Tracks: Erykah Badu with Madlib – ""Real Thing""

    The slinky, sultry whine of neo-soulstress Erykah Badu has never shied from wholeheartedly committing to R&B’s often irritating nature – Badu grinds her scratchy vocal coffee beans back and forth with no mind to how thinly they (or we) begin to grate.

    And given her beginnings as a female rapper, having to tear and claw her way across a man’s playing field, the often painfully repetitive and drawn-out vocal impulses practically dare us to endure their self-revelations until Badu decides she’s bored and skips along to a new, even more exhausting fancy. But her newest stint with underground funk-chopper extraordinaire, Stones Throw staple Madlib, sets the pair on an almost unbearable nausea ring around the “”real thang, real thang, re-al thaaang”” merry-go-round. Ascending, descending and re-ascending horns push Badu into her own wiggly little world of spoken word and tranced groove, one from which we only wish we could shake her awake. Erykah Badu performs live at Humphrey’s on May 25. (SW)

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