Erykah Badu reveals her favourite songs ever


Erykah Badu reveals her favourite songs ever

Dallas blues and neo-soul artist Erykah Badu achieved her first mainstream hit in 1997 when the vocalist released her legendary single ‘On And On.’ The singer had an organic come-up in her hometown and gained much traction in Texas by touring with her cousin, Jazz instrumentalist and songwriter Robert ‘Free’ Bradford.

As a relatively well-known musician in Dallas following her successful demo Country Cousins, the singer became an artist who would open for world-renowned hip-hop artists making a pitstop in the Texan city. 

With her unique voice, she gained the attention of Kedar Massenburg. Massenburg was involved in artist management during the 1980s and managed groups such as Stetsasonic. However, by the late-1990s, he had become a new executive figure at Motown Records. He had his own imprint label, Kedar Entertainment, dedicated to soul and R’n’B artists and seeing Badu’s talent and appeal to hip-hop audiences; Massenburg offered Badu a record deal in 1996. 

Since 1997 Badu (real name Erica Badu) has become a household most known for her work as a neo-soul singer (a phrase coined by Massenburg). However, she has also been heavily involved in hip-hop as part of the Soulquarians, among other endeavours. Wright worked extensively with hip-hop producer J Dilla for a lot of her material and has been in relationships with rappers such as Common and André 3000, with whom she has a child. Badu also has children by Death Row legend The D.O.C. and Jay Electronica. 

Wright has made songs with the like of Busta Rhymes and even has a track entitled ‘An Ode To Hip-Hop.’ However, Badu’s musical influences extend far beyond hip-hop. The Dallas vocalist has always had an interest and affinity for African culture and has always showcased her spiritual connection to the motherland. As a Texan, Wright has previously disclosed that she grew up in a household shaped by blues and funk. In an interview with the Red Bull Music Academy, Badu stated, “I didn’t really start my musical career until the ’90s, but there’s a really heavy blues influence in Dallas where I’m from: Muddy Waters, Johnny Taylor, and a lot of blues people came out of Dallas in the early ’70s, ’60s,” 

She continued, “I’m a child of the funk music. My uncles listened to a lot of funk music, Bootsy Collins, Parliament-Funkadelic, Zapp & Roger, even Prince was considered funk during the ’80s.” However, across various interviews, Badu has highlighted certain artists that she’s fond of and highlighted specific albums, such as Joni Mitchell’s Blue, as well as Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. However, the ‘Bag Lady’ has named some particular songs concerning specific tracks.

Take a look below to see Erykah Badu’s favourite cuts ever.

Erykah Badu’s favourite songs ever:

  • ‘King Heroin’ – James Brown
  • ‘Army Arrangement’ – Fela Kuti
  • ‘Nuclear War’ – Sun Ra