Worldwide Underground

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Elon D. Johnson
No amount of incense can mask the talent of of Erykah Badu, whose voice is so distinctive it's been likened to that of the great Billie Holiday. The Texas-bred singer has been infusing her organic grooves with an inviting spiritualism since the release of her breakout debut, Baduizm, in 1997. But she ups the ante with a dose of hip-hop on Worldwide Underground, which takes a cue from her Grammy-winning single "Love of My Life An Ode to Hip-Hop" on songs such as the lead single, "Danger." She introduces the track with a sample from an older song, "Other Side of the Game," and the contrast underscores her attitude change. Whereas she mournfully stood by her man's ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Elon D. Johnson
No amount of incense can mask the talent of of Erykah Badu, whose voice is so distinctive it's been likened to that of the great Billie Holiday. The Texas-bred singer has been infusing her organic grooves with an inviting spiritualism since the release of her breakout debut, Baduizm, in 1997. But she ups the ante with a dose of hip-hop on Worldwide Underground, which takes a cue from her Grammy-winning single "Love of My Life An Ode to Hip-Hop" on songs such as the lead single, "Danger." She introduces the track with a sample from an older song, "Other Side of the Game," and the contrast underscores her attitude change. Whereas she mournfully stood by her man's hustling ways on the jazzy "Other Side of the Game," over "Danger" 's hard-rocking bass line an adrenaline-fueled Badu warns, "The glock on cock / The block stay hot" -- signaling she's become Bonnie to her now-incarcerated man's Clyde. Keeping the hip-hop-inspired momentum going, conscious rap duo dead prez check in on "The Grind," and "Love of My Life Worldwide" is an old-school-reminiscent anthem built on the backbone of female rap trio Sequence's 1979 classic "Funk You Up." The latter song features rappers Bahamadia and Queen Latifah and the soulful vocals of former Sequence member Angie Stone. Other noteworthy cameos are by Zap Mama, who lends her eclectic musings to "Bump It" and Lenny Kravitz, who adds potent guitar licks to the backyard barbecue–suited jam "Back in the Day." But Worldwide Underground doesn't only incite riotous partying. The mesmerizing Badu takes a subdued stance on the Chaka Khan–esque "I Want You," which recalls the breathtaking "Orange Moon" from her 2000 disc Mama's Gun. Whether she keeps it gangsta or plays it ladylike, Ms. Badu continues to make uncompromisingly creative and thought-provoking music.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
The so-called "EP" that will make many Erykah Badu skeptics wonder what's going on is actually 15 minutes longer than What's Going On. Why would any musician want to call a recording of such length -- 50 minutes, to be precise -- an EP? The fact that Worldwide Underground is being referred to as an EP makes it apparent that it isn't intended to be considered the true follow-up to Mama's Gun. You also find out throughout the course of the disc that the loose, spare arrangements aren't likely to generate a stream of tidy, four-minute Top Ten hits. As easy as the disc is to slide into, it's far and away the least commercial R&B release of the year. Written, produced, and performed by Freakquency -- a seemingly ad hoc group consisting of Badu, James Poyser, Rashad "Ringo" Smith, and R.C. Williams -- along with a revolving door of guests, the whole thing goes down more like a weekend jam session than an endlessly labored-over, polished project. For the most part, this is a good thing. Both "Bump It" and "I Want You" are over eight minutes in length, leaving plenty of space to establish relaxed atmospheres that are built on uncomplicated rhythms, twinkling keyboards, and vaporous textures. "Back in the Day Puff" and "Danger" are the two most single-oriented tracks; the former's essentially a more filled-out version of one of the extended pieces in miniature form, while the latter is the toughest sounding of the whole batch, with punchy, synthetic horn jabs and Badu's most animated vocal. A new version of "Love of My Life" caps off the disc in fine, fun style, with Badu paying tribute to the all-female, old-school trio Sequence, with the help of Angie Stone, Bahamadia, and Queen Latifah. If Worldwide Underground isn't to be taken as seriously as Baduizm and Mama's Gun, so be it; but it only goes to show how apprehensive the powers that be are in allowing their platinum artists to deviate from what's expected.
Entertainment Weekly - Larry Blumenfeld
Forget comparisons to Billie or Chaka -- that craggy-yet-smooth croon is Erykah's own. (B+)
Vibe
1/2 Like her 1997 Live album, Underground was recorded mostly while on tour, giving the collection an improvised sound. Aliya S. King

Forget comparisons to Billie or Chaka -- that craggy-yet-smooth croon is Erykah's own. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2003
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 602498604960
  • Catalog Number: 000073901
  • Sales rank: 20,815

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 World Keeps Turnin' (Intro) (1:39)
  2. 2 Bump It (8:49)
  3. 3 Back in the Day (Puff) (4:46)
  4. 4 I Want You (10:53)
  5. 5 Woo (3:14)
  6. 6 The Grind (2:49)
  7. 7 Danger (5:49)
  8. 8 Think Twice (3:02)
  9. 9 Love of My Life Worldwide (5:26)
  10. 10 World Keeps Turnin' (Outro) (4:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Erykah Badu Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals, Box, Group Member
Lenny Kravitz Electric Guitar
Roy Hargrove Trumpet, Vocals
Zap Mama Vocals
Doc Gibbs Percussion
James Poyser Keyboards, Group Member
China Black Background Vocals
Sam Bell Background Vocals
Karen Wheeler Vocals
Rashad Smith Group Member
A. Pérez Background Vocals
R.C. Williams Keyboards
Bray Lon Lacy Bass, Hand Clapping
Jazz Bell Background Vocals
Tisha Creer Background Vocals
Eevin Wright Hand Clapping
Alfredo Gray Background Vocals
Dwayne Kerr Flute
Robert Pack Background Vocals
Stic.man Vocals
Technical Credits
Kedar Massenburg Executive Producer
James Poyser Programming, Executive Producer
Tom Soares Engineer, Executive Producer
Robert Wechsler Mastering
Erykah Badu Arranger, Executive Producer, Author, drum programming, Art Direction, Drawing
Rashad Smith Executive Producer, drum programming
Kenny J. Gravillis Art Direction
R.C. Williams Executive Producer
Dead Prez Producer, drum programming
Freakquency Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Underground but Diggin It..

    Though this album is an EP and not an LP, Erykah Badu still brought "it" IMO! From start to finish, I can clean the house, curl my hair, ride across town, and just pump up the volume to some good ole' music. I think this CD has been slept on and some brush it off b/c it's "typical crazy Erykah". If you are one of those who did that, then pick this album up as soon as you can! Trust that you won't be disappointed. The only thing I would add to this EP is the original "Love Of My Life (Ode To Hip-Hop). Peace & Blessings...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    IS THIS THE REALLY IT???

    I BOUGHT THIS ALBUM FOR ABOUT 14 BUCKS AND WOULD SELL IT BACK FOR ABOUT 4 BUCKS....I WAS HIGHLY DISSAPOINTED I HOPE SHE GETS BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK BACAUSE I DONT KNOW WHAT SHE WAS THINKING WHEN SHE MADE THIS ALBUM

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Only thing better is her in concert

    Ms. Badu. Talented. Period. She had me at the first album. Then the concert for that came. Now this Worldwide Underground...then the concert. Doesn't get any better. The songs affects you. The music affects you. She makes you open your mind. I listen to all types of different music. Ms. Badu is just one of those artists that you can put the cd, push play, and let go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing Like the First Two Albums

    This is nothing like the first two albums. In most cases that is a good thing. I am glad to see her do something different. I just didn't like it at all. And I really love the first two albums. I guess you will have to hear for yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Erykah but not Erykah

    I purchased the new cd 9/24/03. I was expecting the normal Badu style that I've become accustomed to from the two previous albums. This album is not bad,but in my opinion it's been thrown together and as I found myself I'm sure you'll find yourself skipping tracks and listening to the few songs that are worth listening to. The postive point is that Eykah still comes with the originality that she's known for. Badu Fan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    never heard it

    Yeah I didn't get this yet but anytime badu is ahead of beyonce is a good time. I just hope she doesn't corrupt anymore of my favorite mc's

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    badu brings worldwide underground 2 the streets

    when I popped the CD I knew I was going 2 hear something cool. The songs are funky and classic Badu,but she takes it another step higher and makes you get n2 her head into her songs. The best song on the album is "Danger" which got me on lock. The only problem is the # of tracks on this one. We waited 3 years for a new album and she only has 8 real songs....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Neo Soul?

    Again Erykah has graced us with this hot EP. Best songs on the album are "Danger" and "Love of My Life Worldwide". Cop it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews