Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) (Motown, 2008)
Retarded though it may have been, I found myself enjoying that "might have to flush the yayo" record Erykah Badu had out a few years ago. But then she just kinda up and disappeared. I'm assuming it was drugs. Or maybe she finally somehow managed to have the same effect on her own career as she's had on any number of rappers.
A blaxploitation skit, lest the album actually begin with a song. I suppose there's also a connection to be drawn to those George Clinton records from the 1970s, which are also echoed in this album's cover art, but this groove strikes me more as pr0no flick music than p-funk. I'm sure there's a thin line.
I kept waiting for the song to begin, but apparently there is no song here. This might be good to listen to if you're into smoking weed, and you don't like to be challenged while you're high. At least not musically; she may have mumbled some shit about religion in this, but I wasn't paying that much attention.
Aimless grousing about aging and what have you over a groove that's a bit too Muzak for my liking. Ooh, and here's a shout out (a salute, actually) to Calypso Louis Farrakhan. How timely, given the most recent Democratic debate.
This one and "The Healer" were produced by Madlib. And by produced, I mean he emailed her a few throwaways from the most recent Quasimoto album, which she then erased the vocals from and mumbled "hold on, my people" over ad nauseum.
One of the album's more inspired vocals, for what it's worth. It sounds kinda half-finished though, like it could've used a bit more instrumentation, or something.
These next several tracks in a row are by Sa-Ra, who are generally good for spacey-sounding groove, if not a whole lot else. This one might have some sort of story to it, but it's drowned out by the obnoxious backing track.
Same story with this one. Let me guess. She owed Sa-Ra some money. And then what's this shit towards the end? Whatever it is, it could give a child bad dreams for life.
Georgia Anne Muldrow, who's kinda like Erykah Badu if she never had a spark in the first place, makes a guest appearance here.
Who wants to guess what the titular hump is in this song?
The album's lone collaboration with ?uestlove. Is it 2000 all over again? Not even. Based on the rest of this album though, I'm willing to lay the blame on Erykah.
A reprise of the pr0no flick music from the intro, and then the single. Which was produced by 9th Wonder, though you'd hardly know it.
COMMENTS: Don't go anywhere near this one, unless you're one of these people with a constant need to self-medicate. In which case I'd still be rather weary of this one; it could fuck around and send you on a bad trip or something. Seriously, the singles, which I kinda enjoy, are hardly representative of the rest of this, which is an absolute mess.
BEST TRACKS: "Honey" "Soldier"
BONUS VIDEO: "Honey"