Erykah Badu recently chopped it up with radio personality Ebro Darden for the inaugural episode of Apple Music’s new show The Message.
As described in a press release, The Message is a “series that aims to further the dialogue about the unrest and inequalities in the United States and abroad via intimate conversations with some of the most prominent voices in Black music today, who also create exclusive playlists of the songs inspiring them to keep pushing forward.”
During their conversation, Badu was asked about her feelings surrounding the 2020 presidential election. In response, she referenced lyrics from her 2008 single “The Healer,” which was included on the New Amerykah Pt. I album
“No matter what we believe, what the powers that be believe will effect us,” she told Darden. “No matter how many different directions we want to take ourselves and our communities, what the powers that be that believe will effect all of us so it’s very good to keep up with what’s going on and the choices the powers that be are making for us.
“Of course, we can effectively come together and change those things as we’ve seen over the years and it takes time… because anything that is strong and will outlast all of us takes a long time and a real plan. Organizing and putting forth your effort and your life.”
Badu continued, “I did this documentary a couple weeks ago… leading up to this day asking people in my city what they believed and were they Republican or Democrat or did they believe the system really worked or does the voting system really work in your opinion. And they gave these differing opinions and everybody’s was very intelligent and it was their own belief.
“I challenged them next to put on some headphones and listen to a song. It was Beastie Boys “Hold It Now, Hit It”. No matter what they believed, whether they agreed or not on their beliefs, everyone nodded in agreement to the kick of the snare. Hip Hop is bigger than the government. Anything that we collectively believe together can change many things… the frequency of everything.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Badu talked about her selections for The Message playlist she titled “Now Breathe Like It.” Songs include “Africano” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “King Heroin” by James Brown and “Visions” by Stevie Wonder.”
“These are songs that I truly and really wake up to every day, that I play in the car when I need it,” she said. “It’s the vibe for me, it’s the freak for me, it’s what uplifts me or brings me to tears or makes me very, very, very sad. The kind of sad that you want to feel when there’s some good music in your spirit. The tears that bring joy. These are real for me. And sharing them with you is a very personal and real thing for me.”