Produced in 1971 in Dallas, Texas, Erykah Badu was exposed to the arts early on, and finally started to perform in shows in the neighborhood Dallas Theater Center. In 1996, Badu’s demo captured the eye of music producer Kedar Massenburg, who signed her and matched her with D’Angelo to record the tune “Your Precious Love.” Kedar Entertainment afterwards united with Universal Motown. Now, Badu is famous for her soulful music style, which will be showcased on records including the Grammy Award-winning Baduizm and 1997’s Live.
(She’d later select the moniker Erykah Badu—“kah” is an Egyptian term for one’s “inner self,” and “badu” is her favourite jazz-riff scat noise.) She danced and sang for her mom from an extremely young age, and finally started to perform in shows in the neighborhood Dallas Theater Center. She thrived in the arts magnet school, focusing on singing and dancing.
Badu was also active in the Dallas music community in this time, and even started freestyling on a nearby Dallas radio station below the name DJ Apples. She majored in theatre and minored in quantum physics. In 1993, Badu left Grambling to pursue her career in music. She moved back to Dallas, where she was employed as a drama teacher so when a server while she recorded a demo.
In 1996, Badu’s demo captured the eye of music producer Kedar Massenburg, who signed her and matched her with D’Angelo to record the tune “Your Precious Love.” Kedar Entertainment, a tiny startup label, after united with Universal Motown.
Badu’s debut album, Baduizm, burst onto the music scene in 1997 with soulful hits like “On & On,” “Next Lifetime” and “Appletree.” The record marked a shift in the music of its own time and started what was labeled a “neo soul” movement.
Badu released her second LP, Live, after that year. Throughout the record, Badu was pregnant with her first child, son Seven Sirius, whose father is renowned Outkast artist Andr 3000. The record went double platinum, and Badu’s unmatchable ability was firmly established together with the record’s breakout tune, “Tyrone,” which was entirely improvised on stage.
In 1999, Badu collaborated with all the notable hip-hop group the Roots to make the tune “You Got Me.” Badu hit Grammy gold yet again with the tune, taking home the prize for best rap performance by a duo or group. The exact same year, she made her big screen debut, impersonating the heartbreaking, tortured character Rose Rose in The Cider House Rules.
Badu’s third album, Mama’s Gun, was launched in 2000. She also brought to the soundtrack of the Spike Lee movie Bamboozled. She toured throughout the the next couple of years, on her “Frustrated Artist Tour,” as well as in 2003 she released Worldwide Underground, a somewhat experimental record that featured some of hip hop’s finest.
It could likewise function as the offices for her non-profit, B.L.I.N.D. (Amazing Love Incorporated Non-Profit Development), which she founded in 1997 as a means of bringing culture and arts to inner city places to cultivate change.
In 2004, Badu gave birth to her second child, daughter Puma Sabti. Exactly the same year, she participated in the movie Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, performing several tunes with fellow R&B stars. The next year, Badu started her own music label, Control FreaQ Records. The label’s main assignment will be to permit its artists creative independence.
Rolling Stone named the record among the year’s finest. In 2009, Badu and Jay Electronica declared the arrival of the daughter, Mars Merkaba.
As the reigning queen of neo soul, Badu continues to make music, art and spirituality everywhere she goes.