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On February 11, 1997, Erykah Badu released her solo debut Badiuzm and the album created a landscape which many found culturally innovative. The pioneering album turns 21 years old today.

Erykah Badu is an overall soul singer, yet the masses found Baduizm to be the started of a unique sound of the classic aesthetic of a neo-soul music genre, despite the singer’s desire to remain uncategorized by anything other than soul. Her unique deliverance on the gem is considered to be one that pioneered to overseen neo-soul genre, as the widespread of influences post powerful in audible melody.

The album depicts a well-rounded narrative for the young black girl in America. Regarded for her use of the mesmerizing terminology and understandings behind the culture of the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths alongside her expansive scats, Baduizm exemplifies equality as she builds on weighty life concepts “On & On,” doubtful intimacy “Next Lifetime,” profound confidence “Appletree,” and honorable bonds with another in “Otherside of The Game.”

Upon its release, Baduizm debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, No. 2 on Billboard 200 eventually going triple platinum which leads to several credentials. The class-act earned two Grammys for the gem in 1998, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “On & On” and Best R&B Album where she beat powerhouses Mary J. Blige, Babyface, and the late Whitney Houston.


Baduizm is a distinct twist of hip-hop, soul, and jazz. On the hip-hop tip, the mass production done by The Roots‘ formed a heavy instrumental presence that surpassed the ideal rigorous soul sound, alongside her avid hip-hop bound approach as the “girl next door” submerged the content as being a sister to the reigning 90s genre. Her voice exhibits blatant metamorphosis of jazz and soul as it revived a sense of funk drawing the essence of Parliament and emulated the reconstruction of a combine audible stock in the liking to Billie Holiday and Chaka Khan strides.