Leave it to Erykah Badu to throw out a surprise like this. The last time we saw the high priestess of Dallas soul, it was on opening night at The Bomb Factory, where she played a marathon set for her hometown crowd to help christen the (sorta) new room in Deep Ellum. Since then, it turns up she's been putting in some other pretty epic sets, including one from last month that most of us only got to experience yesterday.
Back in May, Badu performed at the Roots' annual Roots Picnic, which takes place each spring at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. She performed her own set with the Roots playing as her backing band, but the real fireworks of the night came when they turned a mash-up of two of their songs — the Roots' "Act Too (Love of My Life)" and Badu's "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" — into, well, an ode to hip-hop. And it was pretty awesome, as we now to get to see thanks to a video debuted on Billboard yesterday.
The song kicks off with "Act Too" before transitioning into "An Ode to Hip Hop," which then forms the backbone for the rest of the 17-minute jam. They weave through Wu-Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." and Kanye West's "Gold Digger" before being joined onstage by fellow rappers Freeway, YG and the Lox. The rap verses prove plenty energetic, but it's Badu who quietly steals the show; her sizzling, sultry choruses always bring the party back down to a calm center, and like usual, she makes it all seem effortless. So effortless, in fact, that she rides a Phunkee Duck around stage most of the time, because why wouldn't she do that?
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But hey, Badu's always going to Badu, and we love her for it. Check out the full medley below: