Erykah Badu in a Midtown Manhattan hotel on Tuesday. Her jewelry includes a gold string hanging from her mouth, which she calls her “floss,” made by the jewelry designer Bijules. Credit Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times
nytimes.com: “Sometimes you think you are at the end, and you are just further deep in. Like a relationship,” Erykah Badu said while untangling a pile of gold and beaded necklaces on a recent cold night in New York City. “And when you finally come to an end, you feel bad about it.”
It was a night in for Ms. Badu, 45, a singer who also assumes any of the following names or in some cases personas: She Ill, Badoula Oblongata, Sara Bellum, Manuela Maria Mexico, Annie the EL, Mary Magnum, Automatic Slim, Butchy Knife Betty, Analog Girl in a Digital World, Lowdown Loretta Brown.
When asked, she can rattle off all of these melodically, without missing a beat. “You will come to realize my sense of humor is morbid and dry,” she said, laughing. Before her first album, when she was about 24, Ms. Badu worked at Steve Harvey’s comedy club, starting as a waitress, making it to the writer’s room where she wrote a few jokes that he used.
“This is my typical night,” she said from a Midtown Manhattan hotel room that seemed meditation-ready with strawberry and sandalwood incense burning and “Feel Better, World! ... Love, Ms. Badu,” a mixtape that she uploaded to Mixcloud about a year ago, playing from her laptop. Read more.