The kids around the way used to think that Erykah and I were buggin; this is because they don’t understand how we feel about the funk.

Erykah, killing it since the Clinton administration.

erykah washes away the dust of everyday life with her irony-free sweetness.

No Ohio Players or Meters or Curtis, and no “I Get Lifted,” but to each her own. If she had included “I get lifted” it would’ve been better.

-Jay Elec, Jay Z commenter:
Cant listen to this,where the fuck is the drums?? Weak ass beat

The kids around the way used to think that I was buggin
But they don’t understand how I feel about the funk
I walk with the funk, I talk with the funk
I eat with the funk, I sleep with the funk
I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk
So now what do they say, when I’m walkin up the block?

and not just because she lives my fantasy of having intercourse with cosmic rappers.

Chaka Khan, “Sweet Thing”
“Oh Chaka Khan, she is our queen. Anyone who sings soul and funk goes through the school of Chaka Khan. She has so many gorgeous songs but ‘Sweet Thang’ is the one — she sung that song from the vagina, from the bottom of her stomach, you can hear it all in her throat, she felt it. The places that she went with her voice, man, it was so scintillating in every way; it made me happy, it made me loving, it made me weak, it made me sad.”


The Isley Brothers, “Groove With You”
“When I first learned that I could be in love, that that was an actual thing that I could feel, I remember the Isley Brothers.”

Stevie Wonder, “As”
“It’s a beautiful song. Before I knew what the words said I was in love with the melody. His voice rocks you to sleep, it’s constant in me — his voice is a part of my DNA. It was hard to choose just one, but I’d have to pick this one; because not only is it a good groove song, but it gets you in the zone. It’s a beautiful love song.”

Soul II Soul, “Keep on Movin'”
“I remember when I knew that I could do things on my own, I was going away to college, and this group called Soul II Soul came out. Caron Wheeler is the front woman, Jazzie B is the front man, and the song was “Keep On Movin’,” don’t stop. And I felt like, damn, you’re right, I can do things on my own. I can do things on my own and isn’t that just beautiful.”

Bloodstone, “Natural High.”

Rickie Lee Jones, “Chuck E’s in Love”
“Rickie Lee Jones was the first white chick I saw with a cigarette in her mouth on her album cover and back then that meant a lot. Back then we didn’t have Internet or TV, so everything you knew about the person you knew from the album cover, that’s all you had, you turned that thing upside down and around studying your favorite singer — their face, their clothes, the art, the shape of the words, the look of their fingers. And there she was with her cigarette, she reminded me of a hippie chick and she had this raspy voice and it was just so funky, like she didn’t give a shit, she didn’t give a damn. And that’s part of who I am — Rickie Lee Jones is a big part of who I am — and I imagine her being someone who showed up as she was, I’m just here. And I wanted to be that. And when you really admire a singer or a song you either want to be them or have sex with them, and with Ricky Lee Jones I just wanted to be her, to feel what she said and sound like she did and have the whole experience just like that coming out of my mouth.”

Parliament, “Aqua Boogie”
“P Funk Funkadelic made me love purple and black, it looks cosmic and sloppy; throw a little neon green splash of something oozing and that’s what funk is to me. ‘Aqua Boogie’ is everything I love about a funk song is, I’m talking about changing voices, thirteen people, 76 instruments and 900 people on stage … damn, this song was just a cosmic funk party.”

The Doobie Brothers, “Minute by Minute”
“It was the eighties and I understood music to a certain extent because I had begun to understand what a groove was. The Doobie Brothers, they stay true to the groove, and that’s what I appreciate about this. [Michael McDonald]’s riding this beat and this music so very well, he makes you want to be there, be a part of the moment, of the song.”

The Brothers Johnson, “Strawberry Letter 23″
“On the album cover is these two dudes with Afros and goatees and mustaches and just chilling with the guitars, really making love to them, their shirts open to the navels, and just, damn, these are so grown men! And they sang together and it was just so groovy. And I wanted to get high. I didn’t even know what high was, but it was groovy. I like the groovy shit a lot, I’m a child of the funk. I live by the funk, I die by the funk. When people ask in school what I wanted to be when I grow up – teacher, doctor, whatever — I said I was gonna be funky. If God could make me funky, I’ll handle the rest.”

Erykah Badu, Baduizm
“And then I remember when I knew that I had a true platform, in 1997, Baduizm came out, and it was my music, it was real, it was true. On the radio, I remember how it felt, whenever I heard those songs, the millions and billions of atoms mixed up inside of you, oh, Lord, it was beautiful.”


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