Erykah Badu brought some of her signature mystical magic to The Tonight Show on Wednesday night (Dec. 20) for a run through one of her classic hits mixed with a cover of an iconic track from Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. Badu, who recently curated a box set of Kuti’s work covering seven of his classic albums called Fela Kuti Box Set #4, came dressed to impress, as usual, in in a long blue coat, gold pants and matching sky-high boots, enormous copper earrings, two hands full of gold rings and thin braids growing out of her head like tiny tendrils.
Backed by house band The Roots as well as a six-piece horn section and a trio of back-up singers, Badu seamlessly mixed her 1997 Baduizm hit “On & On” with the shuffling rhythms and horn blasts that propel Kuti’s “Sorrow Tears and Blood,” the 17-minute title track from the late musician’s 1977 album. The soulful, funkified performance included a breakdown near the end where Badu began scatting as the stage filled with fog and a male dancer popped and locked behind her.
Check it out.