Twenty years ago neo soul album Baduizm signaled the start of one of the most inspiring musical careers of our time. In 1997, Erykah Badu was a young singer, teacher, and mother-to-be from Dallas, Texas. Baduizm was her introduction, manifesto, and game-changing gift to the world. After releasing her debut, Erykah toured for the next nine months and recorded her Live album, dropping it on the very day she gave birth to her son, Seven.
Baduizm earned Erykah hit singles, Grammy awards, and the love of millions. In the two decades since, Ms. Badu has gotten better and better…at EVERYTHING.
Her music has continued to evolve; inspired by newer artists like PartyNextDoor and Drake, Erykah STILL drops some of the HOTTEST singles and mixtapes. She’s taken up acting, producing, dramatic performance art and non-profit advocacy. She has a remarkable ability to do so many things and know so many people, but always stay true to herself. Connected, but free.
Most importantly to her, she’s been an absolutely amazing mother.
“In all I do, I try to represent life, give birth to different things: melodies, music, prayers… babies.”
Creation is the deepest part of Erykah’s artistic center. In a way, she was already a mother before she ever birthed her own children. She drew this connection herself during her monologue on Live (quoted above). Ms. Badu is creative on multiple levels, beyond motherhood. But also, let’s not get it twisted: truly great parenting is nothing short of REVOLUTIONARY and transformative to our world.
Her Spiritual/Philosophical Base
Ms. Badu has examined every phase of human life and the world has taught her well. Working as a doula helping babies transition to earth and a companion for elders making their transition to death, she has created a powerful spiritual foundation for her parenting. Her children are supported by a loving community and experience a humanistic whole-child education, which has included homeschooling and a focus on the arts.
Her Revolutionary Relationships
Erykah Badu has the kind of enlightened, beautifully healthy tribe that puts status quo “family values” to shame. She has supportive co-parenting partnerships with three of the very few people on this earth who may have talents approaching her own. Her three children, Seven, Puma, and Mars, are shining jewels of creativity and self-love and her connection to them (and their fathers) is a beauty to behold. Erykah is raising them in the same city where she grew up, surrounded by family (including both of her grandmothers who still live nearby). Connected, and free.
Ms. Badu, being her usual positive self, has never criticized the narrow mainstream expectations of wifehood. But she is a phenomenal matriarch, and the way she manages her family is masterful. Puma’s father, famed rapper and writer The D.O.C., described a bit of this unique familial ecosystem recently in an interview with VladTV (watch the clip below):
Her Passion For Health
Since the year she dropped Baduizm, she’s eaten vegan, and Erykah has frequently graced Snapchat and other platforms with videos of her backyard garden and eclectic kitchen as she pickles her homegrown veggies and makes her sauces. She’s explained that her children still eat the same foods as other kids at school, just healthier vegetarian versions. She had a natural home birth for all three of her children, and breastfed them too, a feat that sometimes required her youngest be in the studio with her while she recorded her last album (watch the mama-in-action below):
They are the future. That is all.
Our son Seven got his 4 college choice acceptance letters. Makes parents feel good. Dream worked.
Young Mars Merkaba hit nine flips today!
Do you like you?
Erykah Badu’s sage advice from Baduizm (about friendship, lovers, and the life decisions that come when a baby is on the way) set the stage for a twenty-year-long lesson not just for me, but for all women, mothers, parents…people. Baduizm shared a revolutionary philosophy, and Mama’s Gun emboldened us to live it. Worldwide Underground united us with all of humanity while the world…keeps…turning, and Badu’s vision of a New Amerykah is inspiring us right now to fight for the beautiful world that our seeds deserve. Erykah Badu has given us more than just music, she’s also helped us become better people.