Erykah Badu

Miles Davis is often credited with reinventing jazz five different times in such a way that his never-heard-before re-imaginings influenced music as a whole. Arguably, the same case can be said of contemporary soul songstress Erykah Badu. True, her relatively short recording career spans only 12 years, but it's an accomplished one that's sent ripples across such genres as mainstream hip-hop and radio-ready R&B. From her higher-consciousness debut Baduizm and the lyrically militant Mama's Gun to the freaky-deaky, gangta-y Worldwide Underground and the esoteric, hip-hop-heavy New Amerykah, Pt.1: 4th World War, the 38-year-old winner of multiple Grammy Awards totally deserves the "First Lady of Neo-Soul" label (though, in our opinion, y'all can drop the "neo" part). And like her ever-revolving changes in sound, you never know what you're gonna get with a Badu gig. She's torn up Celebrity Theatre twice before with her mic posturing and a group of kickass musicians, so chances are good that she'll make it a trifecta.

 
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