Erykah Badu: In Conversation

A fantastic interview with Erykah Badu on Vulture.

Erykah Badu has never been one to shy away from making a provocative statement. When asked in this interview about how she feels about the current allegations against many artists, she sidesteps it and decides to tells a story around Barabbas.

Jesus is standing on one side, Barabbas is standing on the other side, and the people have to choose which one of them could go free. Some people started yelling, “Barabbas! Barabbas! Barabbas!” Then so many people were doing that that the others found safety in numbers, and they also started yelling, “Barabbas! Barabbas! Barabbas!” People walked up who didn’t even know what was going on and they also started yelling for Barabbas to go free. I always think about that. It’s so important to me.

I think it’s important to understand that Badu isn’t trying to undermine any allegations against any artist, but instead is fighting for the recognition that it’s important to think for yourself. She continues that thought out a bit further:

The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people. I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team. I’m not trying to rebel against what everybody’s saying, but maybe I want to measure it. Somebody will call me and ask me to come to a march because such and such got shot. In that situation I want to know what really happened. I’m not going to jump up and go march just because I’m green and the person who got shot is green.

We should have strong opinions. We should not have those opinions because others told us too. Badu gives us insight into how she holds her own, referencing (of all things!) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:

There was one scene where they were fighting, and they got to these doors that would close and then open up 30 seconds later. So at one point, (Qui-Gon Jinn) turned and flipped and he and Darth Maul were on opposite sides of a door. So you have Darth Maul standing there, ready for that door to open, and Qui-Gon Jinn does this (Badu briefly kneels on the ground with her eyes closed just for a few seconds), then he gets up. He took a deep breath and then started back fighting…I fell in love with that. Whenever I’m afraid, I do that: Take a minute and breathe. No matter how scary something is, doing that helps it go away.

Take a minute, and breathe.

Reminds me of: ‘The Phantom Menace