Baduizm Brings Nirvana To Fox

•March 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Often labeled “Queen of Neo Soul” and considered an Earth Mother to modern hip hop, Erykah Badu spread her positivity and urban philosophical beats to a full house at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Friday night. Badu creatively reinterpreted her classics such as “Apple Tree”, adding her own freestyle beats and scats to a track that brought the crowd into a fist-raising frenzy. Tracks from Badu’s new album, “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)”, which were scattered throughout the set like yesterday’s rain, also brought support from the enthusiastic and open-minded crowd.

Joined by Bay Area soul artist Goapele, and introduced unexpectedly by comedian and Badu supporter Dave Chappelle, the show seemed like a festive, yet intellectual block party, much like the one portrayed in the “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” documentary. Although the heat of the packed floor at one point brought concern to Badu, she never paused or stopped the beats, but chose instead to douse the dehydrated front row with water from her own bottle and instruct her crew to toss out water bottles to those in need.

The evening’s climax was the finale, as Badu playfully teased the crowd with quick pieces of favorites such as “Tyrone”, a song of romantic rebellion that previously brought her to the forefront as a force to be reckoned with during the ’90s grunge-dominated music industry. As Badu joined hands with select members of the enormous crowd, her words from her ode to hip hop song, “The Healer”, began to make sense–“Hip hop is bigger than religion”. To Badu, hip hop encompasses and unifies all under one soulful house of worship. Last night, this house was the Fox Theater.