Just In Time

06.15.2011

MUSIC

L+T: You were in, like…
EB:
A gown. Nightgown. You can see my panties. It wasn’t on purpose. You know, as a dancer, that tends to happen. (Laughs). I didn’t associate the two of those themes. They’re all on the same album. That’s the kind of album it is really and it brings that feeling out of me because the visuals usually reflect what I’m trying to convey. And “Out of My Mind, Just In Time,” it’s another de-layering in a way, where I’m leaving a kind of thinking. In this case, I am no longer blaming others for my position, where “Window Seat” I was taking control of my mind, my thoughts.

The guys I work with now are called Creative Control. We’ve collaborated on a whole slew of things I’ve been doing, including those past two videos. One, because I can afford them, and I’m having to pay for all of my own things—my label does not support me financially because I don’t think they can anymore. It’s a sign of the times—no hard feelings.”

L+T: Tell me about one of the tracks, “Turn Me Away [Get Munny]” on the last album. It’s a song with a rich history.
EB:
“Get Munny”… that’s originally a sample.

L+T: Sylvia Striplin.
EB:
Yeah, man. Roy Ayers produced that.

L+T: Oh wow—didn’t know that.
EB:
Mmhmm. And I put a little bit of her [Sylvia Striplin] in it—“Can’t turn me away…”—and a little bit of Junior Mafia, and then came up with some verses of my own. That’ll probably be the next video I do. But that’s about a woman chasing money. All of the songs have somewhat of a character to them—I can be talking about me or something that I can really relate to.

L+T: I’m always curious: what artists are you looking to right now for inspiration outside of music—performance artists, visual artists, etc.?
EB:
When I perform, I like taking Janelle Monae with me on the road. She keep me on my A-game. She’s one of my best friends in the world. Rhythmically, because I’m a very rhythmic singer—I was an emcee first—of course I admire the poet in emcees so I love Jay Electronica. He’s very peculiarly intelligent as I’ve said before about him. Sa-Ra is a musical group. You know, the whole L.A. scene I’m attracted to right now.

L+T: Like Flying Lotus and the Brainfeeder guys?
EB:
Lotus is a great friend—we’re doing a record together. Thundercat plays bass on stage with me. He also happens to be a singer. You need to hear Thundercat’s music—it’s incredible. It’s the next new-new. King, there’s a group I met…

L+T: Three female singers, correct?
EB:
Yeah, three chicks named King from L.A. They blow my mind. Make me cry. There’s something about the frequency of it. I hadn’t heard those melodies in so long.

L+T: The old school flavor of it.
EB:
Yeah, it’s really good. Grizzly Bear—I like that group. Indie. So much stuff, man.

I’m on the L.A. side of things right now, musically—I’m listening to a lot of stuff they’re doing. It makes me wanna trade in my Brooklyn apartment and move into a townhouse in Los Angeles. I mean, I’m not abandoning New York at all. And you know what? I’m a selector. I love music, period—that’s why I DJ. So, I do that at least two nights a week. I just like hearing music and being inspired by it, period. It was in every room of my house as a child.

  • pettiho the company

    Love this post. Love Erykah. She’s absolutely right. Possibly a new groupthink for the better. At least for a moment.

  • http://twitter.com/DanaEason_ Dana Eason

    “You know, there are so many layers to art. You can pull back one or you can pull back many, and it depends on what you’re trying to understand or not understand.” – So true…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jucee-Brown/62303051 Jucee Brown

    Awesome…She is definitely a lady of many layers..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1299042173 Stephanie Suckerfree Ellis

    Wow loved this article…Certain things caught my attention enigma, she dislikes showering (funny), group think, nudity, creative control, Brooklyn apartment, and the fact that she is paying for production cos herself. I used to listen to Badu back in HS then I started listening to mainstream and stopped. I started listening again when Window Seat came out and I saw the video and I had an epiphany like I used to love Badu what happened. I started to get some of her songs on Itunes and I listen to her with my eyes closed because that is how I feel music. I absolutely agree with Jennie in we place too much emphasis on the exterior and not the interior when it comes to music in just overall how we perceive people. Most people with eyes should be able to see Badu is a natural beauty in case u dont know check out the 2010 cover of Vibe with her on the cover with nothing but henna and some graffiti.She is such a kickass nonconformist..I absolutely love it. Erykah is Neo soul at its FINEST.

  • Anonymous

    I luv Ms. Badu!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Not to much on this first lil clip, but Lord please or somebody hand me my sun glasses for the clip where is calls herself a dancer because I want to try and see less of that as possible. I say that with apprehension cuz I don’t want y’all to get the wrong idea Life and Times, but y’all straight down bad for sprinkling that blood for them dogs. I mean we all know how Badu come, but da** all in the blog for rap eyes to just gaze on ouch. Somebody call Tyrone and tell him to bring me a blindfold, so I could so cleverly look the other way. She is too much, but what can I expect from a free spirit sitting by the window. Shucks

  • E. Hunter

    Sure wish she’d take that poncho off jack! lolololol Cause lil mama “hold’N”

  • Memyself andi

    Thanks for this new insight into Erykah, especially about her being influenced by such note-worthy female performance artists like Betty (Miles) Davis & Yoko Ono, and that she has directed all of her own videos since ’97. Mz. Badu is simply amazing! Got a chance to catch her in Osaka in 2010. I was both shocked and impressed by what she wore on stage. I would call it a “Hobo Chic” ensemble- a baggy pair of gray sweat pants, a ripped white tee (which appeared to be used in a tug-of-war between the kids) and a top-hat with two “Miss Celie” plaits hanging from underneath, and of course, her beautiful hand-crafted rings and forearm cuffs. Needless to say, she was stunning and enchanting. The entire place was transfixed by her presence and she rocked the house! She’s a true artist, and regardless of what she wears or doesn’t wear, her talent shines through.

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