How can one woman’s monumental career and influence be summed up in one single album review, the way that Erykah Badu shook the music industry and created her own fame within her own sound was inspiring even generations later. Watching Mama’s Gun which is close to being 20-years-old still have this banging instrumentation, social message, and voice of silk as a trifecta for funk.
“Penitentiary Philosophy” is the first introduction of Ms. Badu on Mama’s Gun where every little thing falls into place to create an uplifting sound on a broken message. Socially, Mama’s Gun rattles and attacks by creating methods that were prominent in the mid-2000s. Each record that came from a social poet like Badu would not only have impeccable instrumentation but truthfully a message that would stay clear and true even years later.
She may be fun to dance to and share love, but Erykah Badu also can move a crowd like no other artist. She is gentle on the microphone and her iconic vocal structure through the fluctuation is deadly. She works like a slithering python that can constrict and contain the listener easily. Through the hour-long adventure through Mama’s Gun’s mind, the vivid personality from Badu is necessary to carry the true weight of the record. Then when combined with the instrumentation of her band, all these methods hold merit and create unmeasurable sensibility.
She wears a crown but instead protrudes some of the power to her band that works to be more of a centerfold rather than just simply working in the background. Her piece “…& On” is familiar and works as a continuation of one of the most iconic tracks ever spawned from an artist. She politely reinforces her own vocals without missing a step. The planes fly overhead and Badu is direct with matching the authenticity behind her sound. Truly the percussion is one of the most important factors where the drums are the foundation for the sound on some of these records. Moving into “Cleva” where the keys and percussion work in tandem to not only adapt and create a schematic but then when Badu’s vocals finally start to reign through, she is simply marvelous.
Mama’s Gun is the perfect record for love-making or crying alone, in any aspect of the word, Badu is an original that can never be replicated or crushed. It is apparent through her career that music and meaning behind that sound is more powerful than any war could ever be.