New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
After a four-year absence, Grammy Award-winning neo-soul muse Erykah Badu returns to the music scene with New Amerykah, featuring the debut single "Honey." The new album marks Badu's tenth year as a recording artist, and the gifted trendsetter pegged its release to her birthday, February 26th. To work on the album -- the first installment in the series New Amerykah Part 1&2 -- Badu enlisted Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Nas, Mary J. Blige), Madlib, Mike "Chav" Chavarria, and R&B singer Bilal.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Downplayed and practically disregarded as it was, 2003's Worldwide Underground was an excellent and brave...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
After a four-year absence, Grammy Award-winning neo-soul muse Erykah Badu returns to the music scene with New Amerykah, featuring the debut single "Honey." The new album marks Badu's tenth year as a recording artist, and the gifted trendsetter pegged its release to her birthday, February 26th. To work on the album -- the first installment in the series New Amerykah Part 1&2 -- Badu enlisted Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Nas, Mary J. Blige), Madlib, Mike "Chav" Chavarria, and R&B singer Bilal.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Downplayed and practically disregarded as it was, 2003's Worldwide Underground was an excellent and brave follow-up to 2000's Mama's Gun. Erykah Badu concedes she had nothing to say at the time -- the loose 50-minute "EP" was more about sounds than statements -- but she evidently holds herself to a high standard. Perhaps that streak was a factor in her protracted silence from its release to New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War; she even thought she might be through with making music. Her creative energy returned at some point, and then some, with this set apparently just the first in a series of releases. Varied and layered, New Amerykah, Pt. 1 has Badu collaborating principally with the members of Sa-Ra (who are present in almost half of the tracks), Madlib, 9th Wonder, and Baduizm/Mama's Gun vets Karriem Riggins, James Poyser, and Ahmir Thompson. If you're familiar with what these people have made in the past, you'll know to expect plenty of fearless weirdness and a couple relaxed soul-jazz backdrops that do not fail to stimulate. The album is easily the most hip-hop and most out-there release from Badu thus far, with beats bumping, knocking, and booming in roughly equal measure, sometimes switching tacks or vanishing midstream, dropping down dark corridors, gradually levitating into direct sunlight. Lyrically, there's much to digest: in the ghostly-mystical "The Healer," Badu proclaims hip-hop to be bigger than religion and government; both "That Hump" and "The Cell" are vivid depictions of drug dependency; "Soldier" gives a shout to the Nation of Islam, addresses Katrina and black-on-black crime, and sends out a warning ("Now to folks that think they livin' sweet/They gone fuck around and push 'delete'"); "Twinkle" evokes a lot of thought with few words, alluding to the various failures of the U.S. health, education, and prison systems, and the negative and cyclical effects they've had on Badu's people. Though this is another album where you can only wonder how different it would be with some input from the late J Dilla, the beloved producer gets an incredibly touching tribute with the eight-minute "Telephone," written the day after the ceremony of his death. Indeed, no listed song is light in sentiment, which must partially explain why the beaming single "Honey" is included as an unlisted track -- it doesn't fit into the album's fabric, what with its drifting, deeply sweetened, synth-squish-and-string-drift groove. Immediately moving and yet rather bewildering, New Amerykah, Pt. 1 is an album that sounds special from the first play, yet it will probably take years before it is known just how special it is.
New York Times
By turns overtly political and intensely personal, with 1970s-groove instrumentation, hip-hop phrasing and a roster of beats and samples from collaborators like the D.J. and producer Madlib, it is fierce but weird.
Entertainment Weekly - Leah Greenblatt
Badu sings with a graceful self-acceptance that would do Mary J. Blige proud, but she delivers it with an easy humor Blige has never shown. [A-]
Vibe - Amy Linden
Working with disparate collaborators like Madlib, The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and 9th Wonder (on the languid, tangy “Honey”), the album is challenging, fabulously out there.

By turns overtly political and intensely personal, with 1970s-groove instrumentation, hip-hop phrasing and a roster of beats and samples from collaborators like the D.J. and producer Madlib, it is fierce but weird.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2008
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 602517621879
  • Catalog Number: 001080002
  • Sales rank: 25,957

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Amerykahn Promise (4:16)
  2. 2 The Healer (3:59)
  3. 3 Me (5:36)
  4. 4 My People (3:24)
  5. 5 Soldier (5:03)
  6. 6 The Cell (4:20)
  7. 7 Twinkle (6:56)
  8. 8 Master Teacher (6:47)
  9. 9 That Hump (5:24)
  10. 10 Telephone (7:47)
  11. 11 Honey (7:52)
  12. 12 [CD-Rom Track] (5:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Erykah Badu Primary Artist, Percussion, Vocals, talking drum
Roy Hargrove Horn
Jef Lee Johnson Guitar
James Poyser Keyboards
Om'Mas Keith Keyboards, fender rhodes, Synthesizer Bass, Roland Synthesizer, Trap Kit
Shafiq Husayn Keyboards, Arp Strings
Bilal Oliver Vocals, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Roy Ayers Arranger, Composer, Producer
Edwin Birdsong Arranger, Composer, Producer
William Allen Arranger, Composer, Producer
James Poyser Composer, Producer
Tom Soares Engineer, Vocal Recording
Ronald Albert Johnson Engineer
Jerry Soloman Engineer
Erykah Badu Lyricist, Producer, Executive Producer, Vocal Arrangements, Remixing, Art Direction
Chris Athens Mastering
Karriem Riggins Composer, Producer
?uestlove Composer
Om'Mas Keith Producer, Engineer
Madlib Composer
Shafiq Husayn Composer, Programming, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer
Taz Arnold Composer, Producer
Georgia Anne Muldrow Composer
Shanti Das Marketing
James Patrick Green Engineer
Chris Bell Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not your "typical" Erykah album

    New AmErykah to me sounds like Erykah returning to her hip hop roots, as in more of the tracks on this album have more of a hip hop vibe as well as a strong presence of funk. br The album opens with funky AmErykahn promise leading to what seems to be the fan favorite, the Healer. The Healer is the most mesmerizing track on the album that commands attention from anyone listening to it. The thing I love most about this album is that there is a bit of something for everyone and the messages in the songs are much more stronger in their delivery as can be clearly heard in tracks like Master Teacher and Solider "which I think should be the next single off the album". br If you're looking for soulful tracks then you have Honey, Telephone, That Hump. Looking for Old Skool, you got Master Teacher, The Cell & Me. Need some funk in your life, AmErykahn promise won't let you down. If you're after Hip hop, you'll be blessed with My people "which is reminiscent of Erykah's callbo with Zap Mama on Bandy Bandy" and my favorite track off the album Soldier. br This is not a "neo-soul" album and Erykah has stepped out of the box with this album and I appreciate that as a long time fan. I hear the growth in her music and this is indeed a revolutionary album. I look forward to pt.2 Return of the Ankh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pure Artistic Mastery , Beauty, and Relevance

    When the cd starts you know you are in for a Real journey. The grooves and the harmonies are all correctly in place. The music and Erykahs voice is just amazing! The poetry and the messages in the songs have so much depth and spirituality. Erykah --is New Amerykah! The funk is truly intact--heavy and sometimes light but always poignant and true. Please open up your ears to hear this wonderful piece of work!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews