In a poignant piece with the NY Times Erykah Badu shares the braiding process for her almost floor length beautiful braids. We really got a great look at them when she hosted the Soul Train awards but she has been wearing them for awhile only giving us quick looks in random Boomerang videos (BTW somebody has to take that app away from Erykah.. Plu–eese).
As Erykah mentioned in the piece this was not the first time she rocked micro’s. Her first time was with Isis Brantley who has braided Erykah’s hair for years and who, if you ask her about them, calls the braids Isis Badu Braids.
Remember these photos from back in the day?
To this day Badu still remains true to her signature style and everybody in interested, including the NY Times! Read an excerpt of the piece below:
It has been 19 years since her debut album, “Baduizm,” received great acclaim and two Grammys, yet songs like “On and On” continue to resonate with a new audience. Her latest mixtape, “But You Caint Use My Phone,” a line taken from her 1997 song “Tyrone,” infuses Drake’s “Hotline Bling” into her soul sound, something she said her son suggested.
Around 11 p.m., Yasmin Amira Davis, a hairstylist who has also worked with Sean Paul and Janet Jackson, arrived to tend to Ms. Badu’s nearly floor-length braids, a process Ms. Badu does every two to four weeks to touch up pieces that have grown out. (The session, which Ms. Davis completed with an assistant, lasted until about 5 a.m.) “I wanted [the braids] to be as thin as the lines on your hand,” Ms. Badu said. Ms. Badu estimates that she has thousands of braids, each taking about 8 to 15 minutes to do by hand.
Ms. Badu first wanted to wear her hair in braids when she was 7 or 8 years old because she saw a drawing in a South Dallas shop of two women with very long braids that were wavy at the end. “I said, ‘I think that’s me, I feel that energy,’ ” she remembered. The shop was that of Isis Brantley, who nearly 30 years later still reguarly braids Ms. Badu’s hair.
“How’s your mommy? And your granddaddy?” she asked Ms. Davis, who was rapidly braiding with unfaltering concentration. Ms. Davis and Ms. Badu had been working with each other for only a few months, but both said they felt as if they had known each other much longer. “My grandmother was sick and I was with [Ms. Badu] awhile and she said ‘You should go back,’” Ms. Davis said. “And when I got back home, she died a couple days later. So you want to say intuition — yes, for certain.”
At times, Ms. Badu and Ms. Davis have up to five women braiding down, sometimes for a couple days at a time. “When we are all together, the rhythm — and we are all around, there’s incense … it just feels really good,” she said. “I takes a village. A tribe. And it’s a sharing kind of thing.”