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Erykah Badu: rEvolution Part Two

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*Photo credits – Bode HelmAllHipHop.com Alternatives: The new single “Honey” is very different than anything you’ve done in the past; definitely a new feeling.

Erykah Badu: “Honey” is probably the most straight-down-the-line

song there is on the project. It would be the safest song, and I think

that’s why the label put it out there first. My job is to make sure

everything is good, so that when they do choose something it doesn’t

bother me. Just whatever it is, put it in a beautiful frame and make

it do what it needs to do.

“Honey” was such an easy song for me. That was produced by 9th Wonder.

He’s so sweet and country. [laughs]That was such an easy song to do

because that track is so nostalgic. It sounds like an old-school

swirl, and I’m spinning blues-like [vocals], you know like, [singing

chorus] “Honey, yeah, you so sweet.” That might as well be a stomp and

clap song with an acoustic guitar, you know? The way I sing over the top

of it kind of makes it multi-dimensional. It’s a nice spin. I love

“Honey.” It has a nice, funky, old-school, grown kind of sound. It has

that ghetto communication aspect of it that I enjoy.

AHHA: Your live shows are always out of this world,

literally. Which do you enjoy more – the creative process of recording

or live performances and touring?

Erykah Badu: Ooh. They’re both so different. They’re like two

children of mine. Touring is kind of like creating a moment as it

happens, between you and the audience. Whereas recording in the studio

is like perfecting a moment, and you share that with your audience, but

you get a chance to really perfect it, capture it, spend time with it,

slice it up and go back to it, rewind it, eject it, and make it what

you want people to hear for the rest of time.With live performances,

it’s a moment that could possibly change their life for the rest of

time. So I enjoy them both, very much. I come from the theatre, so I

would say that I’m more so motivated by live performances though. It’s

less work to me; and I’m one of the laziest artists you can meet,

believe me.

AHHA: Alright. So let’s talk about this 12-inch Pink Wax you

have out there, because a lot of people don’t know about that.

Erykah Badu: Yeah. I have a theatre back home in Dallas, and I hosted

the DJ Coalition Awards there. It was exciting for me because I also – along with a theatre background – have a background in Hip-Hop. It’s

kind of like the tribe I’m from, if you will. So I was performing [“The Real Thing”]for them, because the DJs were requesting it. And I decided to put [out a record and put] as many DJs names as I

could think of on the back of the wax. It’s just to show my

appreciation, because they do keep you spinnin’. And you kind of have

to butter them up more than anybody, you know?  So that was my butter

for the DJs. [laughs] And on that wax is “Real Thing,” produced by

Madlib, and a song called “The Healer,” which is also produced by

Madlib, coincidentally.

“Real Thing” was exciting because I did an acapella and gave it to DJs

and producers to remix. It was remixed by Green Lantern, Mannie Fresh,

Rashad Smith, Q-Tip. And it keeps turning into something else, so I

call that my Real Thing Campaign. I decided to open the door to fans as

well, so I’m going to put up an acapella of “Real Thing” and see what

everybody else comes up with. That’s just for fun, you know, while

we’re waiting for this album to finish growing. And as we become more

and more a part of the digital world, it just gives me more ideas,

because you spin off what you see other creative people do, as well as

the back and forth, and the exchange. It now becomes not about money,

or sales, or ads or marketing anymore. Now it’s just about pure

creativity, and exchange, and ideas. That’s what we’re moving to, so

quickly. This music business as we know it is pretty much a dinosaur.

AHHA: You’ve always been very much ahead of the curve with

that, consistently remaining an individual and not concerned with

conformity.

Erykah Badu: I try to keep my ear to the streets, you know? Keep my

head in the game. You got to. It’s like predicting the weather. You

can’t claim to be a weatherman and you don’t know what’s happening

outside. This is what I do. I would do this with or without a record

deal. This is me.

AHHA: Good stuff.

Erykah Badu: Is this for AllHipHop.com?

AHHA: Yes ma’am.

Erykah Badu: Let me say this. On the flip side of “The Real Thing” is a

song called “The Healer.” I would like for people to pay attention to

that song. And that’s one of my other reasons for putting that pink wax

out, because I just wanted to point out how all over the world people

don’t do anything together. We don’t pray together. We don’t eat

together. We don’t worship together. We don’t learn together. We don’t

agree. But everybody nods their head to the same beat, and that gives

me the impression that Hip-Hop is bigger than religion, bigger than

politics and the government; I think it’s the healer.

AHHA: That’s real.

Erykah Badu: And I must mention, since you didn’t ask me about what MCs I’m feelin’ or no s**t like that…

AHHA: [laughs] We try to shy away from those generic questions, but feel free to go in.

Erykah Badu: Yeah, I can dig it. But there is an MC that is peculiarly

intelligent floating around this industry that I must mention. That if

I wanted to know anybody, I would want to know this person. His name is

Jay Electronica. I mean, this man is rappin’ over scores.

AHHA: Nice. Before we go, I have to ask you this one question. What is

it about you that you think has every man head over heels for you,

because I’d like to know your secret? [laughs]

Erykah Badu: Ooh. I wish I had a really creative answer; some real,

like, pimp s**t that I could tell you. I don’t know. It’s embarrassing

a little. I don’t know. I’m just me, EB, with all the flaws and

everything. I’ll say that honesty is the best policy.

AHHA: Well that’s a good enough lesson across the board.

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