Wednesday 6 July 2016

5 Songs About: Erykah Badu guest appearances

‘Poetry’ by The RH Factor featuring Q-Tip & Erykah Badu
‘Hard Groove’, 2003, Verve Records
Having immersed himself within the soul and funk of D’angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ (and subsequent tour) and songs for Badu’s ‘Mama’s Gun’, Hargrove appeared inspired enough to create his own funk-soul outfit, The RH Factor, and release ‘Hard Groove’ in 2003.  An incredible guest list graced the project including Anthony Hamilton, D’angelo, Shelby J, James Poyser, Pino Palladino, Renee Neufville and many others, but it’s ‘Poetry’, which pairs Hargrove with Badu and Q-Tip that may very well be the show-stealer of the lot.

‘Come Close’ [Jay Dee Remix] by Common featuring Erykah Badu, Q-Tip & Pharrell Williams
2003, MCA Records
‘Come Close’, produced by The Neptunes and featuring Mary J Blige, was the lead single to Common’s ‘Electric Circus’ album.  Already that song boasts an impressive line-up of artists but it pales in comparison to the dream-team assembled for the remix…

‘Maiysha (So Long)’ by Robert Glasper featuring Erykah Badu
'Everything’s Beautiful’ by Robert Glasper, 2016, Blue Note Records
Brand spanking new – with an accompanying video to boot – Badu continues the trend as a friend and frequent collaborator for Robert Glasper by appearing in another of his star-studded album line-ups.  The album ‘Everything’s Beautiful’ was Glasper’s ode to Miles Davis’s music and the two rekindle their chemistry with ‘Maiysha (So Long)’, a song that Davis would probably have summed up as… “Cool!”

‘Q.U.E.E.N.’ by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu
‘The Electric Lady’, 2013, Bad Boy Records
This song is probably a collaboration people would have craved but not necessarily thought they’d actually get: it very much seems a case of two worlds colliding as Erykah Badu takes a trip to Metropolis for another of Monae’s outings as Cindi Mayweather… and the results are otherworldly!

‘Plenty’ by Guru featuring Erykah Badu
‘Jazzmatazz vol.3: Streetsoul’, 2000, EMI Records
While many criticized Guru’s third ‘Jazzmatazz’ outing for its distinctive lack of jazz in comparison to the two efforts that preceded it, ‘Streetsoul’ was Guru’s astute attempt to stay ahead of the curve of neo-soul’s success by featuring many of its luminaries including Badu, Angie Stone, Amel Larrieux and Bilal.  ‘Plenty’ is another case of the Badu contribution stealing the show as she and Guru go back-&-forth for a charming and innovative duet.

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