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Album Review: Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh
by Afriyie "Free" Amankwaa

I think we can all agree that individuality is not admired in the music industry. There are only a few artists that try to stay away from commercial radio and wind up with huge successes. Fortunately for Badu, she is one of them. Throughout it all, Badu has amazed us by staying true to herself which pays off in her latest album.

I’ll be honest, I did not think that Erykah Badu’s new album was going to be worth the listen. Her last CD, “New Amerykah Part One” left me puzzled and was too experimental. However, when I did a guest spot on The Core’s own Midnight Maraudio show, I fell in love with the track that they were playing when I walked in, Badu’s “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long.” That track comes complete with Badu’s soothing voice and an ethereal sounding groove mixed with electric guitar. 

The album itself begins with “20 Feet Tall,” Erykah’s ode to self –determination and rediscovery. She proclaims in this track that she refuses to let a heart break prevent her from growing as a person.  The words that stuck out to me on this track were, “You built a wall/a 20 foot wall/so I couldn’t see/but if I get off my knees/I might recall/I’m 20 feet tall.” (DOPE!)

“20 Feet Tall” leads into “Window Seat,” the song that has caused controversy because of its music video.  If I listen carefully to the lyrics, I think she’s talking about the music industry. I feel she’s trying to explain how hard it is for an artist to share his or her gift to the world without the high demands and expectations of a major record company. Or, maybe she is talking about life in general.

Erykah Badu’s confidence is definitely apparent on this album.  I could not find one disappointing track on this CD. Good Stuff Erykah, without a doubt, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” will be remembered by music fans for a very, very, long time.