Erykah Badu’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh has arrived. It is the multi-platinum selling, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/actress’ follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2008 disc, New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War.
In contrast to the previous album, which was digitally produced and political in tone, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh features lush live instrumentation and taps into Badu’s emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships. “With Part One, I was standing at an apex, looking at what was going on around me politically, socially, and economically,” Badu explained. “With Part Two, I’m hovering over me, looking at what’s going on inside of me.”
New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh features contributions from some of the most talented, groundbreaking, underground producers and engineers in the hip-hop area, including Grammy winners 9th Wonder and James Poyser, eclectic soul singer Bilal, and the late J Dilla. “We used a lot of analog instruments – harps, strings, drums, piano, and even a Theremin – to give the album that sonic feel,” said Badu. “There’s a strong undercurrent of bottom, a rumbling to these songs that feels good to me. It feels like a hug.”