Now it’s true that I'm partial to her steez cause she's a b-girl, and I'm a b-boy. And it’s true that Beyonce's more accomplished in her way. But Badu sometimes gets overlooked when talking about today’s divas (“scientists come out with your scales up”), and on the low she might be the Queen Crown Jewel of the hip hop generation. We have enumerated points and clips here for definitive proof. Let us watch and count the ways:
1. She's wearing the chain: The main difference between Badu and Bey: Badu is a b-boy, Beyonce’s a b-boy’s pinup girl. It was great for the time, but I think both Bey and Jay will come to regret “the dopest chick in the game wearing my chain”. Come on, that’s some subversive power play shit. And you know what Erykah would say to some nonsense like that:
Whut? You better go back the way you came. WRONG WAY. You don’t want to FA-LA-LA, son. “You ain’t the worstest one I have done, but you’ll do until he comes”. Whuuut? Beyonce gets a little bit of growl going on occasion, but she never gets on her “gonna be some slow singing, flower bringing, if my burglar alarm starts ringing.”
This would not be dope if Badu was in and out of rehab, or on some hoodrat shite where you can’t bring her home to the parents. But that's where Erykah can flip it and come back on some Cosby Show-caliber respect. Since Baduizm she's been rolling with the dopest intro in the history of womankind: Can I ask the elders in the house if I can speak freely?
That's straight B-Boy/Girl. But, hol’up:
2. SHOTS FIRED: You don’t want it with E: (via)
"I look at some other videos. I’m not naming names, because I don’t want that to be mentioned. There is the thing with sexuality. I’m naked for 13 seconds, and these people are naked the whole time and gyrating and saying come “lick on my lollipop,” and “suck on my cinnamon roll,” and, you know, suggesting sex. People are uncomfortable with sexuality that’s not for male consumption. Could be ‘cause I did it in public too. Do you think people would have been complaining if I had on high-heel shoes?"Unh. She's not naming names, but who run the world? Baaaa-du. But wait up...
3. Which leads to getting her Hipster Art-Sexy on:
the video for Window Seat proves she can throw some of that Gaga in the mix and get as performance-art crazy as any of these other b’s out here.
I’ve heard pros and cons on this video. But as an artist statement? It gets no more raw and on point. Everyone has the *idea* of getting naked just doing a video. But who can get it right? Who can take it to Dealey Plaza and bleed blue groupthink? Rihanna’s maybe on the way, but not quite there yet.
4. The Rapper Eater: Andre 3000, Common, The DOC, Jay Electronica. Yo, she
But the extra dash of paprika on this is that she then makes songs out of em. Beyonce would have to break up with Jay, make a song like “Green Eyes”, then get with Kanye, Drake, and J Cole and write more songs to draw even. Takes a certain temperament to survive that sort of rollercoaster and not have your voice waver. Eryka’s like f a clothing line, I’ll wear good/once-good rappers for clothes.
5. B-Boy + Rapper Eater = Makes beats on stage:
Ok, I guess you do have to buy into this a little. With that shirt, I could accept someone saying they’re not impressed and it all looks totally ridiculous. Everything she does walks this line of being dope or totally ridiculous. And you have to choose. I think the necessary leap of faith is part of the appeal. She's an easy mark for the cynical, but it's their funeral.
6. you can leap cause you see shit like her buying drinks for everyone in a disappointed crowd...
she handles this sort of potential disaster with a certain flair. definite true-blue diva move here:
7. and she's versatile:
supporting backup/lead performance with My Morning Jacket covering Tyrone
8. She channels old stars: Beyonce is obviously bonkers on the dance performance tip. But one thing she's never done is make me understand an artist from an older generation. Diana Ross was a little before my time, and I never quite got her. Until this.
But, oh yeah, now I understand "Love Hangover" for sure. one of the sexiest joints ever. got it.
9. Could have been in movies: Beyoncé could still accomplish more in the movie realm, but i always thought Cider House Rules was proof she could get busy for the camera if needed.
And if none of that helps here’s a bunch more evidence:
The one "street-smart" sentiment not packed into The Wire was this hustler love story:
this one she just kills it (check 2:40):
no dude wants to hear Orange Moon at the wrong time, get something in their eye and shh:
Soldier is more fodder for the b-boys:
And I didn’t even mention “Bag Lady” or her hair, which might be the greatest hair of all time. Case closed. Welcome to the United States of New Amerykah, this is your Queen, Erykah Badu. She's good.