Do You Know Who Erykah Badu is?
Updated: Oct 10, 2018
I got onto the number 3 train at 72nd street headed downtown to meet the photographer in Tribeca. It was lovely day, a bit cool in the morning so I had on my green cardigan, one of my favorite Ross Dress For Less finds. And in typical fashion, I was rocking a head wrap, the green and peach one my mom made me. It was in the early evening and I plopped down on the orange chairs next to a large man who looked to be in his mid fifties. He acknowledged me as soon as I sat down with a pleasant grin. His deep chocolate skin glistened, his white smile sparkled. His close cut beard was like satin. I sat, looking straight ahead but I could feel him. He wasn't directly staring at me, but I could feel his vibe and sense his consideration of me.
After a couple of stops, 42nd, 34th, he finally asked, "Do you know who Erykah Badu is?" Here we go again.
I am asked this question so often that it has begun to annoy me for a few reasons. 1. Come on...dude really? Do I look like someone who does not know who Erykah Badu is? 2. He must think I'm much younger than I am. 3. See number 1. Now granted there are neosoul artists out there that I do not know of, but Erykah Badu is like THE artist. If the question weren't annoying enough, his response was equally irritating. "Yes, sir. I know Erykah Badu." He leaned away from me in shock, "Whaaaaatttt? You do? Okay, okay." Commence the eye roll. He exclaimed, "You look just like her!" He made an imaginary cone over his head with his hand. I said, "It's the head wrap, I know. I get that a lot." With so much satisfaction he said, "I mean yea, but you have the same face. Your eyes, your nose, your lips. Everything!"
This is always puzzling to me, because in actuality I do not look like Erykah at all. Like not at all. When I lived in Dallas it was bad. It happened once a week it seemed like. The shoe repair man at the shoe repair place I went to logged me in the system as "Badu". I'd drop my shoes off for repair and on the pick up receipt was "Badu". I tried online dating one time, (that's a story in and of itself), and a guy I met for a first date said, "You're like Erykah Badu, just taller." I just think people are excited about my head wrap that's all or they are just trying to find something to say. In my experience, men will say anything to say something. It's just crazy to me how many of them say Erykah Badu.
The man on the train, whose named I learned was Mr. Omar, began schooling me about all kinds of music and artists that I actually knew nothing about. Artists from back in the day whose names I now don't remember. He asked me where I was from, what I'm doing in New York. I told him I'm an actor and model here studying Meisner. "I knew it! That explains it." Explains what? He was so interested in my acting. He asked me what my goals were. I told him the abridged version. Then Mr. Omar said a quick prayer for me asking God to open doors and give me favor. Wow! Amazing how a stranger could be so irritating then so encouraging. He then said, "Okay, I'll be looking for you now. What's your name by the way?"
"Angela." He dragged out every syllable of my name in a deep sigh, "Aaannngeeeellllaaaahhhh!"
He leaned closer to me with eyebrow raised, "Do you know who Angela Bassett is?"
Jumpsuit: #buffaloexchange Dallas
Wooden/Brass Bracelet: #boboglobalnyc
Chilean Stone Ring: Gifted from #txmariposa
Dad Watch: From Dad by #josabanks
Head wrap: Made by Mom