Erykah on her new album: “I’m recording an album right now, with [experimental music producer] Flying Lotus. I’m touring. But things are slowing down now ’cause my children are in school again. [Badu has three children: a son with Andre 3000; a daughter with rapper the D.O.C.; and a daughter with rapper Jay Electronica.] This is the time of year when we all nest in our little home in Dallas and cook breakfast and all those things we been doin’ on tour, just in one place. I’m kind of a recluse when it comes to going outside.”
Erykah on being pegged a “Neo-Soul” singer at the start of her career: “It was constructed outside of us (D’Angelo, Maxwell, Jill Scott). I think titles in music are mainly constructed to categorize things to sell units. If I can speak for a lot of artists who feel the same way I do, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t have one song that sounds like another one in my entire catalog. It only sounds alike because I’m present in all of it.”
Erykah on her connection to Steve Harvey: “When I was 23 or 24, I was rapping and emceeing a lot with Free, but I was also working at Steve Harvey’s comedy house. He was my boss—the best boss ever. Funny, generous, considerate, and he knew I was an artist. When I started working there I was a waitress, and somehow I became a hostess. When he knew he could trust me, he moved me to the ticket booth. I handled money and helped organize transportation and hotel reservations for the comedians that came in. I noticed Steve didn’t have a stage manager, so I got that job, making sure everybody was taken care of. I love being of service to people—the whole act of it is really great to me. One day Steve was late going onstage, so I went out to the mic and threw out some jokes and stuff. People were laughing and heckling and having fun and Steve came onstage and scolded me in front of everybody. It was so funny. We started doing it every night. [Laughs] It felt like, This is where I want to be. Steve was really inspirational in that.”
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