The Story Behind Erykah Badu’s Artwork

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Ok, nerds….after some research and questioning, I found out who Erykah’s artist is (I know, I’m late) and as well the meaning behind the image. I don’t think I would’ve figured this out on my own. Courtesy of Nalden:

The new album cover depicts an underwater image of Erykah wearing a suit of armor that symbolizes the tough exterior she developed to protect herself from the harsh realities of life. The armor is her old shell and now she’s liberating herself from it by climbing out of her own head so that she can be reborn. Her tuning fork is summoning the vibrations of the universe and the purple-colored tree of life and purple sky represent the 7th Chakra. The Crown Chakra right above her third eye shield, which represents peace, wisdom, and spirituality. The numerical theme of three is symbolized by three moons, three hidden babies, three trees, and three ankhs. Closer inspection reveals that Erykah’s shoulders are surrounded by many of the same objects that filled her abstract afro on the cover of New Amerykah Part One, including handcuffs, a foreclosed home, fast food, cigarettes, broken chains, and a military tank. Here, those items represent refuse and rubble from which new life grows into a vibrant garden of colorful flowers blossoming all around her.
In keeping with the concept of the cover art, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh taps into Erykah’s emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships. With Part One, Erykah was standing at an apex, looking at what was going on around me politically, socially, and economically. Part Two is all about what’s hovering over Erykah, looking at what’s going on inside.

*Shout to Ritzy and Moon Baker for the tips/info.

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