Chicago got a post-Thanksgiving treat on Friday--and I'm not talking about Spring's drunken return, either. No, sir! That's another conversation for another day.
The treat I'm referring to is Ms. Lo Down Loretta Brown, a.k.a. Erykah Badu, who made an appearance at The Mid this past Friday and broke it down on the one's and two's. As a matter of fact, there were technically difficulties which permitted her from using one of the turnstyles. So she was literally jamming on the ONE!
Even better was Common who brought his delicious self there. His presence is always appreciated.
Unfortunately, her DJ-ing set was nothing more than a treat instead of the full Badoula-apple pie with vanilla icecream I think most of the crowd was anticipating. I mean, I knew she was only going to be DJ-ing, so all I expected was a 1-2 hour set and sweat coming out of my boots.
The crowd on the other hand didn't get that memo, which is fine, if you're a true Badu-ist. But if not, it may have posed some problems. Especially since some folks waited to purchase tickets at the door which skyrocketed from $15 to $40 depending on when you got to the club and on top of that everyone and their momma was there. One girl asked me when if she was going to be performing stuff from her new album--but when I told her she was just going to be DJ-ing she yelled "THAT AIN'T WHAT I PAID $30 FOR!!" and stormed out, before Ms. Badu even stepped foot onstage.
Then it hit me, people didn't come here to see her bob her head and scracth vinyl. They wanted her to get up there and make them call Tyrone! Not to say her fans didn't appreciate what she did come to Chicago to do--her mixes were great! At one point she gave us a "history lesson" where she played songs from 70s, and the older mature folks went nuts. Even better was when she had a neo-soul session where she went from Biggie to Bilal and it was oh so smooth! I definately can't knock her skills, she did her thang!
However, that's not what the crowd expected that night. Hell, the crowd was facing Badu the entire time and didn't move around, mix or mingle, try & holla' for a dolla', nothing. And even then, she didn't get onstage until 1:30AM!
As much as I wanted people to get the hint that Friday night wasn't a concert, her fans just weren't having it, at least that aspect. And I'm not gon' lie, my foot pain almost took precedence over Ms. Badu considering I was there at 10PM so I could get a good spot in the crowd despite my warning from Tibs.
I guess it boils down to how big of a Badu-ist you are. If you love Badu, then you would have loved the set. If not, then....yeah. Don't bother even trying to pretend because you're just gonna piss yourself off. And I'm almost certain Ms. Badu would appreciate it if you didn't ruin the vibe.
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"‘Know Thyself’ is the whole of science. Only when man shall have acquired a knowledge of all things will he be able to know himself. For things are but the boundaries of man."
~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn of Day