When Erykah Badu Met The Roots... (Or: How ?uestlove and Every Other Member of The Roots Fell For Dallas' Queen of Neo-Soul)
The strong bond between Dallas' Own Erykah Badu and Philadelphia's The Roots has been cemented for years -- since back in 1996, actually, when Badu enlisted the would-be Best Band in Late Night for work on her debut release from 1997, Baduizm.
Why Badu wanted to work with The Roots? Well, that much is pretty clear: In searching for some authenticity in her burgeoning neo-soul sound, Badu found The Roots, at that point already three full-lengths and an EP into their careers a nice fit.
But this much has always been a little head-scratching: Why did The Roots want to go out of their way to help a then-unknown from Dallas get her start in the industry. A story shared last night on Twitter between Badu and Roots drummer ?uestlove sheds some light on the matter. Check out Questo's story, as originally posted to a personal site in which ?uestlove shares his first interactions with various celebrities, after the jump. It's well worth the (hilarious) read.
e is one of the greatest sirens of all time.
this is nothing new. i always joke that rapheal sadiq and i joke that we NEVER look her in the eye for more than 5 seconds.
i dont know what it is but erykah is one of the sexiest people of all time.
bob power called me in to drum on "drama" with ron carter for her debut album.
and man....she had me from the whiff of her mango oil.
i knew i was in.
she sat by my feet (ala joss in "fell in love with a boy" video)
and i knew i was in.
she took me to dinner
and i knew i was in.
she brought me a miles davis poster from bleeker bobs
oh yes nigga i was in.
she said "i want you to do a song on my album ill come to your house"
i rushed home....cleaned that shit up....
i knew i was IN!!!!!
she arrives in philly and .....
the fuck is tariq doing here?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!
he NEVER comes to my sessions!!!!!
he think he tryna get in!
next night this mofo is cooking?!?!?!? and bringing his food to the studio?!?!?!
he think he in and shit!!!!
im asking erykah where her hotel is so i can call a cab for her....
she says "tariq is going out of town for a week so he left me the keys to his apartment"---
awwww HELL NO HE THINK HE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???
now here comes james' ass (james is the cat that would ask the teacher for extra homework and a pop quiz in school) talking about "lets make some MORE songs!!!" in the studio after 1 am...
oh he think he is getting in......
we done worked for 6 hours already and i think we have a mighty good song in the can ("otherside") why do we HAVE to keep on working?
he thought he was in.
she all rubbing his head and shit. and he thinkin (oh yeah im in)
(this 3am recording shit will be a mainstay on every erykah album i do--she kidnapped me (made my ex angry as fuck!) on my near death bed after a show at 4am to record "neck"/"ad 2000"/"booty"/"...and on/"clever"/ and "green eyes" for a marathon swoop in time for me to make my 9am bus call.....i had a barf bucket and i even fell asleep for about 10 seconds and went on autopilot while drumming the last half of ad 2000 (on 2:56 you can hear me abruptly waking up only to drop the stick on a fill that somehow they kept in)--
me being the kang of snoring and all this hair has prompted erykah and james "im in!" poyser to tell the engineer to press record whilst i lay near my drumset and these two fools sing songs of my snoring and my bed head. most of which was for yalls amusement on her "afro" a real time in between songs mess around banter (most of which heavily edited to my happiness) during that week.
the next day
*knock knock knock*
*eddie murphy mr robinson voice) "WHO IS IT?!?!?!?
its yo brother...D!
--now by this point d and i realized we were brothers in arms but not the show up unannounced variety we would demonstrate 2 years later. so this shit was a shocker.....but i had my suspicions.
sup man! choo doing here?
"uh you know just uh....thought id come up and say whats up to my brother!"
(yeah ok.....i heard this before)
"yep!...you know....so i hear you working with erykah...."
i knew it.
richmond to philly is a 8 hour drive and NOONE drives 8 hours just to say "whats happening brother"
that entire album we was crossing our ts
dotting our i's
cooking gourmet meals
swiping our credit cards for black erotica books (1992 cats remember that?)
dressing all headwappy
and almond milk
and whole foods
and what the hell has my life come to?!?! i dont wear purple socks!!!!!!
very very interesting year 96 was.
she had seduced us all.
like that one female cat strutting down the street on tom and jerry and all the alley cats going apeshit.