Erykah Badu

Mama's Gun (Motown)

Record Reviews

Erykah Badu

Mama's Gun (Motown)

Revisionists paint the Seventies as a golden epoch, coloring in today's blank technological age with its supposed vintage-store hues. That shit's jive ... truth is, the Seventies were brown -- gas was scarce, travel landed you in foreign jails, and the beaches were unsafe. Folks stayed in. Watched a lot of cop shows and sitcoms. Listened to their clock radios and the deep, candlelit grooves flickering late into the night. Dallas homegirl Erykah Badu's sloe-eyed debut, '97's Baduism, had it down -- Roberta Flack for a contemporary crib -- and with its BPT studio follow-up Mama's Gun, girl proves she can do whatever (and whoever) she wants. Like D'Angelo's Voodoo earlier in '00, Badu turns down the AM hooks that got her looks, and lays out some FM booty moves. Music from the street for the bedroom. Opening with "Penitentiary Philosophy," Badu beats out the fonk with her thick, smoky voice and pelvic grind. "Didn't Cha Know," she drawls next, the bass rubbing up against her as drummer man does his thang slow and low. "Analog girl in the digital world," she winks during "....& On," answering her own Baduism come-on, "On & On." Then the headwrap comes off: "Your booty might be bigger, but I still can pull your nigga" ("Booty"). Shit, girl. "I want somebody to walk up behind me and kiss me on my neck" ("Kiss Me on My Neck"). Sure, baby. A honey-dipped "In Love With You," rolled with Stephen Marley sounding so much like daddy Nesta, is the best joint on here. Mama's Gun -- smoking! (Dawg.)

***.5

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