Erica Wright (1971- ), also known as Medulla Oblongata, also known as Sara Bellum, also known as Annie, also known as Analog Girl In A Digital World, also known as Maria Mexico, also known as Lowdown Loretta Brown, also known as Humdi Lila + Allah + Jehova + Yaweh Dios Ma’ad + Jah Rastafara + Fyah + Dance + Sex + Music + Hip-Hop, also known as Erykah Badoula, also known as Erykah Badu, is an American midwife of babies and song.
- 1996: On & On (#1)
- 1997: Next Lifetime (#1)
- 2000: Bag Lady (#1)
- 2002: Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop) (#1)
“Tyrone” (1997) never charted.
Her music has been called neo-soul. She has been called one of the Soulquarians. But to try to put her in a box is like trying to put the wind in a box. Part of her charm is that she does not sound like everyone else, that she does not march in formation.
That said, her music is rooted in soul music (Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Steve Wonder, etc) and jazz (especially Billie Holiday), yet is informed by hip hop – she started out as a rapper in high school, not a singer.
She was born in Dallas, Texas under the sign of Pisces. Her mother and grandmother supported her interest in the arts. By high school she was already “weird”, but she saw that as a good thing. Thank God. At high school and university, she studied not music but theatre and dance. But her cousin, Free Bradford, studied music production and helped to shape her sound, enough to get her (but not him!) a record deal.
Albums: She came to New York and made her first album, “Baduizm” (1997). It was a big hit. None of her albums since have come close to it in sales, even though she considers “Mama’s Gun” (2000) the better album. These days she lives in Dallas and rarely works on albums: partly because she can make better money from concerts, partly because her children are still young.
Children: She has three children by three different men and has never been married:
- 1997: Seven Sirius Benjamin (father: Andre Benjamin)
- 2004: Puma Sabti Curry (father: Tracy Curry, aka The D.O.C.)
- 2009: Mars Merkaba Thedford (father: Timothy Thedford, aka Jay Electronica)
Some say she is setting a bad example. She says:
“I’m nowhere near a single mom. I mean, I am, but the fathers are always here.”
The fathers spend much of the year in Dallas. She chose them carefully, knowing they would be good fathers. Each is a musical talent in his own right.
Rape culture: In April 2016 she caused a firestorm on Twitter when she said (as the mother of two girls):
“… if I had a school I would make sure that the uniform skirt length was a nice knee length… It is fair to everyone.”
Which to some came off as blaming girls, not boys and men, for rape and sexual assault.
– Abagond, 2016.
- Living with Baduizm
- Fort Greene, Brooklyn – she was part of that scene in the 1990s
- Beyonce: Formation
- “Black is beautiful” – she is my poster child for that post
- The women I most reblogged on Tumblr in 2013