My excitement about Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh” (which is due on March 30th) was tempered by the fact that Lil Wayne was gonna be appearing on the album’s first single. I was more than a little disappointed that someone who had such a strong stance about artistic integrity would pull a sellout move and align herself with the hot rapper of the moment, ostensibly just to have a hit single.
Having heard “Jump in the Air (Stay There)” and seen the video, my side-eye has still not corrected itself. Although I have to begrudgingly admit, Weezy is the best thing about the song. The song itself knocks-I love the beat, but it’s pretty threadbare from a lyrical perspective. And when you’re dealing with the lady that writes songs like “Cleva”, songs like “Jump in the Air” are just really disappointing. I’m holding out hope that this song is just a red herring and that the rest of the album will be dope-Erykah hasn’t let me down yet.
The video is just weird. You know how sometimes strobe lights give people seizures? There’s just too much going on visually here-it’s kind of a jumbly mess. Another swing and a miss for Erykah-who arguably makes better videos than any other female artist out there. If you really want to know how much of a political mess the VMAs are-consider the fact that “Honey” didn’t win the Best Female Video award and was passed over in favor of Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”. But back to the video for a sec. The “Free Lil Wayne” tag pissed me off, too. Dude broke the law. He copped a plea. He should go to jail. Why front like the dude is noble when he’s just a criminal who can rap kind of OK?
E. Badu’s new album comes out 3/30. Cop it and support real artistry-despite the fact that this song is kinda “eh”.