Currently Reading: Baduism Goes Electric

Erykah Badu’s group “The Cannabinoids” becomes ‘one-living organism’ with the Seattle crowd during her Decibel Festival appearan

The Cannabinoids’, the name of Erykah Badu’s band hints at the word cannabis, quite unapologetically. Which was the exact reason she chose it. Keeping along with the marijuana based band name, Ms. Badu has added on to her long list of A.K.A’s.

“Just call me THC,” she says with a smirk.

Stepping aside, but never away from her usual head wrapped, afrocentric demeanor, Badu strolled into the Emerald City in quite the electronic tone.

“[I’m] still analog girl but I can swim in the digital world,” Badu explains. “And shout out to Seattle for throwing an electronic festival, that’s still a rare thing. You should be proud of your city for that. I am just so happy to be a part of that history.”

Fans packed out the Decibel Festival event, curious how Badu would fit in. Disappoint she did not, delivering each of her many hits with an electronic twist. Accompanied by stimulating visuals, a colorful stage, and a large replica of a brain no less. In a nutshell, it was every pot lover’s dream concert. A concert she says she’s reflected a lot on, after being banned from performing in Malaysia, for wearing a temporary tattoo that read “Allah.”

“Well not every where is Seattle,” states Badu. “Not every place is as open. Not every concert is a good one. After the Seattle concert, I was happy. I felt that me and the crowd connected ’til we became one living organism. I didn’t get a chance to do that in Malaysia, because of a big misunderstanding. Art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion. Art can’t be censored by anyone. What good is religion if you push out love if it’s not in your comfort zone?”

“My main focus in art is people; politics comes last when we connect as artists on stage. I have faith in people’s ability to evolve; that’s why I do what I do. Yes we focus on the idea of cannabis, THC, marijuana – whatever makes you happy to call it – alot. We are also free to express art in whatever manner we like. But don’t forget the music.”

It is her mutual love for music and cannabis that pushed Badu to join together with the Cannibinoids to tour, calling it a form of musical therapy.

“I gave myself room to breathe and grow and to procrastinate but to finish those projects is the next successful moment that I am seeking,” she confessed. “I am working really hard this year. I don’t have much time to write but I can do it. Touring has helped.”

While in town she gladly looked over a care package from local dispensary Urban Roots, provided by 4E and PDA Magazine. She wasn’t shy about sharing her feelings on the hypocracy of our drug policy in this country.

“I have a couple of friends who have dispensaries. Medical marijuana really helps a lot of people because it’s an herb,” Badu argues. “I don’t agree with the abuse of anything. Did you know that tobacco is a far, far worse poison? There are 4,000 chemicals in tobacco, many that are known causes of cancer. I think people should have the right — like you’ve given people the right to choose the amount of alcohol they consume, the amount of terrible cigarettes they consume — I think people should have that right [to consume cannabis] as well.”

“Each year, one in five deaths in the United States is due to smoking cigarettes. I used to smoke [cannabis], yeah sure. I just don’t inhale it now, if you catch my drift. I am a vegan so, eating herbs is a part of it.”

– Elisa Beall


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