Erykah Badu stopped by the NPR offices to give a soulful performance at their Tiny Desk. During the 15-minute concert accompanied by her live band, Badu performs an impassioned, stripped-down version of “Rimshot” and “Green Eyes.”
Badu starts off by introducing herself, her band, and her plethora of aliases and nicknames. She then performs “Rimshot” from her debut 1997 album Baduzium before giving a rendition of her 10-minute-long track “Green Eyes” from 2000’s Mama’s Gun.
The icon’s performance is mesmerizing, as she sings about the emotional steps one goes through after a breakup. She shares the stage with her seven-piece band, which includes RC Williams, Braylon Lacy, Cleon Edwards, Frank Moka, Kenneth Whalum, Keyon Harrold, and Dwayne Kerr. She may be singing for the employees at NPR, but Badu gives her all as if she’s performing to a crowd of hundreds.
Yesterday, the Dallas native appeared in the trailer for Taraji P. Henson’s new comedy What Men Want, a gender-flipped version of Mel Gibson’s 2000’s flick What Women Want. Badu plays a psychedelic healer who gives Henson’s character some rancid tea that allows her to hear men’s thoughts. In other words, Badoula Oblongata is basically playing herself.
Earlier this year, Badu faced some heat for controversial comments she made about Hitler. NPR also interviewed the singer, and she addressed her unpopular opinions.
“I don't have the most popular opinion. So I think, as human beings, we want someone to pick a side. We want you to pick this side or that side. Because if you're speaking positively about this side, it means that you aren't on that side. So they want you to pick a side. There has to be a villain,” she explained. “And because I don't do that, because I'm observing everything and trying to be a voice just for the whole, it's confusing to some people.”
Watch Badu's full Tiny Desk concert below.