…but at least she’s entertaining!
Erykah Badu’s recent visit to Israel began inauspiciously last Thursday when she told reporters and Israeli fans that she identified with Palestinian hip-hop and then expressed support for Louis Farrakhan:
The singer, who couldn’t name any Israeli hip-hop artists, said she identified best with the Palestinians and their hip-hop scene, saying they are part of her “tribe” of hip-hop… “They use (hip-hop) as a form of liberation, as a form of pre-resistance, as a form of therapy,” she said… She defended Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, whose statements have been labeled “bigoted and anti-Semitic” by the Anti-Defamation League… “(Farrakhan is) not an anti-Semite. He loves all people,” Badu said. Her next album, “Nu AmErykah,” will be released Feb. 26, the date of Savior’s Day, a Nation of Islam holiday.
Well, Israel is a free country and anyone is free to express their opinions regardless of how un-nuanced, ignorant and ill-advised said opinions may be. Israeli reggae-soul band Karolina and Funset then joined Erykah at the end of the press conference in a black power raised fist salute. Former Israeli black panther Charlie Bitton must have laughed his ass off at the spectacle of privileged, white Tel Avivians doing the Black Panther salute.
But whatever. Entertainers are not judged by their idiotic political opinions. They are judged by their ability to be entertaining and apparently, Erykah put on an awesome show according to our own Leah Stern’s say so and this extremely fawning Y-Net review of the show. So uh… thanks for visiting our country Erykah. I hope you left with a more nuanced perspective of the situation in the Middle East. Also, should you decide to follow up with another show in Ramallah and Gaza, don’t tell them how nice your Israeli hosts were or how Israelis, like Farrakhan, are also greatly misunderstood. Trust me.