By Erica Zora Wrightson
Erykah Badu left her audience hanging at the Jazz and Reggae Festival at UCLA this weekend. Maybe it's because she's gearing up for her upcoming gig at Club Nokia or something; despite a generous set of songs from New Amerykah Part One, as well as some old goodies, Badu was surprisingly serious. She didn't dance, she rarely made conversation with the audience between songs, and didn't tell stories.
But she looked great.
Following De La Soul's set, she appeared on stage wearing a gray Public Enemy sweatshirt and impossibly tight black patent leather pants, interrupted only by a zipper on each side. The gray hood and black top hat, which concealed her signature 'fro, may have left something to be desired, but it was worth the wait when, towards the end of her set, she pulled off the hood to reveal what looked like a sparkling, quilted swim cap. She toyed with the ties and shook her beautiful head as she sang — but, alas, didn't give us a glimpse of the beloved hair.
It being a college campus, the crowd, though large, was well-behaved. Between the glorious Westside weather, $25 tickets, savory soul food and generous ganja, little could go wrong.