|I like beer. A beer company (EABL) brought us Badu.|
|Ann Mitaru & Janet Onyango|
|Wanjeri Gakuru & Nigel Mwaura|
|Me and my sister|
An Ode to Badu
Okay, so the reviews on social media are out and it can be safely said that Erykah Badu's performance was a ridiculous hit. Just before the concert I rushed home and rifled around for her music, for a quick refresher as I got ready; I salvaged four albums: Baduizm (of course!), The Kabbah, Mama's Gun, & Worldwide Underground.
Yes, Badu brought it (on a night that just happened to be the eve of Kenya's 49th Independence Day). To me, what took her show from being just superbly entertaining to being a pivotal moment in my life is that the music was about something. It had messages in it (musically and lyrically) that felt compelling to me. In that one show I was compelled to love myself, to be proud of my country, to feel in kindred spirit with the throngs around me, and to feel nostalgic for my youth - all at once. That old-school conscious hiphop thing lives in Erykah Badu.
When Baduizm came out in '97, it started a style revolution. Suddenly, ethnic fashion was the done thing: African prints & textures, statement jewellery, towering headwraps, dreadlocks... She glamorized the African goddess look, made it palatable to the masses. Of course, Badu has moved on from the faceless batik-wearing woman on the cover of that album that pretty much triggered the neo-soul lifestyle for so many soulheads like myself. But the essence of that album is firmly in place. Last night, in red pants (with a giant chain hanging hipster-style), blue sweatshirt, black boots (which came off halfway through the show), a lot of bangles, super long tresses underneath an old felt hat, and not a stitch of make-up, Badu was nothing you can really categorize style-wise. She was just herself.
Follow Erykah Badu on Twitter @fatbellybella, it's worth it.