When Erykah Badu announced her latest tour, ‘Unfollow Me,’ the singer-songwriter told fans what to expect. “You may expect us to become one living, breathing organism. You will receive my sincere and pure love. I love what I do and I love doing it for you.”
The Grammy-winning artist made good on that promise when he stopped by the Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles on Saturday (June 17) night.
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Erykah Badu Slate 25 Cities “Unfollow Me” Tour
Already pumped with a joyful and evocative opening by yasiin bey, Badu kept fans on their toes as the drummer and percussionist rocked the crowd even further with energetic solo turns. About 10 minutes later, the Lady of the Times took the stage amidst loud cheers and shouts as lasers and lightning flashed across a giant video screen. But it was worth the wait.
Badu, who opened the show with a snug, self-inspiring “20 Feet Tall,” sported a feathered, floor-length coat and a tall head, which later had a forward-facing slit underneath. She took off her sexy black dress and took command of the stage. The next hour and 45 minutes. From there, the night turned into a grand chorus led by a loyal chorus of sassy and playful Badu, who performed the classic “On” with humorous ad-libs like “People in the back… what are you looking at?” & On”.
After following “…& On,” the Grammy-winner pulled flavorful pieces from her deep-rooted catalog, including “Appletree,” “No Love,” “Me,” “Time’s a Wastin,” and “Kiss Me on.” Performed many songs. My Neck’, ‘AD 2000’, ‘Didn’t Cha Know’ and the close ‘Window Seat’. On the latter song, Badu smoothly boarded a snippet of Ali Lennox’s “Whipped Cream,” where she said, “I love you, Ali.” Also featured were the arena-filled choruses of “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop),” “Otherside of the Game,” “Next Lifetime,” and the very moving “Orange Moon.” .
Addressing a wide audience of 60’s to 2000’s fans, Badu proclaimed his groundbreaking 1997 debut album: Bedouinism“I wrote it for babies in the ’90s,” she recalled of being pregnant with her first child while writing and recording the project. “So I’ve been waiting for your ’90s babies to grow up,” she said with a laugh.
This year’s 50th anniversary masterclass of neo-soul and hip-hop kicked off with a bang at rap icon Yasin Bey. The Brooklyn-born artist took to the stage in response to heartwarming applause and shouts to deliver his powerful 45-minute set. It was self-deprecating at times (at one point the rapper/singer-songwriter/actor simply referred to himself as a “local talent” to provoke audience laughter). Roaming freely on stage, Bey performed “Auditorium,” “Casa Bey,” “Mathematics,” “Ms. Fat Booty,” and “UMI Says.”
Adding an exclamation mark to Bey’s show was the surprise appearance of his former Blackstar colleague Talib Kweli from Brooklyn. The two hip-hop icons dive into a hilarious take on 1998’s gem “Respiration.”
Produced by Outback Presents, the 25-city Unfollow Me Tour with Badu’s Yassin Bey kicked off June 11 in San Antonio, with Los Angeles as the fifth stop. Upcoming performances include Sacramento (June 20), Seattle (June 23), Denver (June 26), Chicago (July 1), New York (July 8), Atlanta (July 15th) and then ends in Badu’s hometown of Dallas (23rd July). .
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