As a little girl, my parents, alongside Sting, Levert, Janet Jackson and Brandy, used to play Erykah’s music in the living room.
I remember the living room. The rusty orange, brown and coral patterned rug, the CD player, the mahogany 6-seater dining table and my array of patent buckle-up shoes. Sting and Levert were played on the kitchen cassette player.
I must have been about 6.
Anyway, back to Erykah, “On and On” must have been the most played of her songs at home.
At the age of 7, I moved to Ghana. Absolutely no trace of Erykah’s music followed. Not a single CD, cassette tape or song on the radio. Not even the faintest memory.
At about the age of 15, I watched Brown Sugar and discovered "Love of My Life" as I witnessed Taye Diggs lose all clues that Sanaa Lathan in nothing but a towel was … irresistible? It played in the background. Almost inaudible. I rewound that scene God-knows-how-many-times.
Shit. Who was this chick?
This caramel Giselle.
This long-haired, freckle-faced slim thug.
This chisel-faced Gucci girl.
This stiff-lipped vocal menace.
I complied her music and initiated her as disc jokey on lonely nights. I heard “On and On” and couldn’t believe it. The living room.
To date, one of the best compliments I’ve received is from Jay Electronica. He told me I remind him of Erykah.
I said “really?”
You don’t say.