Erykah Badu’s last proper full-length was 2010's New Amerykah Part Two; since then, she’s fired off one-off tracks, released an album-length mixtape of exclusively phone-related songs in 2015, and continued to perform regular live shows. Earlier this year, in a sprawling and controversy-starting conversation with Vulture, she mentioned that she was still slowly working on a new record. So it’s nice that she popped in for a 15-minute live performance at NPR’s ongoing Tiny Desk concert series, as it allows a brief transmission from her current artistic wavelength, which is, as ever, utterly singular. She sounds incredible, of course, performing a quick warm-up rendition of “Rimshot,” off her 1997 debut Baduizm, and then going into a sprawling, adventurous version of Mama’s Gun’s “Green Eyes,” accompanied by a seven-piece band. She also says that playing piano for this performance is her son with Andre 3000, Seven—then adds, “I’m just kidding, that’s not Seven.” It’s not! Erykah Badu is the best.
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