Enjoy the soothing and eccentric sounds from the first Lady of Neo-Soul, Erykah Badu, at the 5th year anniversary of The Art of Cool Festival (AOCFEST) in Durham, North Carolina. Erykah’s presence is monumental as she is the first female headliner to ever grace the stage in the festival’s history.
Born February 26th, 1971, this Pisces started her career at a young age singing and dancing for her mother, who shares the same undying love for the arts. As Erykah navigated stages, she began performing shows at the local Dallas Theater Center in Dallas, Texas. As her love for music grew, Erykah began to freestyle rap at the age of 14 at KNON, the local radio station in her hometown.
Badu attended Grambling State University with a major in theater, but decided her passion for music needed to pave the way for her future instead. As an emcee, Erykah had her first large gig opening for the Notorious B.I.G in 1994, and then went on to open for A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
With the exposure gained by performing for these iconic artists, Badu’s demo earned rapid recognition in 1996. Her growth surpassed expectations with signing to her first label and creating her first single with fellow Neo-Soul artist, D’Angelo. Ultimately it is no surprise that her critically acclaimed debut album, Baduizm, snagged Badu a total of two Grammy awards.
Over the years as Badu experimented with her sounds, she went on to work with the likes of Common, Outkast, The Flaming Lips, Jadakiss, and Tyler the Creator. Her most recent mixtape, But You Can’t Use My Phone, features DRAM on the main single and topped the charts in digital downloads.
When Badu is not serving knowledge on social media or providing us therapy through her music, she is a certified doula using herbs to heal the soul. She has also founded her own non-profit, B.L.I.N.D. (Beautiful Love Incorporated Nonprofit Development), and the Sugar Water festival alongside Queen Latifah and Jill Scott.
This Grammy award-winning songstress will take on the stage with her timeless hits, and soulful demeanor to remind us why music can speak to us better than words can.
This jam-packed festival takes place the weekend of September 28th and 29th at the historic Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC. Acts include Nas, Maxwell, Dwele, Sango, Rahsaan Patterson, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ms. Badu herself, and more. There are a variety of early bird tickets now on sale to feed your music needs, including the option to use Affirm to get your tickets now while you pay over time! Buy early, as these early bird prices will not last long. Visit our ticket page for more information!