Band/Artist Profile

Hopscotch Artist Profile: Erykah Badu

Grammy Award winner Erykah Badu will headline Red Hat Amphitheater as a part of this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival. Badu is an R&B/soul artist, and all of her albums distinctly represent pop culture and human relationships from the time periods in which they were created. Her sound has morphed over time, but Badu has maintained her mellow storytelling style throughout her career. Her first album, Baduizm, has been her most popular. Baduizm is a relaxing listen, but it’s just as expressive as her subsequent releases. The album reflects on independence and love, with excellent vocals and instrumentation. Demonstrating her versatility, Badu has collaborated with André 3000, The Roots, Janelle Monáe, Lil Wayne, and Tyler, the Creator. Badu’s two New Amerykah albums possess the most variety in tempo and style, with some fully R&B songs and others more focused on electronic musicality and vocal experimentation. After rewriting Drake’s “Hotline Bling” in a track titled “Cel U Lar Device,” Badu recorded and released a full-length mixtape in late 2015. The album, But You Caint Use My Phone, fluidly blends Badu’s own vocal stylings and humor into a concise history of cell phone-themed songs.

Alongside her twenty years of musical releases, Badu is also an activist for people of color and women. She runs the charity Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development, which promotes the arts in inner-city areas. Most recently, Badu has committed to donating proceeds from her performances to test rape kits which were discovered in storage of the Detroit Police Department.

But You Caint Use My Phone is available on Spotify and iTunes. Erykah Badu performs at 8 pm on Friday, September 9 at Red Hat. The full Hopscotch schedule is available here.