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Women We Admire: Erykah Badu
This is the first in a regular column featuring – who else? – women we admire. Today we feature Erykah Badu, one of the foremost musical artists of our time and one of SoR’s favourite singer/songwriters. Attending her concert in London July 2010 was one of the founding experiences of SoR. She gave us the conviction that we too could speak truth to power. Vegan, pro-woman, spiritually enlightening and politically empowering, Ms Badu is a massive inspiration to us all.
Who: Erykah Badu, Neo-Soul Artist
Why We Love Her: Badu combines feminism, veganism, revolutionary politics and her ‘hood’ southern Texan background to rep for women and those criminalised and marginalised by the system. We also admire her fearlessness and open critique of the music industry. She has shown herself unafraid to take artistic risk to make a personal/political statement. She’s a Tweeter, a mother, a lover and a fighter.
What she has accomplished: While her discography so far is already a life time achievement, with her last two albums Badu manages to surpass herself. New Amerykah Part 1 (4th World War) and Part 2 (Return of the Ankh) take the listener on an incredible auditory journey; the lack of wider success can only be explained with the notion that Badu is before her time. Through her genre-shattering combination of hip-hop and neo-soul she delivers subtle political messages that are never imposing or moralising. You could listen to her song “Soldier” and miss the anti-war message; but the one-line...