jeudi, janvier 31, 2008

Sticky Thing


Although somewhat comfortable with baldheadedness and cropped naps (exempting the weave loc years), a sufferer of 5%ers and a follower of Queen Afua, her son Supa Nova Slom and other Afrocentric health nuts, Erykah Badu is no outsider. Born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, according to most accounts she was a popular gal, an emcee who later became a beauty queen, a comedy writer, a sanger, seductress of a number of lithe rappers and inarguable winner. As Badu's bio suggests, prototypical Bohos are not Black awkwards but often Black plastics either post existential crisis or just in need of a new scene. So Badu, on the strength of her demonstrated wiles and wit, was well equipped to make otherness seem viable. She transformed the quirk Negress by virtue of being a Black beauty queen. She synthesized Suge and Celie, remember? There she was in Celie's station, without her infuriatingly silent aggrievement, smirking with Suge's self possession, minus the sparkle, unless you count those eyes. Badu always reminds us of her eyes. Her core audience, us Black girls who auntie's borrowed Dodge Caravan'ed to Lilith Fair at the Gorge in George to see her, understand light brown, hazel, blue, grey, green's significance. Many of our friends stacked their allowances and weekend job checks for colored contacts and then expectantly attended the boys. Many of us also sport upper arm ankh tattoos (see "Next Lifetime"); Our hearts sunk when we realized hers was just Henna. And fabric stores certainly lost revenue when she unwrapped her towered geles for good.

Now Badu, yeyo to this and other Bohos, is back. The music is smart and good but will never hit as it did then when my mama sent it cross the Pacific with my best friend who so eager to listen denied me the privilege of tearing that staticky CD wrapping off, when we mini-bused and KCR'ed and Star Ferry'ed ourselves to a rank tattoo parlor in Wan Chai for a ditch day's worth of hemming and hawing over the size and placement of potential ankh tattoos, when we believed that the world would indulge us as it had that green-eyed winner.

More is on the way....

PS-I really, really, really want need to review this record.