Badu2

Erykah Badu has done plenty of enchanting over her storied two decade career. The “On & On” singer is making new excursions as her one woman show, Live Nudity begins in Dallas at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters this week and her brand new mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone drops next week. She’s also planning to host the Soul Train Awards in November and honor Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Jill Scott.

Noisey spoke with Badu and chatted like two homegirls who hadn’t seen each other in a few months. Operating with the idea that Badu hadn’t openly stated some of her thoughts in interviews, Craig Jenkins got plenty out of the Dallas legend, getting her nuanced beliefs on Black Lives Matter, Drake vs. Meek Mill, her one woman show, her son writing on her dreamy “Hotline Bling” remix and more.

On recording new music:

I just kinda live and experience. I’m writing all the time, but recently I got the bug back. When it comes, it comes, and I can’t force it, but recently I got it back with “Hotline Bling” and all the other things I’ve been experimenting with.

On her son receiving a writing credit on the “Hotline Bling” remix:

He wrote his first song and got his first credit on one of Gwen Stefani’s albums. A song called “Bubble Pop Electric.” He’s always been a creative kind of kid. Very good with coming up with lyrics. He has impeccable taste in music. He’s very talented with picking up instruments. He has a few credits on my albums as well, New Amerykah Part One, specifically. He’s one of those talented people that I really respect and admire, and he happens to be my son.

On possibly being nervous about performing her one-woman show and taking it on the road:

I’m actually from the theater. I grew up doing theater and majored in theater in college at Grambling State in Louisiana, and I’ve been a part of the theater all my life. It’s been a big part of my career, even as a stage performer. I’ve traveled eight months out of the year for the past 18 years, and the stage is my main place, but being by myself there… I don’t know why that stresses me out, but it does. I’m sure that nervous energy will turn into something really honest that I’ll end up sharing. But I don’t know what’ll happen, so we’ll see. The show is improv.

I wanted to test it out here first, where I was really comfy in a theater that I grew up in, in Dallas alongside my godmother Gwen Hargrove and my uncle Curtis King of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. It’s a theater in Dallas that’s provided art and entertainment for over 30 years. And I’ve been a part of that legacy and just wanted to start there. I felt like I would be less intimidated, but… it didn’t work. So I just have to take it with me and see what happens.

On Black Lives Matter:

It’s necessary. The world creates things up out of prayers that people pray and have. Things begin to move accordingly to how we all collectively think. When you see collectives moving on something you know that there’s going to be some kind of mass migration to a higher place, and I see that in the world as a whole, not just in America. I see it all over the globe. People are organizing and fusing together to make change, and it’s inspiring. I think it’s part of the natural order of things. We’re evolving, and what helps us evolve is social media. Social media is social evolution. It’s sparking a great change.

You can read the full interview where Erykah dishes on beefs, artists she’s listening to and inspired by now, the Black Eyed Peas controversy and more right here.

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