Erykah oh Erykah, she’s got my back. She speaks to my soul. She sings exactly what I’m going through…as it’s happening.

I don’t always want to shake my ass, Rihanna. Thanks Beyoncé, but I’m not always in the mood for your “I’m so in love with my man” song collection. Sometimes, you just need to vent. You vibe to music during the good times, but only when you’re going through it do you listen to the lyrics.

Spiritually, Ms. Badu will take you to church and you won’t even have to put on your Sunday best. Not church in the religious sense, but a higher place where it’s just you, your thoughts and the sweet melodies. The best part is you don’t to have a profound understanding of philosophy because she muses on life and love in plain English.

And if her word play doesn’t mesmerize you, her distinctive fashion sense will inspire you to tap into your own individuality. It’s as if she’s saying, “Who cares about trends? I like these pants so I’m gonna wear them.” Being true to yourself, no matter what everyone else is saying or doing, is an important life lesson that I take away from the singer. Why be a dime a dozen when you can trail blaze?

So thank you Ms. Badu, for encouraging me to embrace who I am and giving me an awesome soundtrack to do it to.

-Nadiah Rodriguez

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