On this day, twenty years ago, Erykah Badu released Mama’s Gun. I clung to Mama’s Gun in the middle of my adolescence. On weekends, I would clean my small bedroom, humming along with “Didn’t Cha Know”. Read the liner notes of the CD insert while softly singing along to “Orange Moon”. Harmonized with the backup vocalists on “Bag Lady”, as if I had lived a lifetime at the age of 15. I can still recall how mesmerized I was by the transitions in “Green Eyes”. I remember the warm tones, clever lyrics, and contributions from one of my favorite producers. As I reflect on this album, I am most reminded of my appreciation for this seminal piece of work.

Personally, the album holds a special place in my heart. Even as a young buck, I felt the tinge of heartbreak from “Green Eyes”. After twenty years of life experience, I still try to heed the message to “pack light”. Now as an adult, I can truly, wholeheartedly relate to the musings on heartbreak, love, and growth. As is quite evident now with Badu’s career spanning more than two decades, her unique expression and exploration of these themes are just as poignant then as they are now.

I listened Mama’s Gun incessantly upon its release. It is currently in rotation on my computer as I wait for my remastered vinyl copy to come in next week. Once that comes in, I will lather, rinse, repeat.

For more information on Erykah Badu check out Badu World Market.

For some phenomenal reviews of Mama’s Gun check out articles on Okayplayer, Stereogum, and Udiscovermusic.

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