Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to be a part of a lecture held by Red Bull Music Academy at the Brooklyn Museum with one of my all time favorite tastemakers, Miss Erykah Badu. Her
music, lyrics, style, message everything has been a constant inspiration for me ever since my mom had Baduizm ('97) On & On in our house growing up. Her energy & aesthetic is just too dope. As this woman breathes, she creates. She said it best, "I gravitate toward artists I believe," and Badu is the truth.
|As the lecture wrapped, around 40 people standing in line for Q&A didn't have a chance to ask their questions, Badu called them up to sit & talk to her on stage.|
Goes without saying, but Badu's style is EVERYTHING. A few favorites and some quotes from the lecture :
|Oyster Magazine #97 January 2012|
[On being described as the pioneer of neo-soul]: "I think people were excited about it, but I think people just get excited about labels."
On her first days working with her manager, "He was teaching me how people categorize things, and I learned a lot that day, didn't change a thing... and um we still here." (!)
"I'm more confused than I've ever been in my life but I have more faith than ever."
|'Window Seat' Video|
A question about the 'controversial' (and awesome) music video for Window Seat opened up into her message behind the video and how she felt while filming her famous public striptease in Dallas, Texas (at the site where JFK was assassinated). Her message, "Group Think" was described as what can happen as a group of human beings stands together as something morally wrong occurs. Individuals can give up personal responsibility simply because they're part of the group and morph into the ideas and opinions of their peers. Ultimately, she says, "We all stay in one place and become sick." 'Window Seat' was a method of performance art, inspired by Matt & Kim and Group Think, and was meant to get people talking. She said she later found out that her manager and the video director had prepared bail money, unsure of the films outcome. She mentioned that a lot of her criticism came from people pointing out the families and children that stood by as she got stripped. In her awesome, Badu-esque answer, she confessed that she was too caught up in filming to notice them at the time, but when it was brought to her attention, she tried to 'telepathically' explain to the children her good-hearted message behind it. She cracked up as she described what was going on in her own head as she got naked in public, "Holdin' my stomach in so tight I wasn't even singing and with each step I was trying to tighten each calf...It's so crazy the things we think about...I wasn't thinking about the police."
|by Jesse Chehak for Interview Magazine|
"I've always wanted to interact with people. And I've been blessed to to that as a career."