Forget what it says on the marquee — the venue is undoubtedly Amerykahn Airlines Arena when queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu's in town. The striking singer, recognizable by her beehive headgear and enormous Afro wigs, is touring in support of the freshly released New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). It's a gritty R&B collection that trumps her formidable Part One (4th World War) and nearly any album released so far in 2010.
The new single, "Window Seat," finds Badu holding her own broken-beautiful voice as confidently as anything since her 1997 debut, Baduizm. In the brash, NSFW "Window Seat" video, she takes off all of her clothes on the Dallas street where JFK was assassinated — a stunt falling right in line with her artistic intensity. Elsewhere on the album, she boasts that she's 20 feet tall. No argument here.
Badu's support for the night is strong. In Bilal, she has the silver pipes providing backing vocals on much of her last release as well as just a soulful stud who added his touch to Common, J Dilla, and Jay-Z records. Artistically, the past couple of years have been good to Erykah Badu, so it's the right time to reward her by reveling in her greatness in person.