Photo from Okayplayer

Erykah Badu just shared a mixtape she made us for the times we’re in. Would more artists do this, please? This is the true point of art, no? To feel the ideas and contexts behind the feelings which created the art. To digest and respect the past by hearing it and working to understand the state of the world we’re in now as we listen, together. To organize around certain truths and things that do need to change. To just plain feel the weight of it and not ignore it or each other anymore.

The mix made me reflect and have gratitude for the artists we had growing up – for those of us born in the mid-80s and up. For all the shit they talk about millennials, those of us born in multi-cultural & complicated urban centers of the world had the music of tapped-in soul brothers and sisters – I’ll call them #DIASPORADICALS – who were not only guided by older music they were raised with, but who were simultaneously (like everyone) wrestling with the “innovation” of Internet Age-dizziness, as well as with the fame and wealth that came with the success they garnered in the late-90s.

It’s always been dope to witness Erykah’s negotiation with Digital in post-9/11, Bush-era America while her career was evolving after her 90s moment of “You betta call Tyrone…” She chooses to connect with her tribe (I remember her back on Okayplayer message boards!) – to abolish the distance that should be between her and regular people as celebrity-culture dictates – she builds bridges and touches hearts not only away from keyboard while on stage, but by also using these tools to share. Which is their most important function. Like a hammer is to a nail. So that’s what I’ll do, too. Enjoy this mix:


FEEL BETTER, WORLD! … LOVE, MS.BADU by Erykah She Ill Badu on Mixcloud