There is perhaps one story that explains Erykah Badus cyclical outlook on her new album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh, and it involves a visit to a Santeria priest in Cuba in 1999.
Recreational Centers musical production of Really Rosie, directed by her godmother Gwen Hargrove, that Badu realized she was a natural performer.I played Alligator, Badu says, and at 6 years old, I got my first standing ovation.A rich assembly of soul, funk, and organic Hip-Hop textures, Mamas Gun achieved platinum status and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks bolstered by the albums lead single Bag Lady. (Beautiful Love Incorporated Non-Profit Development), which is geared toward creating social change through economic, artistic, and cultural development. D.s many accomplishments, the organization has provided arts, crafts, and dance classes to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina.The songs video paid homage to Ntozake Shanges award-winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, with Badu presenting a choreopoem performed by herself and four other dancers. She also transformed the legendary Forest Theater in South Dallas into a headquarters for live shows and charity benefits. In 2004, Badu gave birth to her daughter Puma Sabti, who she describes as a mini-me.Propelled by the lead single On & On, the album went multi-platinum, winning her two Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album.
Badu topped Rolling Stones Readers poll for Best R&B Artist, and Entertainment Weekly named her Best New Female Singer of 1997.
Badu also sharpened her Hip-Hop skills, freestyling on the Dallas radio station 90.9 FM KNON under the name Apples the Alchemist until she eventually changed the spelling of her name from Erica Wright to Erykah Badu, kah being Kemetic (Egyptian) for a humans vital energy or inner-self and ba-du after her favorite jazz scat-sound.
But later, Badu would discover that her chosen name holds a far deeper meaning.
In 1994, her 19-song demo caught the attention of aspiring record executive Kedar Massenburg by way of the SXSW music festival.
Massenburg signed her to his upstart label Kedar Entertainment.
The company eventually merged with Motown/Universal and Badu started opening for DAngelo, prepping the world for the massive Neo soul movement to come.