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By Kalamu ya Salaam at Kalamu.com

Saturday, July 7, 2012.

This Badu Re-Do Mixtape is a collection of remixes and mash-ups scoured from hours of online trolling trying to come up with a truly amazing array of tunes, most of which folk have heard before in their original form. Those of us into the music are aware of the dust-up surrounding the recent video collaboration with alternative rock band The Flaming Lips that produced what became a scandalous music video (complete with full frontal nudity of Erykah’s sister Nayrok who functioned as a Badu quasi-body double). Over one weekend the video went viral and negative feedback rained down like ketchup in an ultra-cheap, home-made spaghetti western.

To me the most important aspect of the whole affair was how sad the music was. Yes, it was totally un-Badu; weak and uninspiring. In fact, who would suffer through this were it not for the naked women—Erykah in a cheap bathtub and Nayrock writhing and rubbing down her body first with red (implying blood) and then cream-colored (implying ejaculate) thick liquids, obviously suggesting violence and kinky sex? Were it not for the spectacle of sex I don’t believe most Badu fans would have bothered to listen all the way through to this travesty of the Roberta Flack identified “First time” song.

And I won’t even go into a semiotic analysis of images of fully clothed white men juxtaposed with naked black women simulating sexual arousal.

Our BoL Badu Re-Do Mixtape was put together weeks before the flaming video escaped into the wilds of the internet. Moreover, this is actually the third BoL Badu Mixtape (see here and here) focusing on remixes, and this may also be the strongest of the three because of the quality of the remixes.

Erykah Badu’s sound is distinctive not just in tone and timbre but also because of the drum in her throat. Her cadence and approach to phrasing is instantly identifiable, which means regardless of the surrounding sound-bed her vocals generate an emotional momentum of their own. It’s not just clever hooks or easy to hum melodies. Badu’s music is a force field that encourages dreaming and experimentation. While listening to her one hears all kinds of possibilities far beyond the specifics of the original recording.
The force is so strong with Badu that the attraction is as definite and unavoidable as the earth’s gravity. Rappers fiend to spit over her beats, to have her voice wash over their flow. And don’t even talk about music producers with their favorite software and sound equipment—those cats drool for the opportunity to tweak a Badu cut. If you need evidence, simply go to the Soundcloud or Bandcamp web sites and search for Erykah, you’ll get pages and pages, and pages of Badu re-dos.

Over the last year or so there have been literally hundreds of versions of “On & On” and maybe because I’m not an aspiring rapper I have not been bitten by the bug that causes someone to think they can come up with a killer verse to use on “Window Seat.”
That’s it. Listen to the Badu Re-do Mixtape. I rest my case.

—Kalamu ya Salaam
P.S. Seems like Badu lightening has struck twice. Over at the BamaLoveSoul music website they recently dropped a Mixtape of Badu remixes and covers. Guess what, although we present some of the same songs, there is not one duplication of versions, which reinforces my argument that Badu is the baddest force in contemporary music when it comes to attracting remixes and covers. Go here to get a free download of BamaLoveSoul Presents Y’all Feel That?: Erykah Badu Remixes, Flips & Covers.

01 “Old School” 2Pac & Erykah Badu
02 “Real Thang” (Doo-Wop Remix)
03 “Southern Girl” (Opolopo Remix)
04 “Southern Girl” 3-4-2012
05 “On & On” (Da Boom Squad Remix)
06 “On and On” (Mercutio’s remix)
07 “Real Thang” (Mista Bright remix)
08 “Soldier (of Love)” (Sade vs Badu)
09 “Pick Your Afro” (Baduuuu Badu)
10 “Out My Mind, Just in Time” (DJ Kiva)
11 “The Healer”
12 “On & On” (Khainz & Clari Ann Bootleg remix)
13 “On & On” (Blu Mar Ten remix)
14 “Window Seat” (Soulem)
15 “Honey” (Reckonize Real remixes)
16 “Ye Yo”
17 “Next Lifetime” (Krucial Remix)
18 “On and On” (Donyea Remix)

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