Song: The Healer (2006
Artist: Erykah Badu
Album: New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
Thoughts: This is definitely one of my favorite songs by Erykah Badu. For me there are two lyrics that really stand out. First, “It’s bigger than religion/Hip-hop /It’s bigger than my nigga/ Hip-hop”. This lyric could be read as how powerful hip- hop is and how it has surpassed religion. And this idea could be put into conversation with Steve Stoute’s theory of Tanning of America in which “he says hip-hop can be seen as having the same markers that occur with all major religions—among them a connection to community, a connection to spirit through personal experience (in the music itself), a coherent doctrine and morality, code, ritual, an organization and hierarchy, and a mythology featuring heroes and leaders. History matters too, especially in the telling of how hip-hop rose up from urban ashes to elevate and empower its adherents in much the same way that the most enduring religions throughout history have come about” (Stoute, 2011, p. 34). Alternatively this lyric could be read as what constitutes as hip- hop?
The others lyric that stands out to me is “We ain’t dead said the children don’t believe it/
We just made ourselves invisible” Here Badu makes me question in what ways do we make ourselves invisible and dim our own brightness? This lyric rings similar to one of my favorite poems Our Greatest Fear by Marianna Williamson. Badu’s lyric connects with Williamson’s words who writes
“Your playing small Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you”.
How are you going to heal today to make sure you shine like the star you were born to be?
Our Deepest Fear: https://www.inspiringcommunity.org/inspiringstories0504
The Tanning of America: Stoute, S., & Rivas, M. E. (2011). The tanning of America: how hip-hop created a culture that rewrote the rules of the new economy . Gotham Books