vinyl library #11: erykah badu’s ‘mama’s gun’

So apparently Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars are dropping a project together soon, and I cannot WAIT!! I didn’t realize the two of them had gone on tour together before, so hearing that they were coming out with a project together felt very out of the blue. But I love both of them, and they’re supremely talented, so I can see the album being a winner. And between the two of them and NILE RODGERS, I can already feel this album being on repeat for a couple of weeks. I’ve heard Andy .Paak puts on amazing shows, and I’ve seen a few Bruno Mars performances on TV, so I hope they plan to go on tour again together once things clear up. Not being able to go to a concert for a whole year has really done some irreversible damage to my brain that can only be fixed by going to more concerts, so I’m already making a list of people I want to see. Adding them to the top!

Anyway, on to Miss Erykah.

Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun (2000)

there are a few versions of this record, but the one that i have came from vinyl me, please. 2 LPs, one in gold (pictured here) and the other in scarlet (you can see that one below). the vmp version also came with a print of the photograph used for this side of the gold record. it’s on my wall where i can bask in the beauty of miss e everyday of my life.

I’ve already talked about Mama’s Gun on here before, so I won’t repeat myself too much since my feelings about the album are still the same. It’s just as good as when I heard it for the first time a few months ago. For some reason, before listening to Mama’s Gun, I was a little intimidated to start listening to any Erykah Badu’s songs outside of the ones that play on the radio (e.g. “Bag Lady,” “On & On,” and “Tyrone”). Part of that might be because she’s such a prominent figure in Black music, so there seems to be an expectation that Black folks should be well-versed in every E. Badu project that has ever come out.

I’ve always been ashamed to admit that I haven’t had that much experience with her music for fear of having tomatoes thrown at my head. But Mama’s Gun left me feeling more prepared and empowered. I don’t like the phrase “real artist,” but something about it feels apt to use in this case. There are a lot of great singers in the world, but it takes a lot more work and passion to take command of the music the way Erykah does. Mama’s Gun isn’t a project that relies heavily on convoluted and extravagant production or instrumentation. On many of Mama’s Gun‘s tracks, it’s just Erykah, an acoustic or bass guitar, a piano, and some drums (although the first song on the project does give us A LOT). It’s “music that speaks to the very essence of humanness,” she says while twirling an incense in the air. You can feel pieces of yourself in every single track. The ebbs and flows of the human experience. Like, listen to “Time’s A Wastin” and tell me you don’t feel that song move through you! I love this album so much, and I’m happy to have it in my collection.

Lil’ Facts

Officially became a part of the collection on November 9, 2020

Bought from: Vinyl Me Please

Year of Original Album Release: 2000

Runtime: 71 minutes

Discogs Release Page

Jacket Style: Gatefold

Format: 2LP

Lowest Price on Discogs (as of 02/26/21): $65.50

Highest Price on Discogs (as of 02/26/21): $155.60

Record Player Set Up Specs:

Turntable: Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK Automatic Bluetooth Turntable in Black (from Turntable Lab)

Speakers: Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers in Black (from Turntable Lab)

My Record Collection (via Discogs)

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