*Photo credits – Bode HelmAllHipHop.com Alternatives: The new single Honey is very different than anything youve 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
thats 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 doesnt
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.
Hes 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 Im 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. Its 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. Theyre both so different. Theyre 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,
its 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 Im more so motivated by live performances though. Its
less work to me; and Im one of the laziest artists you can meet,
AHHA: Alright. So lets talk about this 12-inch Pink Wax you
have out there, because a lot of people dont 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. Its
kind of like the tribe Im 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. Its 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
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 Im going to put up an acapella of Real Thing and see what
everybody else comes up with. Thats just for fun, you know, while
were 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 its just about pure
creativity, and exchange, and ideas. Thats what were moving to, so
quickly. This music business as we know it is pretty much a dinosaur.
AHHA: Youve always been very much ahead of the curve with
that, consistently remaining an individual and not concerned with
Erykah Badu: I try to keep my ear to the streets, you know? Keep my
head in the game. You got to. Its like predicting the weather. You
cant claim to be a weatherman and you dont know whats 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 maam.
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 thats one of my other reasons for putting that pink wax
out, because I just wanted to point out how all over the world people
dont do anything together. We dont pray together. We dont eat
together. We dont worship together. We dont learn together. We dont
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 its the healer.
AHHA: Thats real.
Erykah Badu: And I must mention, since you didnt ask me about what MCs Im 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 Id 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 dont know. Its embarrassing
a little. I dont know. Im just me, EB, with all the flaws and
everything. Ill say that honesty is the best policy.
AHHA: Well thats a good enough lesson across the board.