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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Studio album by Erykah Badu
Released February 11, 1997
Recorded January—October 1996
Studio Sigma Sounds & Ivory Studios in Philadelphia, Battery Studios in New York City and Dallas Sound Lab in Dallas, Texas
Length 58:15
Erykah Badu chronology
Singles from Baduizm
  1. "On & On"
    Released: December 1996
  2. "Next Lifetime"
    Released: May 1997
  3. "Otherside of the Game"
    Released: September 1997

Baduizm is the debut album by American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, released on February 11, 1997 by Kedar Records.[3] After leaving university in order to concentrate on music full-time, Badu then began touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, where she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during January to October 1996 at Battery Studios in New York City, Sigma Sounds & Ivory Studios in Philadelphia, and Dallas Sound Lab in Dallas.[4]

Upon release Baduizm was met with universal acclaim from music critics who praised the album's musical style and Badu's "artistic vision"; other critics noted similarities between Badu and Billie Holiday. Baduizm was a commercial success debuting at number two on the Billboard charts and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, the album was awarded with a variety of certifications, it was certified three times platinum by Recording Industry Association of America,[5] Gold by British Phonographic Industry[6] and Gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.[7]

The album was promoted with the release of four singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime", "Otherside of the Game", and "Apple Tree". The album won numerous accolades including winning awards for "On & On" and a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998. The album serves as a landmark album in the neo soul genre, Baduizm's success earned Erykah Badu popularity at the time and helped establish her as one of the emerging neo soul genre's leading artists. Along with fellow contemporaries such as D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), the album has been recognized by music writers for beginning neo soul's popularity and helping the genre obtain commercial visibility at the time.

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At the age of 14, Erykah was free-styling for a local radio station alongside such talents as Roy Hargrove. In her youth, she had decided to change the spelling of her first name from Erica to Erykah, as she believed her original name was a "slave name." The term 'kah' signifies one's inner self. She adopted the surname of Badu because it was her favorite jazz scat sound; also, among the Akan people in Ghana, it is the term for the 10th-born child.[8] Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu went on to study theater at Grambling State University, a historically black college. To concentrate on music full-time, she left the university in 1993 before graduating, and took on several minimum-wage jobs to support herself. She taught drama and dance to children at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Working and touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records.[8]

Recording and production

 Badu collaborated with The Roots (pictured) during the production of the album.
Badu collaborated with The Roots (pictured) during the production of the album.

Recording sessions for the album took place during January to October 1996 at Battery Studios in New York City, Sigma Sounds & Ivory Studios in Philadelphia, and Dallas Sound Lab in Dallas.[4] Badu revealed on Twitter that her debut album, was partly influenced by Brandy's debut album, saying in a tweet, “Brandy's first album was one of my inspirations when writing Baduizm. I looove that album [...] songs i liked were "I Wanna Be Down" and "Always on My Mind"... nice."[9]

Badu stated the album was inspired by her heritage, stating that during the recording process she was embracing her culture and African heritage, particularly head wraps and African drums.[10] After the album was recorded and ready to be released, Badu persuaded the label to let her go back to Philadelphia in order to record "Otherside of the Game" and "Sometimes", which were originally demos from a meeting with the band The Roots, who she had met following her record deal.[10] During the short stint in Philadelphia, Badu and The Roots came up with various songs, while "Sometimes" was originally written for Black Thought to rap on. The only songs recorded during the sessions produced in Philadelphia to appear on this album are "Otherside of the Game" and "Sometimes", while the other songs from the sessions was scrapped.[10]

Erykah Badu provided lead & background vocals, along with keyboards, drum machine & other music programming on the album with the help of Madukwu and N'Dambi who also provided additional vocals. Bob Power & Tone The Backbone provided various instruments and helped with the album's music programming alongside Ike Lee III who provided keyboards and programming and John Meredith who handled the album's drum machine programming. Jazz legend Ron Carter supplied bass for the track "Drama".[11] Badu enlisted producers Madukwu Chinwah, Bob Power, JaBorn Jamal, Ike Lee III, with contributions from Badu herself, Badu also enlisted Michael Gilbert, Chris Trevit, Bob Powers to engineer the project. The album was mixed by Ken "Duro" Ifill; Tim Latham; Bob Power.[11]

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[12]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[13]
Entertainment Weekly A[14]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[15]
Muzik 10/10[16]
NME 7/10[17]
Q 4/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[19]
Uncut 9/10[20]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[21]

Baduizm established Badu as a popular artist and received positive reviews from critics, who viewed the record as a return to the simplicity of early 1970s soul.[22] Vibe magazine's Karen R. Good called the record "a conduit of awakening of something dark, familiar and long slept",[23] while John Bush from AllMusic felt it was innovative primarily for its sound, "heavier hip-hop beats over organic, conscientious soul music".[12] Badu's particular style of singing drew many comparisons to Billie Holiday.[24] Entertainment Weekly said Badu echoed Holiday in "her phrasing and cadence",[14] while Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune commented: "Rather than merely mimicking Holiday, Badu offers a canny update of the socially conscious soul of the early '70s with her midtempo grooves and sultry, conversational vocals."[13] In the Los Angeles Times, Robert Hilburn wrote: "Freely mixing musical eras and inspirations (Billie Holiday to Stevie Wonder, jazz to hip-hop), Badu combines supper-club sophistication with an artistic vision as unique and independent" as Prince in the 1980s.[25] Writing for Rolling Stone, Miles Marshall Lewis stated: "Baduizm showcases the heart and soul of a bohemian B-girl who happens to have an effortless jazz swing."[19]

At the end of 1997, Baduizm was voted the seventh best record of the year in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics published by The Village Voice.[26] Robert Christgau, the poll's supervisor, was less enthusiastic and dismissed the comparisons to Billie Holiday,[27] deeming Badu "a mite too bourgie-boho" for his tastes.[28]

After Baduizm was released, it peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[29][30] The album's success helped establish Badu as one of the leading artists in the burgeoning neo soul genre.[2] Baduizm was certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, Gold by the British Phonographic Industry and the Canadian Recording Industry Association. [5] [6] [7]

As of February 2017 the album has sold 2.8 million copies in United States. [31]


In 1997, Badu received six nominations and won three, Favorite Female Solo Single for "On & On", Favorite Female Solo Album for Baduizm and Best R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year for "On & On" at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.[32][33] In 1998, Badu received fourteen nominations and won eight, including Favorite R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist at the American Music Awards; Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "On & On" and Best R&B Album for Baduizm at the Grammy Awards; Outstanding New Artist and Outstanding Female Artist at the NAACP Image Awards; Favorite Female Soul/R&B Single for "On & On", Favorite Female Soul/R&B Album for Baduizm and Favorite New R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist for "On & On" at the Soul Train Music Awards.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

Baduizm is listed as one of the 261 greatest albums since punk and disco (the year 1976), in the music critic Garry Mulholland's book Fear of Music (ISBN 0-7528-6831-4). 'This record works as seduction soundtrack, Saturday night chill-out, Sunday morning church replacement. The success of Erykah Badu's masterpiece briefly threatened to inspire a new era in conscious soul. But only Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo were at her level. Baduizm stands alone, a missing link between '70s street funk, basement jazz, bohemian hip hop and the blues reinventions of Portishead."

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Rimshot (Intro)" Erykah Badu, Madukwu Chinwah Madukwu Chinwah 1:56
2. "On & On" Erykah Badu, JaBorn Jamal Bob Power, JaBorn Jamal 3:45
3. "Appletree" Erykah Badu, Robert Bradford Ike Lee III, Erykah Badu 4:25
4. "Otherside of the Game" Erykah Badu, Questlove, Richard Nichols, James Poyser The Roots, Richard Nichols 6:33
5. "Sometimes (Mix #9)" Erykah Badu, The Roots, Richard Nichols, James Poyser The Roots, Richard Nichols, James Poyser 0:44
6. "Next Lifetime" Erykah Badu, A. Scott Tone the Backbone 6:26
7. "Afro (Freestyle Skit)" Erykah Badu, James Poyser, Jaífar Barron Erykah Badu, James Poyser, Jaífar Barron 2:04
8. "Certainly" Erykah Badu, Madukwu Chinwah Madukwu Chinwah 4:43
9. "4 Leaf Clover" David Lewis, Wayne Lewis Ike Lee III, Erykah Badu 4:34
10. "No Love" Erykah Badu, Robert Bradford Robert Bradford 5:08
11. "Drama" Erykah Badu, Ty Macklin Bob Power 6:02
12. "Sometimes..." Erykah Badu, The Roots, Richard Nichols, James Poyser The Roots, Richard Nichols, James Poyser 4:10
13. "Certainly (Flipped It)" Erykah Badu, Madukwu Chinwah Madukwu Chinwah 5:26
14. "Rimshot (Outro)" Erykah Badu, Madukwu Chinwah Madukwu Chinwah 2:19




  • Producers: Erykah Badu (tracks 3, 7, 9), Jaifar Barron (7), Robert Bradford (10), Madukwu Chinwah (1, 8, 13-14), Jamal "Jaborn Jamal" Cantero (2), Ike Lee III (3, 9), Richard Nichols (4-5, 12), Bob Power (2, 11), James Poyser (5, 7, 12), The Roots (4-5, 12), Tone The Backbone (6)
  • Executive producer: Kedar Massenburg
  • Recording Engineers: Lee Anthony (track 11), Tim Donovan (Additional on 2), Michael Gilbert (1, 3, 6-7, 9-10, 13-14), David Ivory (4-5, 7, 12), Anthony Lee, Bob Power (2, 11), Frank Salazar (8, 10), Chris Trevett (1, 6, 8, 14)
  • Assistant engineers: Paul Shatraw (track 13), Sharon Kearney (11), Charles McCrorey (1-2, 6-9, 11, 14), John Meredith (1, 3, 10, 14)
  • Mixing: Ken "Duro" Ifill (tracks 1, 7, 10, 13-14), Tim Latham (3-6, 8-9, 12), Bob Powers (2, 11)
  • Mixing assistants: Martin Czembor (tracks 1, 3, 5-7, 9-10, 12-14), Tim Donovan (2, 11), Paul Shatraw (4-6, 8, 12)
  • Music Programming: Erykah Badu (track 3), Ike Lee III (3), Bob Power (2), Tone The Backbone (6)
  • Additional Drum Machines: Erykah Badu (track 10), John Meredith (10)
  • Art direction: Sandie Lee Drake
  • Design: Susan Bibeau
  • Photography: Marc Baptiste
  • Stylist: Andrew Dosunmu


Weekly charts

Chart (1997) Peak
Netherlands Albums Chart 32
New Zealand Albums Chart[40] 32
Swedish Albums Chart[41] 7
UK Albums Chart[42] 17
UK R&B Albums Chart[43] 13
US Billboard 200[29] 2
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[44] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1997) Peak
US Billboard 200[29] 20


Region Certification
United States[5] 3× Platinum


Grammy Awards

Year Recipient Category Result
1998 Baduizm Best R&B Album Won
"On & On" Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Won
Best R&B Song Nominated
Erykah Badu Best New Artist Nominated

See also


  1. ^ a b "12. Erykah Badu, Baduizm - The 50 Best R&B Albums of the '90s". Damien Scott, Brendan Frederick, Craig Jenkins, Elena Bergeron, Justin Charity, Ross Scarano, Shannon Marcec of Complex. July 10, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b O'Donnell, David. Review: Baduizm. BBC Music. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
  3. ^ Baduizm: Overview. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2009-04-13.
  4. ^ a b "Miles Marshall Lewis: Tags". Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  5. ^ a b c RIAA Archived February 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum". 2011-12-01. Archived from the original on 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  8. ^ a b Waldron, Clarence (2001). "Erykah Badu". Jet. 
  9. ^ "ErykahBadoula: 28 Sep 12". Twitter. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  10. ^ a b c, HipHopDX -. "Erykah Badu Recalls Recording "Baduizm"". 
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ a b Bush, John. "Baduizm – Erykah Badu". AllMusic. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Kot, Greg (February 21, 1997). "Madeleine Peyroux: Dreamland (Atlantic) / Erykah Badu: Baduizm (Universal)". Chicago Tribune. p. 53. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "Baduizm". Entertainment Weekly. February 14, 1997. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ Wells, Chris (February 21, 1997). "Billie and me". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ Jones, Bob (April 1997). "Badu meaning good". Muzik (23): 99. 
  17. ^ "Erykah Badu – Baduizm". NME. March 29, 1997. Archived from the original on October 12, 2000. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Erykah Badu: Baduizm". Q (126): 117. March 1997. 
  19. ^ a b Lewis, Miles Marshall (January 30, 1997). "Erykah Badu: Baduizm". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2008. 
  20. ^ Spencer, Neil (January 2017). "Erykah Badu: Baduizm / Mama's Gun". Uncut (237): 44. 
  21. ^ Jones, Steve (February 11, 1997). "Erykah Badu, Baduizm". USA Today. p. 06.D. Retrieved August 3, 2009. (Subscription required (help)). 
  22. ^ Garry Mulholland Fear of Music p. 292
  23. ^ Good, Karen R. "Review: Baduizm". Vibe: 133–134. March 1997.
  24. ^ "Erykah Badu". Rock On The Net. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  25. ^ Hilburn, Robert. Review: Baduizm. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
  26. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1997". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  27. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Erykah Badu". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 0312245602. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  28. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 24, 1998). "The Year of No Next Big Thing". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b c
  30. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: December 09, 2000 | Billboard Chart Archive". December 9, 2000. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  31. ^ "20 Years of 'Baduizm': The Story of Erykah Badu's Classic Debut". 
  32. ^ "Badu Wins Big At 3rd Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards". September 20, 1997. Retrieved January 3, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Destiny's Child Leads The Nominees For Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards". March 14, 1998. Retrieved January 3, 2009. 
  34. ^ "The 1998 Grammy Award Winners". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. February 26, 1998. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  35. ^ Babyface Has Most Grammy Nominations for Second Year. Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. February 26, 1998. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Spice Was Nice, Puffy Shut Out at AMAs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. January 27, 1998. Retrieved December 30, 2008. [dead link]
  37. ^ Babyface, Erykad Badu and Boyz II Men Among Winners at American Music Awards. Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. February 16, 1998. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  38. ^ Doss, Yvette C. (February 16, 1998). "'Soul Food' and 'Angel' Are Tops in Image Awards". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Badu Wins Big At Soul Train Awards". March 14, 1998. Retrieved January 3, 2009. 
  40. ^ "". Retrieved 25 August 2014.  Baduizm chart peak (2007)
  41. ^ "". Retrieved 7 July 2009.  The album peaked at 7th place on 2 May 1997
  42. ^ Garry Mulholland ; Fear of Music p.291 ISBN 0-7528-6831-4
  43. ^ Albums Chart Top 40, (March, 1997)
  44. ^ Top RnB Hip-Hop Albums (2000). Billboard Music Charts

External links

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