In her latest interview on Ebro Darden’s The Message, Badu shared, “We can effectively come together and change those things as we’ve seen over the years and it takes time.”
This year’s Election Day is filled with an undeniable feeling of anxiousness. To offset those vibes, Erykah Badu has joined Apple Music’s Ebro Darden for The Message. The new playlist and interview series spotlights Black voices in music in hopes of creating a dialogue speaking to our experiences in the United States.
In the first episode, out later today, Badu shares her thoughts on how she’s coping with ongoing issues the nation is experiencing. Accompanying the interview is a playlist she curated titled “Now Breathe Like It.” It features tracks including “Africano” by Earth Wind & Fire, “King Heroin” by Donny Hathaway, Quincy Jones’ “Everything Must Change.”
When speaking on the playlist Badu said, “These are songs that I truly and really wake up to every day, that I play in the car when I need it.” She also adds, “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.”
She also expanded on her feelings heading into the election:
“No matter what we believe, what the powers that be believe will affect us. No matter how many different directions we want to take ourselves and our communities, what the powers that be believe will affect 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.”
On unifying as a community, she said, “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.”
Another standout moment of the interview included her speaking about a documentary she filmed recently ahead of the election. She candidly shared that she went around asking people what they believed and were they Democrats or Republicans. Badu also asked if they believe the system really worked or if the voting system actually works.
“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,” she said. “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.”
No matter how you look at it, 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year that’s been filled with chaotic energy. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the ongoing election, it seems like the U.S. especially hasn’t gotten a break. But, Badu believes the year epitomizes her life, “This has been a very long and short and long and short year. 2020 kind of describes how my life is… dramatic pauses and crazy endings and rapid beginnings.”
Watch Erykah Badu and Ebro Darden’s The Message interview here.