In honor of performing Baduizm in its entirety at Rock the Bells 2011, Erykah Badu recently spoke with Fuse about where she was at in her life when she recorded the album. During the interview, she noted that her African roots played a large part of shaping her debut.
“If the headwrap was my trademark, the drums, African drums, were my soundtrack. I never really thought about a lot of the things people labeled my lyrics for music as. ’94 to ’97, I was at a really interesting place in my life. I was embracing, very much, my culture, my African heritage, which is one part of me,” she said. “Africa has always been a staple in my household and in my life. The drums mean an awful lot to me. It’s just who I was at the time, and I wanted to be completely who I was when I did what I did.”
She also reflected on her most memorable songs from the recording sessions, recalling two tracks that she laid down with The Roots in the eleventh hour.
“My most memorable song is ‘Otherside of the Game.’ When I turned in that demo, ‘Otherside of the Game’ was not there, the song ‘Sometimes’ was not there. Those songs were done as a collaboration with The Roots. I met The Roots after I got my record deal. The album was ready to go, but I persuaded the label to let me just go to Philly right quick,” she said. “We came up with a lot of songs but those were the ones, ‘Otherside of the Game’ and ‘Sometimes.’ I originally wrote ‘Sometimes [Mix #9] for Black Thought to rap on, but I think he thought it was wack. So we just had to keep it going.”