Erykah Badu: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

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Aug. 15, 2018 | Felix Contreras -- Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes.
After her self-introduction, which included a rundown of her spiritual and creative aliases, Badu rolled into one of her earliest musical calling cards, "Rimshot." It's an ode to the sound the percussionist makes when a drumstick is struck against the metal edge of the snare drum. On this performance, as on her 1997 album Baduizm, it becomes a device to play with time - stretching it, stopping it, suspending it. Propelled by jazz chords on the piano and the steady pulse of the acoustic bass, the playful performance unfolded in the tradition of the best bebop.
But the panoramic song "Green Eyes" is the centerpiece of Badu's Tiny Desk performance. It's wide-ranging in scope and musical arrangement and brilliantly executed by the jazz and hip-hop musicians in her backing band. The story of heartbreak is striking enough, but her interpretation showcases her formidable vocal skills. By the time it was over, we were all just as emotionally and spiritually spent as she was from the experience.
Erykah Badu is an artist for the ages. To old-school jazz fans like myself, names like Nina Simone, Betty Carter and Shirley Horn come to mind as much as Billie Holiday because of Badu's singular approach to a lyric. They all cut their own creative path and left behind a legacy that you can identify with just one note. Erykah Badu is on that same path, and one day her name will be mentioned along with the other Elders who share her spirit of musical adventure.
Set List
"Rimshot"
"Green Eyes"
Musicians
Erykah Badu (lead vocals), RC Williams (Keys), Braylon Lacy (bass), Cleon Edwards (Drums), Frank Moka (Percussion), Kenneth Whalum (Sax), Keyon Harrold (Trumpet), Dwayne Kerr (Flute)
Credits
Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Khun Minn Ohn, CJ Riculan; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Morgan Noelle Smith/NPR.

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  1. NPR Music
    NPR Music
    2 ամիս առաջ

    Tiny Desk Concerts are only possible through donations from our community. This year has been unprecedented but we’ve made sure to keep producing the concerts you love. Show your support with a donation to your local NPR station at n.pr/support-the-tiny-desk

    1. Martha Real
      Martha Real
      Ամիս առաջ

      ,

    2. Skhumbuzo Vilane
      Skhumbuzo Vilane
      Ամիս առաջ

    3. Nicholas Brown
      Nicholas Brown
      Ամիս առաջ

      its funny that you use community donations when NPR is funded by our donations anyway.

    4. MOT POPS
      MOT POPS
      Ամիս առաջ

      How much for 1 with Devin the dude?

    5. Marco Aurélio Diniz Rosa
      Marco Aurélio Diniz Rosa
      Ամիս առաջ

      Ĺĺ L

  2. jana m
    jana m
    20 ժամ առաջ

    this is what i imagine god looking like

  3. Jefferson Summer
    Jefferson Summer
    Օր առաջ

    Terrible lyrics...

    1. w҉h҉e҉e҉l҉z҉
      w҉h҉e҉e҉l҉z҉
      21 ժամ առաջ

      How?

  4. New Light Music 새빛뮤직
    New Light Music 새빛뮤직
    Օր առաջ

    Her Beautiful Eyes..💓

  5. Tiffany Johnson
    Tiffany Johnson
    Օր առաջ

    BRAVO!❤😊👍🔥💥 FROM START TO FIN❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  6. Teech
    Teech
    Օր առաջ

    her music speaks. not just her music but the combination of herself and the music.

  7. Heloisa Sousa
    Heloisa Sousa
    Օր առաջ

    Não me canso nunca de assistir isso... simplesmente perfeito.

  8. Marcus Young
    Marcus Young
    2 օր առաջ

    My god

  9. Dion Silas
    Dion Silas
    2 օր առաջ

    While there have been so many amazing TD performances this is my all time fav Tiny Desk performance.

  10. srry im mentally ill u wont get a reply
    srry im mentally ill u wont get a reply
    3 օր առաջ

    I know this is old, but I love her transition to jazz.

  11. slojam216
    slojam216
    3 օր առաջ

    I absolutely adore this woman's whole vibe❤️❤️❤️

  12. Yersiz Yurtsuz
    Yersiz Yurtsuz
    3 օր առաջ

    This is so refreshing!

  13. deborah paganin
    deborah paganin
    4 օր առաջ

    ❤️❤️❤️🇮🇹

  14. Jbaby82
    Jbaby82
    4 օր առաջ

    Green eyes is a audible masterpiece! 🎶 🎶 And going through this thing called “life” IMO , Green Eyes was a song about going through the 5 stages of grief: Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance

  15. Briceallyn Mosley
    Briceallyn Mosley
    4 օր առաջ

    Last track on her 1st cd......🥰 I played this song over and over and over.........and my eyes are the darkest of dark brown. This brings back so many memories

  16. hermann ayosso
    hermann ayosso
    4 օր առաջ

    The more I listen... The more I love it... Soul, Jazz, vibes... Fabulous stuff...

  17. Rehaan ray
    Rehaan ray
    5 օր առաջ

    03:30 green eyes

  18. 1Rodrigo1Vídeo
    1Rodrigo1Vídeo
    5 օր առաջ

    5:00 AMAZING

  19. mamboking013
    mamboking013
    6 օր առաջ

    Something tells me between her and Wyclef she was the real one. You can't walk in public like that without raw confidence. Meanwhile Wyclef trying to run for President... Yikes. Media truly can have you cheering for the wrong people.

  20. Hjelp
    Hjelp
    7 օր առաջ

    Oh no ! explicit language

    1. Hjelp
      Hjelp
      7 օր առաջ

      flute and trumpet doubled makes it all good

  21. Valerie Fila
    Valerie Fila
    8 օր առաջ

    I’m a huge fan of eryka badu as an artist... but I feel like the supporting artists are not really feeling her. She must either be hard to work with or not nice... I understand intimidation or like hardcore respect// admiration.. but the energy doesn’t match that. And the level of difficulty in this music isn’t a concern either

  22. hugovea
    hugovea
    8 օր առաջ

    D. O. P. E.

  23. _ .jewelmarie._
    _ .jewelmarie._
    8 օր առաջ

    Though her appearance may have changed, her voice holds as much power as it did in her youth. it’s so distinct man I just love it🥺

  24. cranberrywb100
    cranberrywb100
    8 օր առաջ

    I come back to this video every now and then...grew up listening to Badu because of my mom. You better trust my kids will be listening to her too and hopefully their kids as well lol

  25. dilara tesfaye
    dilara tesfaye
    8 օր առաջ

    She looks so effortlessly. I’m head over heels for this woman.

  26. Gil Nqobizitha
    Gil Nqobizitha
    9 օր առաջ

    ....Because she’s Erykah badu!

  27. IndiaL
    IndiaL
    9 օր առաջ

    OMG she looks SO young omg

  28. Do-si Farah
    Do-si Farah
    9 օր առաջ

    EYYY

  29. thandeka cele
    thandeka cele
    9 օր առաջ

    Come on now...forever mood

  30. Olivia's got talent
    Olivia's got talent
    9 օր առաջ

    She so cool😌

  31. BLACKFOOT JAMO JAY
    BLACKFOOT JAMO JAY
    10 օր առաջ

    3+++4

  32. Julie Johnson
    Julie Johnson
    10 օր առաջ

    Erykah's lip stick and makeup, lip stick especially though, is so beautiful on her!

  33. Raymond Mulder
    Raymond Mulder
    11 օր առաջ

    Zij is nais::)

  34. John
    John
    12 օր առաջ

    I cant belive spiders have woven such a beautiful wig for this thing.

  35. Jhon Fredy Beltrán León
    Jhon Fredy Beltrán León
    12 օր առաջ

    Connie, Are you?

  36. Destiny Moremi
    Destiny Moremi
    12 օր առաջ

    Can we please have Jill Scott😭😭😭😭

  37. Alejandro Hernandez
    Alejandro Hernandez
    12 օր առաջ

    OK...4,000 dislikes...WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!?!? Erykah is a goddess!

  38. Red Handed
    Red Handed
    12 օր առաջ

    I felt every second of this.

  39. kash B
    kash B
    13 օր առաջ

    just, wow

  40. Jamie Quin
    Jamie Quin
    13 օր առաջ

    She always put me in another space!! Be craving more!

  41. Bekah Te
    Bekah Te
    13 օր առաջ

    If anyone knows where to find these gorgeous gold bug hair adornments please help a girl out!

  42. Anna Duenas
    Anna Duenas
    14 օր առաջ

    Bdjdhhskdbxhd

  43. Fayesweet39
    Fayesweet39
    15 օր առաջ

    I miss this Erykah! She turned into voodoo

  44. Chris Lazaro
    Chris Lazaro
    15 օր առաջ

    Beautiful. Just Beautiful.

  45. Lonwabo Yokwana
    Lonwabo Yokwana
    15 օր առաջ

    My healer

  46. The Cute Shuttle Transportation Service
    The Cute Shuttle Transportation Service
    15 օր առաջ

    This woman is everything!!! Love you Badu

  47. Elijah Harris
    Elijah Harris
    15 օր առաջ

    "My eyes are green because i eat a lot of vegetables it dont have nothing to do with your new friend" could be wrong but i think My eyes are green because i eat a lot of vegetables is just a metaphor and an excuse to basically say she's not green with envy.

  48. Cymone Powers
    Cymone Powers
    16 օր առաջ

    I love this one soo much Im on my third watch of it! Just gives me soo much good vibes.

  49. our mutt
    our mutt
    16 օր առաջ

    goddess

  50. Shaundra Lee
    Shaundra Lee
    16 օր առաջ

    I still own my TAPE copy of Baduizm that I played nonstop in the Summer of 1997.

  51. Jimmy Bong
    Jimmy Bong
    16 օր առաջ

    Watched this a million time didn't notices her foot was broke(Ina boot)

  52. Jennifer Suzanne
    Jennifer Suzanne
    16 օր առաջ

    Every time AMget suggests this, I click on it. ...an angel among us. I'd want her to give me away at my wedding, feed me her wisdom and pray over my dying body.

  53. Vincent Blackshear
    Vincent Blackshear
    16 օր առաջ

    Welp guess I'm just gonna cry today..cool.

  54. Javier Bonilla
    Javier Bonilla
    18 օր առաջ

    Green eyes makes me tear up

  55. killuminati don
    killuminati don
    18 օր առաջ

    Real one ♥️👑

  56. Sarah S.
    Sarah S.
    18 օր առաջ

    I have always been an Erykah Badu fan. That voice takes away any fear, anxiety, worry from me. She is a brilliant woman. One of the greats!

  57. livingroomsuperstar
    livingroomsuperstar
    19 օր առաջ

    she looks like she smells really good

  58. Dallas Chandler
    Dallas Chandler
    19 օր առաջ

    Lovely and Beautiful songs of nature from this women always had and always thoughts of making ..... a person thinking of her always never forgeting her at all £0×3!!D@ll@$

  59. Bronwyn Chetty
    Bronwyn Chetty
    19 օր առաջ

    I wish I could like this more than once

  60. You can't keep running In and out of my Life
    You can't keep running In and out of my Life
    20 օր առաջ

    Sometimes I like to just sit here an listen to Green Eyes endlessly

  61. ALVCARD
    ALVCARD
    20 օր առաջ

    hermoso 🥺❤️ erika Badu gracias a ti descubri el neo soul 🌊🌊🌊

  62. Charisse M
    Charisse M
    20 օր առաջ

    Phenomenal

  63. ramy ben abdallah
    ramy ben abdallah
    20 օր առաջ

    I'm waiting on jill scott tooooooooool

  64. ramy ben abdallah
    ramy ben abdallah
    20 օր առաջ

    Omgggg I saw the drummer in an old hip hop dancing documentary

  65. Gerard Ligonde
    Gerard Ligonde
    20 օր առաջ

    The mere ukrainian pragmatically curl because whiskey behaviorally stitch underneath a one dream. holistic, blushing cuticle

  66. Thuso Mmotlana
    Thuso Mmotlana
    21 օր առաջ

    Talk about a Horn section...... Love this whole performance beeeeeen coming back here since it first came out, every now and then I visit this magnificence

    1. Carmen Jones
      Carmen Jones
      21 օր առաջ

      😊 SAAAMMMEEE!

  67. Macari M
    Macari M
    21 օր առաջ

    I'm deeply concerned for the people who disliked this

  68. Ivana Lindsey
    Ivana Lindsey
    21 օր առաջ

    That’s voice that talent😌oh my sing to my heart....❤️🎶

  69. ambre moulot
    ambre moulot
    21 օր առաջ

    Hello my name is amber, do you want to feat with me ?

  70. João Medrado
    João Medrado
    21 օր առաջ

    love u Erykah

  71. Jazzy
    Jazzy
    22 օր առաջ

    im sad she only did 2 songs ): I wish this was longer

  72. Shontae_20
    Shontae_20
    22 օր առաջ

    s

  73. Lukas Wensting
    Lukas Wensting
    22 օր առաջ

    This has been growing massively on me. At first I wasn't too excited with it, but as time passed it turned out to be one of my five favourite tiny desks. Hardly a week passes in which I don't pay a visit here.

  74. Maxie Cobb
    Maxie Cobb
    23 օր առաջ

    man I was tryna call Tyrone but ok😞

  75. pushhard2
    pushhard2
    23 օր առաջ

    I'm sorry Erykah is the epitome of weird.

  76. Uranito
    Uranito
    23 օր առաջ

    Gracias

  77. Nene De León
    Nene De León
    24 օր առաջ

    Yup I’m 😱

  78. jose busio
    jose busio
    24 օր առաջ

    the love of my life

  79. Detra Dee
    Detra Dee
    25 օր առաջ

    My Sista My Sista you are a true voice for our generation pure soul raw talent incredible style and absolute true credit to R&B

  80. PushThrough
    PushThrough
    25 օր առաջ

    Erykah was my fave, then Tpain tiny desk performance.

  81. Ruan Carlos
    Ruan Carlos
    25 օր առաջ

    GOAT

  82. Cecilia San Martín
    Cecilia San Martín
    26 օր առաջ

    Thanks life for bringing Erykah to me...

  83. free spirit
    free spirit
    27 օր առաջ

    Her voice is so magical💫💭

  84. Xolani Phahla
    Xolani Phahla
    27 օր առաջ

    She is fascinating

  85. meko moten
    meko moten
    27 օր առաջ

    This woman right here... her voice is so soothing 😌...I love 💘 her

  86. D Myname
    D Myname
    27 օր առաջ

    That band..... amazing

  87. NanyouLEADto Victory
    NanyouLEADto Victory
    27 օր առաջ

    I love that she barely parts her lips when singing but so much comes out both vocally and lyrically.

  88. Bryan Wyatt
    Bryan Wyatt
    27 օր առաջ

    Man, she sure has gone a little crazy (externally) over the years, but my goodness, does she jazz it up. Such a great voice. Her band is dope, too.

    1. Bryan Wyatt
      Bryan Wyatt
      27 օր առաջ

      @Stacks G You, too! I'm just happy to find good music (or in this case find it again...Miss Badu was popular when I was in high school). Her voice and the band are incredible here. On a related note: I'm always impressed by how well-engineered every one of these concerts sound. They could sound like someone singing at a desk, but instead they sound like someone singing in a warm studio.

    2. Stacks G
      Stacks G
      27 օր առաջ

      @Bryan Wyatt that was a much better statement boss enjoy your day

    3. Bryan Wyatt
      Bryan Wyatt
      27 օր առաջ

      @Stacks G She's got what most folks would consider a wild look in contrast to what I'd consider to be a very traditional voice and singing structure (at least if you enjoy Billie Holiday). It would be dismissive of me to not even listen to her because of what I think of her looks, but I clearly didn't do that. While I get what you're saying, I think you're white knighting just a touch too much.

    4. Stacks G
      Stacks G
      27 օր առաջ

      Crazy?? That's very dismissive just because you can't understand or relate doesn't mean she's crazy or different I understand it's your opinion boss but it's a dismissive one

  89. MrMrchatcity
    MrMrchatcity
    28 օր առաջ

    The influence Badu and Andre 3k had on each other so early in their career and at such a young age REALLY shaped them into the most creative and expressive artists in any medium in the modern day. I just wish Andre would record something even its completely different and not rap. oh well Badu killed this. Her and Jill Scott our the best in soul in decades but Erykah is that and so many other things.

  90. Vegeta Black
    Vegeta Black
    Ամիս առաջ

    Makes singing so effortless LOVE this woman's beautiful spirit

  91. Sophia Thieme
    Sophia Thieme
    Ամիս առաջ

    Queen

  92. TheTruth isCHRIST
    TheTruth isCHRIST
    Ամիս առաջ

    Sounds great looks scary sorry I said it

  93. alstan631
    alstan631
    Ամիս առաջ

    From 12:14 to 12:35 is PERFECT! Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the whole thing, but that part was fire.

  94. Adonni Kaci
    Adonni Kaci
    Ամիս առաջ

    Omg the improv from the band🤯 so perfect. Erykah really has a way of speaking to the soul

  95. sashakimi31
    sashakimi31
    Ամիս առաջ

    I hate that she changed herself sooo much over the years... looking more european... Sad

  96. Precious Brown
    Precious Brown
    Ամիս առաջ

    From a young chocolate Afro Latina listening to this I remember ms. Badu as the gatekeeper of my beautiful childhood, as a 32 year old mother and wife erykah badu means the world to me literally. She made me understand the complexity of black love ❤️, and low key how I personally should navigate 🗺. Ms. Badu said You tried to trick me! Took me until adulthood to feel and understand In depth Ms. Badu and her craft. This make my meninges tingle I’m in awwwww

  97. Gennadii
    Gennadii
    Ամիս առաջ

    что за муть...

  98. Darius Warren
    Darius Warren
    Ամիս առաջ

    She’s a beautiful spirit amongst us. A unique vessel 🌻 we don’t deserve this alien that walks this planet with us and blesses us with her majestic music 🥺😍😍

  99. Miracle Beam
    Miracle Beam
    Ամիս առաջ

    wish it kept going...

  100. Jessica K
    Jessica K
    Ամիս առաջ

    Wow. Just...wow.