With her neo-soul-defining Baduizm back in 1997, the now-37-year-old Southern girl (née Erica Wright) allowed boho songstresses like India.Arie and Corinne Bailey Rae to embrace their inner Joan Armatrading, presenting multifaceted images of the black female singer-songwriter. That's great and all that, but Badu wasn't gonna leave it there: Three years later, she invoked space-age ancestors Betty Davis and LaBelle to bust out another modern soul classic (while upending the genre) with Mama's Gun. Her latest, New Amerykah, storms out the gate like a 21st-century Superfly.
Tue., June 2, 8 p.m., 2009
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