Soul queen Erykah Badu will be making a much anticipated appearance at the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid. Whet your appetite with this interview...
Erykah Badu is an imposing figure. Her albums are the gold-standard in contemporary soul and she's worked woth the most revered names in hip-hop, from Questlove and The Roots to Russ Elevado, Dilla and Madlib. She's also famous for having refreshingly strong and candid opinions on everything from politics (she's all up for joining the occupation of Wall Street) to family life (her partner is rapper Jay Electronica).
In a short snippet taken from an interview she did with Academy alumni Mr Beatnick for FACT ahead of the Madrid event, Badu talks about her continuing obsession with hip-hop…
Do you miss hip-hop the way it was?
Oh yeah, but I’m in love with hip-hop. Of course you know that rap is something you do, I listen to the rap of now, but hip-hop is something you live. I’m a b-girl, into breakdancing, graffiti. Hip-hop is the creation of an instrument, two turntables and a mixer. Hip-hop is the inflections in the voice. I love the evolution that’s happening. I love Rick Ross. I love Drake. I love Lil' Wayne. I love Nicki Minaj. I love their interpretation of the craft. I think it’s ongoing.
What was the first hip-hop record you heard that changed your life?
Apache by the Incredible Bongo Band. I heard it as a young girl. In the late 70s hip-hop was almost mainstream already. It was becoming part of our culture. Our musical culture. Hip-hop was created out of necessity. I heard Apache and I thought, Wow, somebody is in the lab! I remember sitting in the bathroom, making beats on the wall, thinking, Wow they need a beat under this. When Mary J Blige came along, she gave it another voice. The miracle voice, the melodic voice. In 1989 we turned in our fat gold chains for black leather medallions. It gave it political power. It’s the voice of the people.
To read the full interview, click here