Erykah free concert for MJK Jr. series
We had been digging the album since before it was released , we all pretty much raved about it.
Out the train to see the late afternoon sun on the school - college building in front of the Field where the concert was to be held, people streaming towards it walking faster and faster.
Already 7 PM with show set to begin at 7:30 ...
Then we saw the line !
Long and trailing down one street and onto the next, but not yet moving, street festival air with everyone hoping to get in, older people with canes cutting in line to their friends waving them in,
kids with school backpacks still on, big people, small people Erykah people.
Long wait for her to arrive it turned out, we were treated to the manager of the local Applebees giving out stuff and a preacher to went into his um thing a bit loooong
"We need Christ not crack, manna not marijuan'a' - oops that went down really badly !
Clear blue skies, cooler then last week, some sitting in plastic chairs, some brought fold ups, people having dinner motioning for the ones in front to sit down - place was full and more people streaming in.
Finally her DJ appeared, matching new bts atop trad reggae until blurred.
When Erykah came on all was forgotten, set starting with "The Healer" spaced and a little slower, spread out .
Powder blue jumpsuit open down the front, giant afro billowing, sexy back dancing,
she looked great.
And pregnant too ? ref. Jay Electronica, artist on her label.
The band was quite good, imo better then the previous.
The drummer tight and crisp, drum machine claps, bass and guitar rocked well in the pocket through hour and a half set of the current album and a few older songs.
They basically took the DJ and sampled sounds of the album and internalized it as a band.
Powerful comments about the cops ( 'If yer durty you 'd probably not be here'), sweet sentiments bout unsung artists, creators.
On Obama 'he's already done enough' -
as hey the Black House looks to be coming, this election his to lose.
"The Healer" was best and it was brought back towards end of set "
' Hiphop - is bigger then religion, hiphop -bigger then the Government ...'
Many shouts to Dilla.
Dave Chappelle in the cabinet.
She got on the drum machine and rocked some bts ad lib
The Planet Rock melody loped modulated out through one tune.
As she does on the album, Erykah ( and her producers ) have the ability to tag styles at will,
Be it hiphop, old school, neo soul, an Earth Wind and Fire vibe, touch of Stevie Wonder, jazzy sprinklings , a bit o' Lauren Hill mode or a presence not unlike iconic Diana Ross for these times.
All modern soul, of this moment.
And her voice !