Life After 25

Revolutionary Peace, Ascension, and Badu

By: Jasmyne K. Rogers

A wise and soulfully dope being once stated that music is the language of the soul. It serenades us. It gives us that feeling. It makes love to us. It excites us. It angers us. It makes us cry. It calms us when our world’s storms are raging. It empowers and gives us a voice in our silence. When it is damn good and takes us there—that space where glimpses of freedom exist in the crevices—it brings us closer to divinity, our true selves.

That is exactly what Erykah Badu’s Baduizm Live album from 1997 did for me in 2016. I have been twenty-five for nine months now and fervently refer to it as “the age of enlightenment.” Honey, let me tell you, being twenty-five ain’t been no crystal stair. This year I have been more attentive to my spiritual self, my true self.

I have experienced lessons that my soul strongly desired in order to evolve. I have been spearheading the most powerful and empowering movement of all—the revolution of the soul. Badu’s Baduizm Live emphasized that, incited the revolution that was brewing within.

Baduizm Live provoked awareness. The melodious tunes and soul-stirring lyrics cajoled me into examining my fragmented pieces—brokenness. I had to explore the brokenness that I had tucked deeply in the dark crevices in the basement of my mind. Brokenness that had become delicately intertwined around the withering life in my voice, my writing, my soul.

I had to come to terms with the embedment of hurt that had travelled in maddening quietude with me on my journey for more years than should be allowed. That brokenness thrived in the ruptures of chaos that impeded my progression.

Badu’s “On & On” reminded me, “Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.” The relationships that drained my energy were karmic lessons that my soul desired during the height of my revolution. The man who craved my nirvana but did not add to my peace reflected the turning point in the revolution of my soul. I loved him passionately and creatively, hoping it would inspire him to love himself.

Unbeknownst to me, that love was the love I should have given myself. That peace that I had graciously given him on separate days and nights for one hundred weeks was mended from the fragmented parts of myself and soaked in vulnerability—peace from my broken pieces. He refused to see me. He refused to acknowledge my being on separate days and nights for the span of one hundred weeks. He skimmed the hidden parts of me for the sake of convenience.

Badu’s live version of “On & On” strengthened my spirit and helped me to realize that the man was not really my type of high. His “love” did not endure; it barely touched the surface of my being. I am a passionate being; that wasn’t going to fly for too much longer. My soul wasn’t having that.

In the world of Baduizm Live, Badu soulfully reminded me that the world keeps turnin’, more specifically, my world keeps on turnin’. I had to become 360 again. Whole. Brokenness erupted and escaped from its dark confines in the basement of my mind and was starting to bury my voice. Introspection occurred as a result of Badu’s soulful reminders.

During the midnight hour when restless bodies turned into cowards, my soul revolution was at its peak. The Lord and Baduizm Live calmed and gathered me when my world’s storms started raging something fierce. On the nights I cried in my silence, Badu encouraged me to “dry my eyes and please don’t cry/ you can be strong if you just hold on” on the reprise of “Next Lifetime.” She reminded me of the significance of having folks in your life that match your rhythm and frequency on “Apple Tree.” Slowly, but surely, my spiritual journey had merged onto a path that favored ascension.

There was a breaking in old patterns, an awakening. I had become myself. Peace and blessings had manifested. My creative self extended my voice and brought me closer to divinity. Baduizm Live, Erykah Badu’s music in general, transformed my world. It empowers me in my silence.

It speaks the same language, dialect, vernacular of my soul. Ascension occurred because my soul was deeply moved by the inspiring lyrics, reflection of divinity, and empowering art embedded in that album. My soul is truly evolving. Sweet peace after revolution ensued. For that, I am grateful and feel as relevant as the morning sun.

Thank you for being. Thank you for your music. Thank you for your peace and light. Thank you for your magic, Ms. Erykah Badu aka Sara Bellum aka Medulla Oblongata aka Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Analog Girl in a Digital World aka @fatbellybella.

Peace, light, and blessings.

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