TGJ Replay: Erykah Badu’s ‘Baduizm’

Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.  So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits.  With the album many attribute to the popularization of the late 90s neo-soul movement, this week’s ‘Replay’ revisits Erykah Badu‘s prized debut album ‘Baduizm’.

In a musical landscape dominated by hip hop and booty-shaking heauxs, R&B was seeing itself move from its slow-jam fueled resurgence of the early 90s and embrace the more bass driven genre – with more and more numbers becoming fused with hip hop heavy sounds.

And, while some saw it as progression and others as conformity, there were still a slew of artists that believed R&B’s future should be an ode to its past.  In a movement coined “neo-soul”, artists like Maxwell & D’Angelo fronted a return of early 70s-styled rhythm & blues and, with the incorporation of then-modern R&B stylings, birthed a new genre.

But, if those crooners helped lay the foundation, then a certain Miss Erykah Badu unquestionably laid the bricks & stones with her groundbreaking debut album ‘Baduizm’.  Led by the jazz-infused number ‘On & On’

Badu brought a cool unseen in R&B chicks before her…bringing to masses the rebirthed popularity of poetry and rhythmic stylings made famous in underground jazz clubs across the country.

Erykah was a walking homage to African American history, adorning that signature headwrap that seemed to serve as a crown.  For, indeed, neo-soul’s matronly monarch had arrived…

The album would go on to a million copies within two months of its debut and earn the songstress two Grammys – confirmation that the late 90s R&B leading lady had arrived.  She, along with Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, India Arie, and many more would act as the top poetess’s of popular music – adding substance to the stylistic genre R&B had become.  Interestingly, Badu continues to be neo-soul’s heartbeat in an era where it seems to be on life support.

Join us in honoring the Queen (who just celebrated her 42nd birthday last week)…

Your thoughts?

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  1. Suicide Blonde March 3, 2013

    She’s cool, i like her, her music is fresh, good Thatgrapejuice, finally a decent post.

  2. nude March 3, 2013

    Loved this album. I tried to get tickets to her show, but they sold out quick! F***!

  3. SayWhaaatt!!!!! March 3, 2013

    This CD is one of my favs. I was watching a block of her videos on Centric and they were creative and refreshing. It was showing what’s missing with today’s artist.

  4. bibi93 March 3, 2013

    Certified Classik!!

  5. King B>Rihanna March 3, 2013

    Love this chick.

    • Ashanti slays / BraveHeart will slay March 3, 2013

      who is she? when was she relevant?

      • PhuckYoPrideHo March 3, 2013

        You must be a 90s baby smh ugh sit down. Your ear hasn’t been blessed with good music you have no idea. Take notes on whats real music instead of the fuckery ya’ll shake your lacefronts too. She is very much relevant honey check her stats. Not everybody needs glitter onesies and sweaty crotch gyrating to be relevant nowdays. This was the best days you just mad because you didn’t experience it like we have.

  6. Ashanti slays / BraveHeart will slay March 3, 2013


  7. PhuckYoPrideHo March 3, 2013

    Its was all about talent in this era, Now its all gimmicks. If you can stand with the best of them and still be successful you proven yourself to be force reckoned with in this industry. Nowadays, good artists have to blackballed in order for certain folks to shine. People stilling songs and beats through financial and social intimidation. Its pathetic that these artists today can hold their own unless there are only ones out there. Its not about talent or record sales either because these muvafuckas buy they own s***. If you don’t know the artist, do your homework because thats who everybody be copying off of.

  8. savonn March 3, 2013

    love love this album.. wish she would revisit this sound.

  9. Janae March 3, 2013

    Love love love Erykah. I play her music almost daily because her music is so deep. I miss the 90s and the vibes it used to bring.

  10. Music Soul Harmony March 3, 2013

    LMAO is an Ashanti fan shading queen Erykah?

  11. the real xoxo March 4, 2013

    I love this album.
    I prefer her second album “Mama’s Gun” over it though.

  12. dboy6 March 4, 2013

    one the badddest singers in the game i just wish she would just LOOK commercial one album and sing fa her life tht would b crazy. the grown n exotic n church folk would go cray

  13. i&i(yardie) March 4, 2013

    Still bumps to erykah badu. On and On and Bag Lady are still some of my favourite songs to this day

  14. soulmusiclover March 4, 2013

    classic album , awesome and legendary artist!

  15. POP ROYALTY ( RUDE BOY) March 4, 2013

    this album simply gives me life with every play.

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