Amerykah the Beautiful

There’s a reason why Erykah Badu is the inspiration for a lot of what I do. From being grounded and creative to fierce and political, she’s got plenty. Her latest compilation of brilliance, The New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, dropped March 30…and landed herself charges for the music video accompanying the track, Window Seat. In one take, the video records Erykah stripping down bare infront of unsuspecting tourists and mimics getting shot at the Dealey Plaza where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Watch the magic here:

Here she is performing with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon.

Window Seat to a Black Woman’s Soul, illustrates Makeda Crane’s perspective that Erykah is commenting on the abuse and exploitation of Black woman’s bodies, a sentiment that all women can relate to on some level. She writes, “My hope is that in some small way Erykah’s bold move would be the beginning of a new moment in history where black women define black womanhood and sexuality for themselves, free from history’s grip on their backside.” For Filipinas, there is a history of sex tours, of surviving the abusive hands of their own men, of being perceived by Westerners as passive, nurturing yet sexual creatures. If Erykah and her stripdown was meant to represent evolution and change, then the mock shooting can be interpreted as others trying to eliminate or shut down positive change. As Erykah puts it,

[Group think!] They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move to change, to love herself, to evolve.

I love her socio-political nature! KFK and I found this cool performance of her decked out in the most gigantic Afro imaginable, the stage was alive with Beatnik elements –spoken word, bongos, and hand-held electronic sound effect systems as she pumped the air with her fist and declared in Black Panther style, “Hip hop is bigger than the government!”

And just for kicks, because this is where my love for Erykah began, a classic:

Baduizm at its finest, indeed.

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