credit: Paul R. Giunta/FilmMagic
DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu needs little introduction. Her seminal works like Baduizm and the New AmErykah series have successively upped the ante in terms of what can be done within the soul spectrum, fusing cosmic b-girl bravado and street-wise poetry with the forward-thinking sounds of producers like the Soulquarians collective, Madlib, Flying Lotus or Bonobo to create a sonically varied body of work selling millions of albums in the process. And it is not just on an economical level that her impact on hip hop and soul can only be measured by, say, mid-‘90s Mary J. Blige, although Erykah always made sure to save her strongest performances for her own recordings. When she’s not busy reminding contemporary R&B of its own intellectual and soulful possibilities, Erykah Badu heads up her own record label, Control FreaQ, and has even been caught on the ones and twos recently, under the mysterious DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown moniker.