Worldwide Underground

Worldwide Underground

Worldwide Underground is one of Erykah Badu’s most thrilling, avant-garde works. “Bump It” jumps off with turntable scratches as Badu scats, “Phat beats, Phat drums,” riffs over an electrifying jazz-funk groove, then ends it all with an extended display of vocalese. “Back in the Day” swirls with dreamy, ‘70s-inspired synth lines, while the 10-minute “I Want You” bounces around a hiccupping MP3 sampler. Throughout, she pays tribute to hip-hop’s influence, most notably on “Love of My Life Worldwide,” an energetic rap cipher between Badu, Queen Latifah, Angie Stone, and Bahamadia.

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