Erykah Badu Blasts Today’s Music

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is no stranger to controversy. After causing a stir with her much-talked-about “Window Seat” video, the soul songstress is speaking out about her disappointment with today’s music.

“How y’all gone stand by and let our music turn into pop techno cornball ass music,” Badu asked her Twitter followers, referring to the electro, dance, and pop sounds currently dominating radio. “We don’t own our music no more. come to think of it , did we EVER own it ? where is the funk AT?”

The shift in popular music surprised Badu. “They playd 6 in a row today- #pop techno songs back to back . with so called r&b and rap artist… on the hop hop station . where I been?”

The 39-year-old artist, who has her own young children, opened up the discussion to her followers. “I wann hear from the young people? easy for me to complain about this techno-pop cause i have a taste for something else. but how do u feel?” she questioned. “I definitely don’t want to offend anyone . young people, I know this is the music of your generation.”

Without naming names, she expressed her dismay at the hip-hop artists following the trend. “These rappers ought to be shame of they damn selves,” she chided. “I’m talkin bout the mc’ s rappin over this pop techno music… I believe in pimpin the system [but] got DAMN! not like this.”

Erykah Badu Tweet

Do you agree with Erykah? Let us know below!

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  1. Ma

    She’s right! Even If there’s a room for every kind of music.


  2. jimscreechie

    It used to bother me, it doesn’t anymore.


  3. Tom-Tom

    Hip-hop and Soul is dead! All the artist have sold their souls to get a #1 record. It’s a shame because I’m 21and the radio doesn’t even appeal to me! I’m stuck in the past, listening to Sade, Jill, Badu, etc. I’m just happy that an actual artist is bringing the issue to life!


  4. Diego LatinSuperFLY

    like technology and everything else in this era, things get upgraded….we are in “the digital era” and the music is gonna reflect that…


  5. esteban

    it’s sad that everyone is doing it now to capitalize. If electropop is your ting and u do it well, then thats fine. But it’s annoying when thats all we hear on the radio and most of it isn’t good.



    It’s a different time. Adapt or get out. That’s real.

    These rappers she is talking about are still here because they have bills to pay. If they sit around and complain, they wouldn’t be here.

    It’s not just music, it is the music BUSINESS. Key word being BUSINESS. In business, you have to ADAPT to the market. Not complain about it.

    Erykah is very talented but if she wants to fit into today’s mainstream, she has to adapt or stay in her own lane. Remember that the music industry goes through cycles.

    This Pop-Techno stuff is hot now…but it will change. But no one knows when.


  7. Trey

    I dont know how to feel about it. I do agree that we dont really ‘own’ our music anymore. Nowadays it would surprise some black people if they found out that blacks created ‘rock and roll’ music.
    I just think music in a whole could be much better and mor creative.


  8. jarvis

    Let em’ know erykah!

    Glad someone is speaking out!



  9. Cameraman

    Wow Erykah…I didn’t know you were such an elitist. You lost some points in my book for that comment.

    I saw “EVOLVE” tatted on your back in the “Window Seat” video, but now you’re mad because of that? As much as it hurts me to say that, GTFOH with that elitist bullshit.


  10. Cameraman

    And for the record, the comments above are only valid if you want to stay relevant and on a major brand. If you don’t mind spending the rest of your career as an independent artist with low sales, keep doing what you’re doing (Many other artists are doing just that)


  11. J.J

    Blame it on David Guetta and Redone


  12. Leon

    Contemporary R & B is a joke. Artists nowadays are more interested in ringtone sales than producing quality material. Lame cookie-cutter garbage premeates the airwaves.


  13. Nait Phoenix

    Thank you Erykah! I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought this!!!


  14. Its True

    @J.J I second that lol


  15. Please!!!

    To all and mostly “Cameraman”…

    Did you know that one of the first songs to include rap was by “Blondie” an American punk-rock band? The song was called “Rapture”. It is a combination of “New Wave” pop, funk, jazz and rap music. Actually, when Blondie released the single “Rapture” which was one of the first songs recorded with a rhyming rap in the bridge of the song, it was understood that the term “Rap” for that genre of music came from the abbreviated Blondie song “RAP-ture.”

    It was released in January 1981 and became one of the first substantial hit singles to involve rap music, and the first rap-influenced single to reach number one on the US Billboard Chart.

    In my take on music, I have to agree with you all. There are times when I dont listen to the radio at all because of the way music “evolved”. It will continue to evolve, while still keeping the prominent elements of what identify the song/artist of a particular genre. I still respect todays music because people have to pay bills. People do what they have to to survive in life and in this game.

    We need people like Erykah to influence the young and old to realize where rap/hip-hop/R&B came from. We have artist out there who identify with what rap/hip-hop is and we have those who have evolved with the times. WE can’t discredit those artist who have evolved with the era because they are reaching their goals. It could be that one “techno-rap” song to spark an intrest in mind of a young people to research where this whole “rap-hip-hop” genre came from.

    I respect the old and the new. There will always be change in your life, in music and in the world, but it is up to the individual to not be ignorant and realize where everything started. Let’s stop looking at change as a negative thing…

    To “EVOLVE” is to produce by natural evolutionary processes..

    Erykah does contradict herself with this article because at the end of her “Window Seat” video she says:

    “They play it safe. Are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move one to change, to love our self, to evolve.”

    Now isn’t she assassinating what she doesn’t understand by saying: “How y’all gone stand by and let our music turn into pop techno cornball ass music,”


  16. Mely B

    I don’t think she’s calling out the artists whose true heart lies in doing music like this. She is calling out the sell-outs in HIP HOP and R&B. As others have mentioned, everyone on a major label is just straight out jumping onto this genre of music to make a buck – it’s inauthentic & disingenuous but like others have said, they gotta make that buck or faced getting dropped.

    I’m behind Badu on this one – if more R&B artists withstood the pressure to conform and simply put out great music, this genre wouldn’t be on life support as it is now.


  17. Dan King

    Ignant People don’t write about Sunshine and Really have a hard Time Celebrating other People’s Tastes….If it’s in, it’s cuz Everybody likes what’s New..)dk


  18. WhatTheF

    I’m assuming she’s talking about Flo Rida? IDK who else…


  19. Dan King

    Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu seem a bit Irrellevant to Modern Music Wouldn’t You all Agree? ((Applause!!!))..)d


  20. justme

    I wouldnt say irrelevant but if she would bring out more music than something every 5 yrs than we can have a steady flow of music.. Instead she sits back and lets this happen so dont complain about it


  21. rightnow

    I happen to have a preference for pop and electro techno music but i do enjoy hip hop, r&b, and soul as well. I have to say that she definitely hit the nail on the head with that comment about people rapping on pop beats, I’ve been saying it for years, and they keep thinking that they’re extra hard. How about they try innovating hip hop by developing a new sound


  22. melly mel

    She is definitly taking direct shots at Nicki Minaj and I agree with her but i still like “check it out”


  23. conner

    most artists now a days do “dance/pop” to sell records but still make R&B music. take ushers most recent album, it has dance mainstream records but r&b aswell, i think she needs to remember these ppl gotta sell records that what their here to do at the end of the day, i would prefer the artist to release ther R&B records in the uk though coz they only release the dance records here :/


  24. delroy

    i agree with @ Tom-Tom. people might think that im hating on this new sound but im being real. In the UK we see things like this happening all the time. and it gets to a point where it’s just in your face all the time (like it is now). personally most of the time i can’t tell the difference between artists like i use to. And artist that i once had big respect for are now doing songs that sounded like the last three track that they put out. My fear is that this new sound will kill off our fav genres. Then thinking about it when all the people that have jumped on the bandwagon of the new sound. Meaning the people that only listen to whats big at the time (MAINSTREAM LOVERS). Will only make it become underground, which on thoughts sounds like a good idea. lets have back the real stuff that we could relate to onec again.


  25. Alejandro

    It’s called evolution of music. It’s like evolution with anything.

    Either get with it or be replaced.


  26. KC



  27. Baron

    Being an artist who blends hiphop and electo sounds I still understand where she’s coming from.

    I think it’s different when it’s authentic to who you are rather than trying to make the next hit. The music industry has made their artists into zombies. Brainless. I agree that you have to pay bills but how can you call yourself an artist when paying bills is your primary goal.

    That’s not an artist, that’s a businessman. And don’t let me even start on what’s considered R&B anymore.

    Google: artistbaron and you’ll know more about me.


  28. ahhh219

    I agree where is r&b at screw what sells its about good ass music I believe 2011 music is goin to change but for the good of it I think labels should worry more the quality of music more than what sells because that ish is goin to be old but erykah is no where near irrelevant because she’s about quality sound I agree music need to be solid again every genre need to get back there original feeling!


  29. Emarald

    I agree with Erykah wholeheartedly. The only reason “techno pop cornball ass music” is selling is because all of you are eatting it up. I bet you would all support a tired ass nicki minaj album but wouldnt go buy a ledisi album.


  30. team kelly!!!

    She is mos def right… I had said that as well! I said that like 3 days ago.


  31. oebie

    I’m looking at you Usher… although you’re not a rapper but where are the days of Burn, Confessions, My Boo or like Foolin’ Around from his latest album? That song deserved to be a single!

    Not that OMG and DJ got us falling in love are bad, but i do miss the other sound.


  32. Erykah Badu Sounds Off on the Techno Rap Trend - Exclaim! | Rap Music

    [...] [...]

  33. ...

    Mainstream hip hop/r&b is dead. Finished. Finito. Hip hop and r&b in general are alive and flourishing. You can’t rely on MTV, BET, VH1, or the radio to fulfill your musical needs. There’s awesome music out there, but you have to look for it.


  34. HHH7387

    Erykah is definitely not irrelevant, and she’s doin fine going down her own musical lane. She still sells units, and she still sells out shows. Not only was “Window Seat” one of the best singles of the year (quality wise), and successful, but also the controversy surrounding the video got her on stations like CNN.

    So anybody that says that she’s irrelevant doesn’t know what their talkin about.


  35. Ola!

    Badu ”’ it all about EVOLUTION. SO WE NEED SOMEONE LIKE YOU TO THAT mix funk, soul, eclectic with TECHNO. Cuz that’s the way forward. Bring it on Gal!


  36. Kevbo

    Erykah Tells the truth,

    why is Pitbull featured in every song, cause he recycles hot 90′s beats and uses them in his horrible songs, yet they become hits so everyone, Usher, Enrique (seriously???) features him in the songs and ohh surprise, it’s a hit…. where’s the Soul that confessions had, where are all the Bag Ladies at?

    I’m all for dancin’ but girl’s got a point!


  37. WELL

    well if its such a problem, don’t listen…listen to old music…or the stations that do play the music u like! people make music that will make them money, and keep them relevant. its what the MAJORITY likes!


  38. malfred

    people will never learn from the past ever just keep on goin down hill only people the live before can see, being oblivious


  39. Lemek-Ra

    The problem is alot of you don’t know what good music is because you have never explored music outside the radio. So you think something is hot because it plays 12x on the radio everyday. This new techno sound is making you tone deaf. You have no ideal what music is. Most of you are limiting your options. Just because BET tells you something is hot don’t make it so. Check out Talib Kweli last album, Aloe Blacc, Rakaa Iriscience and Adele. Good music is out here but you won’t be exposed to it on the radio.


  40. zz

    well.., it wuz GUETTA who started it!
    N just check what’s inside BEP new album..
    it’s just going nowhere but dance-pop..
    n rihanna?! GGGB is the best, much better than only girl..!
    i’m just hoping that either beyonce or ciara wouldnt do the same thang..


  41. juan

    definitely David Guetta and Bob Sinclar created an epidemic


  42. Antonios World

    Fck her! not every thinks techno. my mann ray j and bobby v are brings r&B back


  43. key



  44. From Tokyo

    Straight truth from her fingertips. So much music is garbage and I actually LOVE all forms of electronic music. But I DO NOT like when popular artists use it as a trendy vehicle to get hits. I love genuine electronic artists creating music in THEIR field. Leave it to them because they do it best.

    Lyrically music now is repetitive garbage and not uplifting at all; just a rehash of bravado, sex, and violence and money. You have some unique artists out putting out real music (Janelle Monae) and people can only focus on her clothes. The mainstream audiences DON’T WANT real music anymore. They want music like their movies – fast, loud, flashy, and pointless. Make no mistake; this is where we’re at.


  45. From Tokyo

    P.S. Electronic music ISN’T NEW. Why are some people acting like it is. It’s true that some people are so limited in what they hear/explore that they don’t realize there’s literally a WHOLE WORLD of other genres out there, and sub-genres within genres that they’ve never heard of before. Don’t hate electronic music, hate how it’s utilized by non-electronic artists.


  46. key



  47. TK

    THANK-YOU ERYKAH….I’LL GIVE YOU THE SOAP BOX ALL DAY…..I just recently put a post up to my fb page reguarding this same message. I need a time machine….today’s music sucks and only sells ass, drugs,ignorance, and money. What’s the message in the lyrics these days? Half of it you can’t even understand what the hell they are saying. Pure garbage *sigh*


  48. kani

    what does she want?


  49. mmkayy

    they say hiphop is dead???? rnb/soul is dying


  50. sasha

    usher chris brown ne-yo nicki minaj fl rida are the main ones


  51. dan

    usher doesnt do rnb anymore,the last 2 albums i didnt because of the eletro/dance sound,i used to love that man music, neyo just following step by step, im gonna drop him aswell, where is the RNB? WE KNOW HIPHOP IS DEAD ALREADY, lol MC ON DANCE/TECHO music, OH MY GOD,WHAT A HELL


  52. miro

    @sashahow is nicki part of main one, she has no album out yet?


  53. ListenUp2010

    what about rappers rappin over hard rock records? or soft rock?

    what’s so wrong with techno?

    i blame jayz and beyonce and kanye and p.diddy and rihanna and gaga. that whole clique has benefitted from ‘techno/electronic’ music, either by calling it out/denying it (jayz “d.o.a.”) or using it in their music (everybody else on the list).

    just because she thinks techno is cornball doesn’t mean it isn’t a genre and can’t be influential even when layered with hip hop.

    talk about evolving. how about not being close-minded?

    if her issue is with people jumping on the bandwagon for monetary gain then she shoots herself in the foot coz she says she understand “pimpin’ the game”.

    welp, she benefitted quite well from record execs/companies dubbing the resurgence of soul music as “neo-soul”. look how many artists gained exposure, notoriety and awards and sales that were of that ‘new genre’. but because she ain’t feeling techno/electronica meshed with hip hop it’s wrong.



    some celebs shouldn’t use twitter as the venue/forum for their rants and raves. take it to the booth and let loose on the mic. let me be great!


  54. jason

    I agree, rap sucks nowadays, well at least the kind that’s on the radio. It’s all aimed towards teenage girls. I mean come one, did yall listen to Eminem’s Recovery? That was terrible, Em fell off hard.


  55. alb

    honestly if your only mainstream relevance was a top selling soul single in the 90′s shut up. honestly she just seems mad because her personal brand is to funky for the clean cuts on the radio. no one was even playing your ish before electro stole the crown. she could use a bit of updating herself. lyrically, and sonically speaking shes riding a wave that hit the shore a long timmme ago.



    Yes, Erykah unfortunately real music or real hip hop is not what is used to be. Thank God for you, Jill Scott, Dwele, Andre 300, Ledisi, Music, Anthony Hamiliton’s, etc, and never forget Tribe Called Quest which I grew up on living in NYC.


  57. delnika

    I think. She. Is right today music sucks. Same ole same ole smh


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