Erykah Badu Lights Up L.A.’s El Rey Theatre

Erykah Badu Marquee

On Tuesday night, fans eagerly waited for over two hours to catch Erykah Badu perform at a “secret show” and album release party for her new album New Amerykah Part Two: Return of The Ankh at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The restless crowd was alleviated with black-and-white home videos of Badu, a DJ spinning everything from “Welcome to Jamrock” to some of her biggest hits, and last but not least, the woman of the hour, who worked the room, posing for pictures with adoring fans.

Clad in her now signature beaded, braided wig, khaki trench coat, and boots, the soul songstress joined her 10-piece band, which included bongos and a harp, and played over 15 songs. The audience went wild when she performed her 1996 hit “On and On.” During “Twinkle,” she disrobed to reveal a pair of jeans, a flannel top, and that increasingly popular bottom half.

“OK, it’s time. If you got it, light it up,” Badu announced as she began “Back in the Day (Puff)” while she passed an imaginary joint to her band and eventually into the audience. After staging several songs on the drum machine and dancing, she closed with her much-talked-about single “Window Seat” and left the crowd with this: “Remember, your smile is contagious and it can spark…a million.” Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” then played on cue as she exited the stage after nearly two hours of pure funk and soul.

–Jessica Washington

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  1. Kyle

    I would love to see her live! I bought the new album yesterday and it’s AMAZING. I liked “Part 1″ but it was too ‘out there’ for me. Her new one though is the perfect balance between soul and ecletic funk. I love “Agitation” and “Uhhh Ummm.”


  2. joey

    i went and saw her on jimmy kimmel right before she had her “sercet Show”i live around the block from the el rey she did like an hour performance on kimmel and she killed it just couldnt do the el rey show after…


  3. Anthony E.

    Great write up cousin. Love the details in which you presented your piece. Could not make it but your write up made me feel like I caught a glimpse of it. I’m sure it was something special, so what are your thoughts on the new album?


  4. EL

    What a delightful write-up. Jessica you are so good with giving a very detailed and descriptive account of the event and the performer. Makes me want to go out and buy her cd…I am sure your readers (me included) enjoy the on the spot presence through your eyes and ears. What is all the fuss about Erydah? She found a way to express her point and more!—i.e.– E. Bad-u…and it is Rap-Up not Wrap Up…lol Fine work! and hope that you were able to enjoy the performance.


  5. PJ

    The new album is the truth….Erykah Badu cant go wrong because she pours all of her soul in all of her productions from her debut to now.


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