who “hypnotized” him to do so. But, blaming women for a man’s behavior, good, bad or indifferent, is the foundation of victim blaming. As easy as it is to say that she was the one who drove him crazy, it’s even simpler to say she’s the reason he harassed her.
But, I digress.
Andre has always worn funky costumes (OutKast, anyone?) and Common has never been particularly mainstream in his way of thinking (shoutout to Soulquarian!), so Erykah really had a lot less to do with how they acted.
The point of the matter is that a man, or any person, changing their lifestyle or behavior is because that change was already deeply rooted in him or her. No woman is going to bring out what isn’t there to begin with. Chances are that the attraction a man has for a woman or vice versa reflects their innate qualities anyway. If you don’t like taking showers, chances are you may attract someone who isn’t too fond of soap either. But, say you eventually grow out of that phase (which, I hope you would). What happens? You move on, and attract someone else who reflects what’s in you.
So, don’t blame Erykah, Kim or any other woman for the man that he becomes.
“Ol Squeezed Stress Ball Head A**”: Erykah Badu Teaches Twitter Follower Not To Come For Her With An Hour Long Roasting Session
If you know anything about Erykah Badu, it’s that she’s one of the deepest thinkers in music, and is usually a pretty calm, cool, and collected individual. But as Dave Chappelle pointed out in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, something most don’t realize about her is that she is funny, and not just serious all the time, and she likes to crack jokes.
This past weekend, after a follower decided to give her two cents about why you shouldn’t see Erykah Badu in concert, the singer caught wind of the shade and threw a major dose of it back. It went something like this:
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha sit yo window seat head a** down.
FOLLOWER: @fatbellybella did I hit a nerve? lol. Calm ur fat, fake righteous a** down “Fat belly bella”
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha long neck a**
FOLLOWER: I’m Somali B***h…We have long Necks #Nefertitineck @fatbellybella
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha so .
FOLLOWER: so …so what b***h,,,i called u out and now u mad..get out of my mentions fat belly bella…tend to ur children…uz a mom. @fatbellybella
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha nawl. Too late now.. You done did it . U bout to be famous in the WORSE way now . Ol squeezed stress ball head a**. Lol
FOLLOWER: Done what fake conscious b***h…come at me…you AND UR 80 baby daddies ..you INDUSTRY HO @fatbellybella
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha don’t try to run now .. Ol 123 waaaayback head a**.
FOLLOWER: Why are you such whorible example for young girls… why so many baby daddies? i need answers fat a** @fatbellybella
ERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha you worried about the wrong thing girl. U need to concentrate on how u gone get that shirt off over yo head.
FOLLOWER: Weak..ur sooo weak…….industry ho…..lol..@fatbellybellaERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha wobble d wobble d wob head a**FOLLOWER: That wobble sound u hear is ur fat a** being passed around in the industry….@fatbellybellaERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha ol large nostril having a** .. Suckin up all the air and s**t . Sit down .@HoldenSaysWha head look like somebody been suckin on it . Ol bee bee head a**.@HoldenSaysWha “Eddie ! I want what’s comin ta me! ” head a**.FOLLOWER: Lol …. You have no idea how to insult me…get off my looks Erykah im East African..Im immuned to ugly insult .. @fatbellybellaERYKAH: @HoldenSaysWha lol u gone Fuk around and owl gone walk up on you and count to 3 and bit the s**t out of your tootsie roll pop head. Lol
“Lol sorry y’all . This is what happens when BULLY’s get drug.”What if I don’t want to ignore the insult ? What if I wanna drag her ? It Tickles me. Jeeeez, I’m sorry . Nobodies perfik.There was NO EXTREME TWITTER BEEF. After being insulted -i chose an ol school remedy. SCO’N. chops bullies down to size. Helps us laugh.
As for the Twitter follower, she told a friend:
“Girl..i made that lame a** b**h relevant again..it was NOT my intention..I was just venting. F’ a fat belly bella..lol”
Personally, I’m from Chicago, the “You got jokes, huh!?” capital of the world and home of the “Lookin a** boy” song that was popular a few years ago. Therefore, I don’t know if I see Erykah really being malicious as much as I just see her trying to be comical. But taking the “I was bullied” stance? I wouldn’t say all that. The follower was just the usual Twitter follower trying to state would could have been a helpful opinion, but did so in an as usual, less than helpful way. It might have been best to ignore @HoldenSaysWha. But I will say, kudos to Erykah for not resorting to calling this girl out her name after homegirl called her a “b***h” and a “ho” multiple times. Either way, Twitter strikes again.
What do you think?
Janelle Monae Covers “Billboard,” Talks Collaborating With Miguel And Prince On Her Anticipated New Album
“We are great friends, and he is a mentor to us, to me,” says Janelle Monáe in the new issue of Billboard when discussing the oh-so extraordinary Prince. The icon is set to make an appearance in some capacity on Monáe’s new album, Electric Lady, which according to the magazine, will turn the pompadour-toting, black-and-white wearing singer “from iconoclast into icon.” In her interview, Monáe says that the Purple One is a good friend who is invested in her career, which is why he decided to do a collaboration with her — a rarity for Prince:
“It’s a beautiful thing to have a friend — someone who cares about your career, and wants to see you go far and to push boundaries and shake up the world — give whatever they possibly can to the cause.
I had a chance to produce an icon. It’s not every day that he collaborates. I’m honored and humbled that he trusted me. He is forever my friend, and I am forever indebted. I can’t say too much else about it.”
The album is set to debut in September, and we’re very excited about it. And not just because Prince is making his presence known on it, not just because we’re huge fans of The ArchAndroid, and not even just because “Fatbellybella” Erykah Badu has already made an appearance, but also because she’s working with another talented pompadour wearing individual — Miguel. The two will team up for a sultry jam called “Primetime.” All in all, with her new album, Monáe has an even deeper message to push to the masses:
“There are two different types of people: Some people come into this world to judge, some people come into this world to jam. Which one are you? It’s a question we should all ask ourselves. My job is to create art that starts a dialogue, to create songs and lyrics that ask society these questions, by using myself as a sacrificial lamb.”
To check out Monáe’s cover story in Billboard, be sure to pick it up on newsstands this week, and stay tuned for that new album in September. We’ll be sure to pick it up when it drops!
Why I Dig Janelle Monáe And The Impact She Is Having On The Music Industry As A Non-Conforming Woman Of Color
It’s 2013, and with some Grammy nods under her belt, a chart-topping song w/the band Fun., a contract with CoverGirl, and a slamming new single, “Q.U.E.E.N,” Janelle Monáe is a glow in the middle of a music industry dim with pre-packaged clones.
I was especially grateful for the new single after seeing much of 2013’s first quarter music attention go to self-indulgent tunes. “Q.U.E.E.N” an electrifying women’s empowerment anthem, asks the tough questions about women’s rights and our ability to simply be who we are – no questions asked. The beat is sick. Monáe’s rap is beyond dope. And the video reintroduces her with a new edge but the same black and white baseline of authenticity. With humility that is severely lacking and heartfelt commitment to honoring those who paved the way, Monáe almost seems too good to be true.
I was immediately taken with Janelle Monáe back in 2009 when I watched her perform her thought-provoking single, “Sincerely, Jane” on NPR. Her black and white ‘uniform’ as she calls it stood out amidst an entertainment industry that begs skin and stilettos to move units and grow fame. Her lyrics weren’t the same old narcissistic drivel we were used to. No, there was depth to this young lady and I dug it.
I thought: How is she doing this? How is her star consistently rising without a racy video? Without suggestive lyrics? Without being romantically linked to another star?
Simply put: Her gift makes room for her. Watching her rise on the music scene, you can’t help but to respect her even if you don’t necessarily vibe with her genre of music. Looking at the body of work, the poise, the performance, the image, the lyrics – you see someone who decided a long time ago not to yield to the ‘packaging’ of the industry. Instead, Monáe decided to fold her heritage and eclectic style into her music. With musical talent in spades to boot, she’s done a great job of branding herself.
At the most visible layer, we see a young woman who isn’t conforming to standards of how a female artist should behave or be ‘packaged’ in order to be a star. But the story beneath her black and white attire and thought-provoking lyrics is steeped in a background that many of us know firsthand.
Accepting her award at the 2012 Black Girls Rock! Celebration, Monáe recounted her days as a maid when she took her first steps toward becoming a music artist. She also held a spotlight on her mother, stepfather and biological father for their pride in their working-class roles as janitors, garbage men and mailmen in the poorest county in Kansas City, Kansas. Understanding, accepting and appreciating the legacy of pride in what most consider menial occupations, Monáe was compelled to do the unconventional for a music sensation – wear a uniform. And it absolutely makes sense. It’s honest and compelling in a way that invites us to remember our own heritage. No matter where she goes, who she meets, how long she performs, what awards she is given – she can look at herself, look inward, and be reminded of who she is at her core and the values she learned from a working-class background.
Another thing to love about Janelle Monáe is that she is the definition of a beautiful woman of color. She has reminded us of what it actually means to be beautiful. Having become the newest addition to a long list of gorgeous CoverGirls, Monae’s face is hard to look away from. How revelatory is that? It’s not her curves we’re staring at. We’re breathless at her beautiful face and her warm personality. We’re focused on her lyrics and how deeply we can identify with them. We’re thrilled by the exhilarating performance she gives whenever she graces a stage. We notice and are enthralled with Janelle Monáe because of who she is, not her cup size or how racy her videos are. She is beautiful because she chooses not to be packaged for male gratification. There is nothing about her that is suggestive or lewd in an attempt to sell records. She’s simply open, honest, creative and ripe with multiple layers of talent.
A true musical role model our babies can emulate like this little Q.U.E.E.N:
And then, this one:
And this one:
Peace to Janelle Monáe for being a colorful example of ALL the possibilities.
La Truly seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
Photos courtesy of via iheartthreadbared.wordpress.com, Pinterest and via ecobeautybytes.com.