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Why we Love BADU

I lug my sunburst orange suitcase along with a beige leather one-strap satchel bought from a consignment store in Brooklyn, New York thrown over my right shoulder, a bag of clothes I just absolutely needed to get rid of in hand and a fourth bag full papers and work materials in tow. As I reached the edge of the road where traffic began, for once, I wasn't embarrassed or thinking about how ridiculously weighed down I looked. It could be because my stylish bamboo Nine West hat was doing the trick blocking out the sun or the fact that I looked just like the Bag Lady that Lady Sara Bellum described in her song.
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by Spainish Muralist, Eva Mena

I a flash image of the BusBoys & Poets painting of the Universally loved Artist Erykah Badu that hung HIGH....the highest of all the artwork--with a large fro and a tiny crown....came to my mind. I begin to sing the song.

Baaaag Lady.
You gon miss your Bus. You can't Hurry Uuuuup.
Cause you got TOO much stuff.

That was me. In a hurry. On a mission to do one hundred million things with evidence to prove it.

I'd heard this song, like many Black women who loved her ebb and flow celestial vibe many times over. I still recall the rainbow colorful headwraps the number of women who wore them along with Erykah as they sang and swung their hips in the camera. But there was something different about it this time. Before, I would chime along shaking my head at that Bag Lady woman and thought, what an unfortunate thing. We all Love Ms. Badu. She sang our hearts and told the truth about our subconsciousness mind with style, with essence and Soul that reels us in. Erykah Badu is one of the Millennium Black Conscious Stars who swooned us with her truthful lyrics and cavern open mic sweet baked apple, sound. A 5%er. They called themselves, a small population of the majority that GETS it. Free-thinkers. Truth Seekers and Brilliant Sound Crafting Artists who could elevate an audience even from planet Earth to an Inter-Galactic World of symphonic beats of urban style and culture.

I had to chuckle at myself for this very literal depiction now. There I was, Badu's lyrics incarnate.
You see, Erykah has a gift. She makes bold-statements in a way that screams Uhnk, Black Queen Mother, Loving Funk" but she also synthesizes the real life cultural experiences of Woman of Color who's every gotten stuck in a daydream or took the time to wrestle with their heart and mind over a matter. The Bag Lady--represents a woman with emotional baggage, mental blockages, unresolved past and present traumatic experiences, and attachment issues. She is a woman buried beneath all of the things that she surrounds her with for many reasons: fear, doubt, uncertainty, oppression, insecurity. You name it. The Bag Lady--has potential. The stuff that she carries all hold meaning, have depth, hold weight and girth. However, they only represent parts of who she is but no man has the time or the capacity to add it all up and make sense of her story, hence the line:

When they see you comin....
N***@s take off runnin....
from you, it's true. 
Oh, yes they doooo ooooo.

Baggage, and we all come with some, refers to just about any kind of woman.

Girl, I know.
Sometimes it's Haaaaard. &you can't let GO.

The materialistic egoist who can't help but to wear her pedigree and accolades on her person, who totes more appointments, meetings, affairs, bookings and rond e veus then designer bags. The talkative bossy one who always has input, who has to place her two cents in the piggybank because of bad experiences in past that forcing her to keep her guard way up high. Or the silent killer, who'll never share or reveal her soul....she'd rather keep it in, wear it on her back or shoulders and let the bags under her eyelids tell all.

Then there is a victim, the one can't let go because she is fearful of losing a sense of protection or false identity. She is willing to lose out just for sake of doing things her way; she'll wait in line, stare at the situation and delay to perpetuate further resistance and pride. The victim is convinced that these limitations she has placed on herself are an absolute and that anyone should they come into her life should learn to accept this reality for her. The victim is usually blindsided, indoctrinated, stubborn, emotional, and repetitive.

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Ohhh, when someone hurts you
Oh so bad, inside.
You can't deny it. You can't stop cryin.

And finally, and the educated all-too-confident Sistah who walks the line. One day, she's totally free, open-minded, witty, flexible and great company to have around. And then the next, she is unreachable, obsessive, controlling, removed, surly, objective, self-absorbed, and turn off by everything and everyone around her. Her baggage is also an emotional one, and somewhat victimizing except that she tends to prey on others to guard her pain and vulnerability using her intellect, resources and strength to intimidate others from getting to close or saying anything to them about that weight that they carry.

Then of course you have the homeless or homely looking woman. Her exterior puts it in plain site. She is covered from head to toe with the flashiest, loudest, most noticeable, audible and scented paraphernalia that spell out her life: DESPERATE. Either for Love, Attention, Affection, or Admiration. From the most inviting and alluring of displays to the most detestable....a straggler, who hasn't bathed in days, hair unruly and clothes that germinate every substance she's exposed herself to. This kind of baggage is a tricky one. It could be out of kindness or pure interest/intrigue that you find yourself getting to know her. Either way, you'd better be prepared and have plenty of room in your closet to store what this gal is carrying.

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These profiles are enough to send anyone....not just a man away.
The Bag Lady is a ballad, an ode song to all of the Sistahs who go unsung, overlooked or taken advantage of. Despite her present dilemma, she deserves to be treated like a human being. The melody is just so sweet that you could sip your drink and two step to it. That's the gift of the Badu experience, is equalizes, petitions and brings Love to us all. This willowy groove just might put that Bag Lady in a trance as she listens to Erykah's advice. She just might consider changing her ways.

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And for the rest of us, we just might how the bus door open for her as she comes.

One day, all them bags gon get in your way.
One day, he go crowding in my space.

So....PACK Liiiiiight.

Enjoy this classic song & video.


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