New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War
When I first heard the track “The Healer” on Erykah Badu’s 4th full length album, I thought that homegirl had lost it. Even though the track was set to a dope Madlib beat, and is probably the best head nodders in a long time, it sounded like a long winded rant by a crazy homeless woman. So after my initial excitement I asked myself….”has Erykah lost it? Is she pulling a Lauryn Hill on us?”
Ms. Badu hasn’t lost it. Although New Amerykah doesn’t measure up to her first CD and won’t come close to her greatest effort (Mama’s Gun), the Dallas, Texas songstress has managed to create some downright amazing R&B in a time when the genre has lost focus–with neo-soul all but dead, and young singers like Keysha Cole taking over radio. Badu has managed to find her niche in the world, and she shines on songs like, “Soldier,” “Honey (Bonus Track),” the sultry “Telephone,” and the introspective, “Me.”
You can tell that Badu has come of age on New Amerykah and has found her niche. On “Me,” one of the more personal tracks from this reclusive singer, she puts it all out in the open. With lyrics like “this year I turned 36/damn it seems it came so quick/my ass and legs have gotten thick yea/its all me” you can tell off the bat that she’s not trying to chase the current trends in R&B.
For over 10 years, Erykah Badu has been ahead of the curve for contemporary R&B, and on this album, she raises the bar even higher.