4

Erykah Badu Goes Beatnik in Comedic Turn for Miles Davis Music Video

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Miles Davis is enjoying a renaissance in 2016. The jazz titan, easily one of the most pivotal music figures of the 20th century, would've been 90 years old this year, and he's already received a fitting tribute in Don Cheadle's labor of love film, Miles Ahead. Then a few weeks ago, Robert Glasper, who was responsible for that film's soundtrack, released a compilation of re-imagined Davis tracks, Everything's Beautiful. That's where Erykah Badu comes in.

Of course, with Badu being Badu, she was never going to play this one straight. And in her newly released video for "Maiysha (So Long)," the results are delightfully funny.

Badu plays frustrated beatnik singer Sarah Bellum, opening the 8-minute video with a ridiculous monologue in the dark, recited over the melody to "Maiysha." It seems the video could be taking place in a '50s cafe, an appropriate homage to Davis, but then comes the bait and switch. Glasper, who plays one of Bellum's band members and her love interest, breaks the routine: "I can't see what I'm doing."

Bellum proceeds to flip out about the stupidity of the production and chastise Glasper's character for "spending all [her] money." Glasper, meanwhile, continually has to remind Bellum, "You don't even drink!" when she reaches frantically for alcohol. Hamming up the diva role to the hilt, Badu's performance seems like one that would've amused Davis plenty.

"Maiysha" was originally recorded by Davis during his '70s jazz fusion era and appeared on Get Up With It. An electric, funk-infused track, Glasper reinterpreted it as a softer bosa nova piece, with Badu adding her own original lyrics. Everything's Beautiful also includes songs from Bilal, John Scofield and Stevie Wonder.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.