Mixtape Friday - I Blame Badu
By Canyon Cody
Published in The Heights
Erykah Badu should be banished from hip-hop.
I love her neo-soul and even respect her as a well-rounded b-girl (check out her break dancing, scratching, and freestyling in her video for "Love of My Life"), but she is single-handedly ruining hip-hop. Like the Sirens from Homer's Odyssey, her pretty voice tempts talented emcees into her bedroom, only to be stripped of their rapping abilities while they are sleeping. Rappers: Do not be tempted by her mellifluous voice and furry bush! Stay away at all costs!
Andre 3000 "A Life in the Day of Benjamin" The Love Below
For years, Andre was one of the most versatile rappers around, but then he met Badu and turned into a granola-eating hippie. The guy who used to brag that his "oral demonstration is like clitoral stimulation" basically gave up rapping altogether for The Love Below. I'm glad that white college girls who would otherwise never listen to hip-hop have found a place in their iPod for "Hey Ya!" but hip-hop lost a true emcee. Who is at fault? Ask Andre: "I started likin' this girl/ Now you know her as Erykah 'on and on' Badu/ We're young in love, in short we had fun/ No regrets, no abortion, had a son." Thanks a lot, Erykah.
Badu also committed the most notorious girlfriend atrocity: She came between best friends. When Outkast breaks up, thank the modern day Yoko Ono.
Common "Come Close" Electric Circus
Once Badu broke Andre's heart, she moved on to Common. Though he has always been an eccentric rapper, he used to temper his artsy rhymes with just enough venom to keep his respect. Once Badu touched his loins, his beef turned to tofu. He once said, "I rap with a chip on my shoulder," but now he just raps with a knitted hemp hat on his head. It makes me cringe to see Common in his video for "Come Close," drawing flashcards to express his love for his blind girlfriend. He raps, "The pimp in me may have to die with you." Sadly, the rapper in him died with Badu as well.
dead prez "Mind Sex" Let's Get Free
Badu ditched Common and moved on to M1 from dead prez. M1 was on the rebound after being dropped by his record label and needed Badu's warm love. dead prez hasn't released an album since M1 was contaminated, but I would like to blame Badu retroactively for "Mind Sex," which is quite possibly the pansiest rap song ever. dead prez should stick to its black nationalist agenda ("Pimp the system, bang for freedom, f- the high schools, burn the prisons") and avoid oversentimental love songs. Real gangstas don't like salad. "How bout we start/ with a salad, a fresh bed of lettuce with croutons/ Later we can play a game of chess on the futon." I bet 2Pac didn't own a futon.
DOC "The Formula" No Once Can Do It Better
Recently, HipHopSite.com floated this rumor: "Badu: Pregnant or Fat?" To everyone's surprise, she's expecting and the father is old-school rapper DOC. In 1989, the DOC's debut album earned one of The Source magazine's coveted five mics (back when The Source was a reputable publication), but shortly thereafter the rapper suffered a near-fatal car accident that crushed his larynx and severely damaged his voice. Fortunately, he doesn't have much of a career for Badu to ruin, but if you see the DOC rockin' plaid thrift store pants, you know who to blame.