Erykah Badu Attends Essence ‘Black Women in Music’ Event


Erykah Badu Wows in Ashi Studio Black Velvet Gown

Essence magazine’s 8th Annual Black Women in Music event was held last night at the NeueHouse in Hollywood, California. This year’s ceremony honored singer Erykah Badu, who per usual, showed up and showed out. Erykah was literally drooling jewelry as she graced the red carpet in a black velvet gown from Ashi Studio’s 2016 Fall Couture Collection.
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Erykah Badu’s Hotline Bling Remix

ERYKAH BADU HOTLINE BLING REMIXWe hope you’re ready for another remix of Drake’s summer hit Hotline Bling, because singer Erykah Badu is the third artist to put her personal stamp on the popular tune.

Rapper Jadakiss released a remix of the song a few weeks ago titled Thotline Bling, which was quickly proceeded by singer Keyshia Cole and her more girl friendly version of the tune.

Erykah’s interpretation, however, takes things up a bit thanks to the addition of some hilarious lyrics and production help from her son Seven Benjamin.
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Erykah Badu for Essence Magazine

Erykah Badu Stuns in Latest Photoshoot for Essence

Essence magazine’s first ever Global Edition is being covered by the incomparable Erykah Badu.
The High Priestess of Neo-Soul was was photographed by South African photographer Warwick Saint, who took the singer back to the Motherland for stops in Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Nairobi.

Erykah was photographed at several famous locals, including the grounds of Giraffe Manor, the Serengeti National Park and the Residence Hotel in Kamikaze Beach.
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Erykah Badu & Ricardo Tisci Channel the 70s


Eclectic soul singer Erykah Badu was recently lensed for the inside pages of InStyle’s 20th Anniversary issue.

The September edition of the magazine, which features actress Julia Roberts on the cover, was creatively helmed by photographer Ricardo Tisci, who calls himself a Badu “super fan.”

Tisci personally called on Erykah for her 70s-inspired photo shoot, just as he did earlier this year when he hand-picked the singer to represent Givenchy in their Spring 2014 campaign.
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Janelle Monáe’s BET Awards Performance

Missed Janelle Monae’s high energy performance of her new single ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’ at last night’s BET Awards Ceremony? Well, fret not; we have it for you here.

Check out Janelle doing her thing below, accompanied by fellow R&B diva Erykah Badu.

Erykah Badu Styles for GQ Magazine

R & B singer Erykah Badu is featured inside the pages of GQ Magazine’s November style edition. The 40-year old mother of three gives the deets on her upcoming album and most surprisingly, the role she says comedian Steve Harvey played in her career.

Excerpts below…

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.”

Read more here.

Bitches With Bags

How are you today?  When was the last time you seriously asked yourself that?  Keep that thought in mind—I’m coming back to it.

I got home from work Friday and sat in my car for a second. I grabbed my purse, laptop bag; workout bag and both cell phones. I refused to make two trips back to the car and chose to carry everything at once.  I struggled.  It became even more difficult when I insisted on answering an email on my Blackberry while opening the door.  Once I stepped in, I flung my load onto the couch and exhaled a sigh of relief.  I turned my IPOD on and the first song that played was Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady.  It tripped me out for a second.

I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes.  I began thinking about me and my bags.  Bags full of Issues.  Some of them don’t even belong to me.  Some of them, I didn’t ask for.  They were left on my doorstep.  They were someone else’s and I chose to carry them for them.  They were now all of my bags.  And to make matters worse, the heavy load from the bags was wearing me down and turning me into a bitch.  A bitch with a mean bag collection.

Maybe it has something to do with my folks robbing me of a gang of money or my cousin being murdered or the reality that no matter how hard I work, I can’t save my family from themselves, I can’t fly my friends around the world popping bottles and I can’t make the man I love speak or even understand my language to save my life.  Maybe it was one or all of those issues turning me into a bitch.  Stress. Lack of sleep.  Life.

I used to tell myself that I would never let life beat me down.  That I would never let situations alter who I was as a person.  I thought that, despite the trials and tribulations that surrounded me, I would still be able to maintain the positive vibe and energy that I make a conscience effort to embody everyday.

Negative.  “One day, all them bags gon’ get in your way.”  And the next thing you know, you’re a woman with an attitude problem who has a serious lack of patience and a small tolerance for BS.  And if you don’t catch it in time, you’ll find yourself on the same path to Bitchville.

And to make matters worse, the older we get and the more money we make, the prettier the bags become; you go from Coach to Gucci and soon realize that a bag is a bag is a bag.  No matter how well we clean up, on the inside, we’re still carrying that same ol’ baggage.  It causes us to struggle even more.  What’s a bigger fight or struggle than the one you have with yourself?

Reality Check.  Intervention.  That’s what I told myself Friday on that couch. I needed to humble myself before God did.  No matter what happened to me, it is not an excuse to bitch my way through life.  It’s only a reason to check in on myself and make sure I’m OK and to figure out what it takes to keep me going as whole as I can.  I owe me and those who believe in me that much.

If I’m certain about anything, it’s that we cannot change the past.  You cannot go back and make your parents give you a better childhood; you cannot bring a loved one back to life, you cannot stop a past of molestation, abuse or violence, you cannot stop your first love from breaking your heart, you cannot stop your husband or wife from cheating, you cannot change what happened yesterday—but you can forgive it. It’s a good time to heal.

How are you today?  When was the last time you seriously asked yourself that? Do you find yourself missing who you used to be—a more forgiven, trusting, loving, open, carefree person?  Have you allowed things to alter who and what you are?

We all have.  Not allowing circumstances to shape and define who we are is much easier said than done, but its something that we at least have to try.  Clearing our hearts and minds is a gateway to a healthier life; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and beyond.

You have so much to be grateful for.  Look around you, people are losing everything that they worked for.

A little optimism and hope, laughter and prayer can go a long way.  Be patient with your life; God is not done with you yet. Don’t stunt your own growth. Help Him, help you.

It’s never too late to start over and if you’re moving into a new you, it’s ok to leave some old bags at the old house.  Drop those things off and embrace the load that is being lifted off of your shoulders—it’s something to sigh about!

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love.  For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel visit

You can also follow Ashley Charisma on: Twitter and Facebook


Life Lessons From Erykah Badu

“I just want one sip of whatever she’s drinking,” that’s what I told my friend as we watched Erykah Badu pour yet another serving of her infamous “tea.”  (Aren’t you a little curious as to what’s “really” in there?)

Anywho, she performed over the Memorial Day weekend in Baltimore (my hometown) and I must say, it was one of my favorite Badu performances to date.

While her shows are pretty consistent in style, it’s obvious that either Badu is on the comeback from heartache, she’s still enjoying the pleasures of herbal remedies or she just really doesn’t care.  It could be all of the above but it really seems like she’s found a way to free herself from the demands of public perception and expectations.  There’s a life lesson there, we’ll get back to it.

She started the show with my current favorite song, Out My Mind Just in Time and for the entire performance of that song I thought I was her backup singer.  Then she went into Me, a song where she often enjoys displaying her favorite finger at the thought of the media exploiting her journey and testimony.

She shocked much of the crowd when she later  dropped her black trench-coat and hat for a peach colored spring flowing dress. (Is Badu going back to her Mama’s Gotta Gun days?)  She even accompanied the dress with a few moves that verified that Badu was indeed… a woman.

Watching Ms. Badu perform made me think of one thing, what if more people could be that free?

What if our flaws, shortcomings, dysfunctional attributes were appreciated more than critiqued and criticized?  Who or what would we have to hide from then?  Only our belief in a higher power and a higher value of ourselves—right?

Would there be less stress and pressure to measure up to something often unrealistic?

Badu has had three children by three different men.  Is she supposed to hide that and be ashamed?  Or take it as life and the lessons she’s learned.  It may not even be, by her standards, wrong.  So who are we or rather, society, to suggest it is?

Who is perfect?  Who can really throw the first stone?

Unfortunately, we have been trained and conditioned to live in a box and we’ve been given examples and guidelines of what’s right and wrong. We drive ourselves crazy trying to fit that mold knowing that some of who we really are spiels over and we’re stuck trying to put a spanx on the bodies of our story.

I know that many of us have careers that are black and white.  Politicians and preachers often have to pretend and so do a lot of people like me and you.  Whether you’re doing it for your family, community, position, name…I’m sure a part of you wishes you could sip some of Badu’s tea and dance to the grooves of your own truths.

Other people may not appreaciate it, but I rather enjoy the backend often neglected stories that ultimately make people who they are.  And I rather think its usually an intriguing and beautiful person behind all of the make-up and black trench-coats that we wear.

But who am I?  I’m just a fan who may have been sprinkled with Badu’s fairy dust.  Pray for my return.

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love.  For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel visit

You can also follow Ashley Charisma on:
Twitter and Facebook