The performance found Badu and her band partnering with the Roots, who notably played on several Baduizm tracks (though not originally “On and On”). The musicians injected the steady R&B groove of “On and On” with the blaring horns and shuffling Afrobeat funk of “Sorrow Tears and Blood,” while Badu delivered an engrossing vocal performance touched with a bit of humor as she led the band through a succession of pinpoint downbeat stops.
Towards the end of the performance, the Roots and Badu’s band reshaped the song with an even deeper groove. A dancer appeared on stage, slinking gracefully around the stage as Badu continued unspool mesmerizing lyrics and an array of impressive vocal runs.
Badu recently curated the fourth installment of Knitting Factory Records’ ongoing Fela Kuti reissue series. The vinyl set includes seven albums, including Badu’s favorite Fela pieces like Coffin for Head of State, Yellow Fever and No Agreement. Badu also wrote seven personal essays for the collection.
Badu’s last solo release, the mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone, arrived in 2015.