Erykah Badu Discovers And Reconnects With Her African Roots

OkayAfrica and the web series titled, “The Roots Of...” came together to trace Erykah Badu's African roots through a DNA test. “The Roots Of...” web series features some of your favorite artists—they've already tapped Q-Tip, Michael K..Williams and Questlove—as they discover their African ancestry.

Badu's journey took place in Austin, Texas, where she described her previous encounters trying trace her ancestors. She explained how she did several readings through Shamans and went through priests in Africa. The spiritual singer is a fifth generation from Dallas, Texas.

Within six weeks, she received her ancestry results and found that the lineage of her mother came from the Bamileke area, which is also the grassland of Cameroon, a vast plain. She found that the Cameroon village stands together to raise their children and laughed when she found that they're bad at time, exclaiming how “time is for the white people. I've been saying that in my interviews.”

Simon Bijngsi, a Cameroonian community member accompanied Badu throughout her experience, informing her of the cloths, dance, food and land she originated from.

“The dance of Africa is about the feeling and evoking the energies and spirits of the ancestors that love and protect us and want to see us do well,” she said in discovery of how her community uses dance as a form of expression.

Lucky for us, Badu also mentioned an album in the works. While it is still in the works, we know it will have an African vibe to it because, yes you guessed it, it will be recorded in Africa. The vibrant artist explained how the experience has led her on a different path and how it has changed her outlook on why it's important to know where she came from. She didn't understand why it was important until she reached the house, where her community awaited her arrival.

“It's just another piece to help me become a better America,” she said. Watch the video for yourself up top and check out the rest of the series here.

From the Web

More on Vibe


Nicki Minaj, Tracy Chapman Fail To Reach Settlement In Copyright Lawsuit: Report

Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Nicki Minaj is moving forward after the two reportedly failed to reach an agreement during a recent court-ordered mediation.

Chapman is accusing Minaj of unlawfully sampling her song “Baby Can I Hold You” for the track “Sorry.” Minaj reportedly confirmed in court documents that the song never made it to her album because Chapman didn't approve the sample, The Blast reports.

According to the website, the battling sides “couldn’t reach a settlement,” and an agreement is not “imminent.”

Chapman sued Minaj in the fall of 2018. Months earlier, Minaj revealed that Queen's release date hinged on Chapman. “So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time,” she tweeted at the time. “Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman - do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date?” Minaj also pleaded for Chapman to get in contact with her.

“Sorry” was never officially released, although  Minaj is accused of leaking the song to Funkmaster Flex who debuted it on his radio show.

The "Megatron" rapper denies committing copyright infringement, and reportedly claimed fair use as her defense. Minaj also allegedly argued that Chapman doesn’t even own the copyright, and is asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter

Iggy Azalea Calls T.I. A “Misogynist” For Saying She Tarnished His Legacy

T.I.'s apparent moment of candor didn't sit well with Iggy Azalea. The Aussie called her former Grand Hustle boss a “huge misogynists” in response to him saying that she stained his legacy.

“Imagine thinking I was his biggest blunder lmaoooooooooooooo. Tip. Sweetie. We have a whole list for you,” she reportedly wrote in a series of tweets that were later deleted.

“The tea I could spill on what bulls**t this is but at the end of the day I think people can see it’s clear he’s salty,” she continued. “He’s a huge misogynist and has never been able to have a conversation with any woman in which he doesn’t speak like a fortune cookie.”

Earlier in the week, T.I. told The Root  that he was “actively looking for another female rapper who can undo the blunder of Iggy Azalea.”

“That is the tarnish of my legacy as far as [being] a [music] executive is concerned," said the Atlanta native. “To me, this is like when Michael Jordan went to play baseball.”

Azalea signed to Grand Hustle in 2011, but severed ties with the imprint around 2015. In 2017, Azalea left Def Jam for neighboring Island Records, before going independent. The “Sally Walker” rapper released her sophomore studio album, In My Defense, over the summer.

Continue Reading
Frazer Harrison

Wale Says Record Deals Should Include Mental Health Assistance

Mental health is an issue that record labels should be prioritizing, as Wale explained in an interview with TMZ Live on Friday (Oct. 11). The DMV rapper, who has been open about batting anxiety and depression, and released his Wow That’s Crazy album, during Mental Health Awareness Week, says signing a record deal should come with mental health assistance.

“People live their life for this, and lose their life because of it,” Wale said while discussing the perils of fame. “All of your failures are magnified by 100 because everybody’s watching you.”

The Grammy-nominated recording artist thinks labels should pay for mental health treatment, or have someone on deck to help artists unpack what they’re going through. “Artists generate so much revenue, that’s the least they [labels] can do.”

Wale also noted the difficulty of living life under a microscope, and how coming into money at a young age can be traumatic. “There needs to be a relationship between the mental health agenda and entertainers,” he reiterated. “It doesn’t have to be mandatory but I definitely think they [record labels] should help.”

Watch the full interview below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories