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January, 20 2018 | Venkman

2017 marked the twentieth anniversary of the release of Erykah Badu’s debut masterpiece Baduizm, and yet there’s still little dated about it. Badu heralded in the neo soul movement with her smooth and sexy blend of jazz, R&B, hip hop, electronic, and soul sounds. Despite the sonic veneer, this is a bold personal statement from the Dallas native, her personal philosophy about love, about spirituality, about black empowerment, about female empowerment, and about African pride. The social messages are particularly relevant given today’s socio-political climate. Recorded in New York, Philadelphia, and Dallas and released on Kedar Records (an imprint of Universal), Baduizm won the Grammy in 1998 for best R&B album, and Badu took home the trophy for best female R&B vocal. Despite the notable influences (Billy Holiday and Stevie Wonder to name a couple), Badu’s sound on this album was ahead of the curve. Even her collaborators doubted its viability. Questlove, who is a cowriter on “Otherside of the Game” and, with his band The Roots, produced three tracks on the album, recalls telling Badu that the album is “brilliant but it’s not going to do anything.” He believed the marketplace wasn’t ready for Badu’s sound. According to a Pitchfork interview, Questlove recalls Badu saying simply, “watch. You’ll see.” Her young confidence and courage were spot on. And if you don’t know just how right she was, you’re about to find out.

Brenda Nicole Moorer
Jill Rock Jones
Lola Cole
Maleke O’Ney
Ruby Velle

Side 1:

1. Rim Shot
2. On & On
3. Appletree
4. Other Side of the Game
5. Next Time Life
6. Afro (Freestyle)

Side 2:

7. Certainly
8. 4 Leaf Clover
9. No Love /Tyrone
10. Drama / Think Twice
11. Sometimes / Bump It
12. Certainly (Reprise) / Back in the Day
13. Rim Shot