6. Erykah Badu “On & On”

A modern twist on the Cinderella story and, perhaps, The Color Purple, Erykah Badu, who will be at the Austin City Limits Music Festival next week on, Day 2, Saturday, September 27, 2008, AT&T Stage, brought something different than her contemporaries with Number 6, “On & On,” released in 1997.  With comparisons to Billie Holiday fresh out the box, Ms. Badu made an impression with her head wrap and eclectic mix of afrocentric signifying.  More than a gimmick, she had depth and breadth that hadn’t been heard of in R&B for a minute.  And the biggest impression was left by the music and the videos.

Branding her own philosophy in Baduizm or at least her own self-concept, she was branded the queen of neo-soul.  She’s flown that pigeon-hole long since.  Yet intelligence, mystery, and an old school vibe remain constant.

This video is elegantly simple.  Who doesn’t love the tablecloth dress and wrap? And the groove did go “On & On.”  While others were wondering where all the cowboys had gone I was picking from my apple tree.