Her cypher keeps moving like a rollin' stone.
"Art is the absence of fear"
— Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu (born Erica Abi Wright, February 26, 1971) is an American musician from Dallas, Texas. She is best known for helping in the rise of Neo Soul
Her rise to fame came in the late 1990s with her first album, Baduizm
, which came out in 1997. The first single, "On & On", was a huge hit, and the album received positive reviews from critics. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard
charts, and gained many awards. She also recorded her first live album, aptly titled Live
, During this time, she became notable for her fancy African headwraps, which came in many colors.
In 2000, she recorded her second album Mama's Gun
, which, according to critics, "had a more organic sound than her last record". It spawned the hit "Bag Lady", which remix topped many charts. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
Her next album, Worldwide Underground
, came out in 2003, and while not getting as great criticism as Mama's Gun
did, it nonetheless got good reviews. It, according to Erykah herself, was designed to be "one continuous groove".
In the 2000s she also started a series of albums called New Amerykah
, and the first of which came out in 2008. The album was recorded mainly on a laptop. The second album in this series, titled New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)
came out in 2010.
In 2010, she caused some controversy with the video for her song "Window Seat", in which she gradually stripped herself nude while walking through a Dallas neighborhood in full public view. The video was inspired by a group called Matt and Kim's music video for their song "Lessons Learned".
Her music incorporates elements of R&B
, Hip Hop
, and Jazz
. Her later albums also incorporate elements of Electronica
. Lyrically, she is known to be very deep, as opposed to most R&B music. She's also known to explore her African heritage a lot, as if her headwraps, clothing, and constant afros give any indication.
Her studio album discography
- Baduizm (1997)
- Mama's Gun (2000)
- Worldwide Underground (2003)
- New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) (2008)
- ''New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) (2010)
Her music contains examples of: