Music: Wrapped Tight

Erykah Badu is still at the head of the neosoul class

At the corner of Stevie Wonder Street and Hip-Hop Avenue, just a few short blocks from Billie Holiday Boulevard, stands the music of singer-songwriter Erykah Badu. She's not in a real place, of course, but in a bit of musical territory she has imagined into being. With a towering headwrap that's both vaguely African and vaguely Dr. Seussian, her slender form decked out in earth-goddess colors, she looks like nobody else in popular music. Her voice cutting like a subtle blade, her beats pumping like block parties, she mixes myriad influences in her work, but winds up sounding just like herself....

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