Friday, March 14, 2008

 

Amerykahn Promise


"Amerykahn Promise" on Erykah Badu's new album, New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War, is my current favorite song. I like it even better than "Honey" on the same album, which I like a lot. The lyrics to "Amerykahn Promise" are rich with ancient Egyptian religious references and sophisticated criticism of modern America and I don't pretend understand even half of them. Every time I listen the song yields a new gem from the surface and depths of it's funky rhythm. For example, at the end a little girl (Ma'at?; pictured at right) asks "Has anyone seen my 42 laws"? This a reference to the 42 laws (or negative confessions) of Ma'at and, obviously, Amerykah hasn't heard of them and doesn't follow them--"Oh, I'm sorry. We're not responsible for lost articles and thangs." Any way, take a listen for yourself.

Erykah Badu - Amerykahn Promise on wat.tv

Addendum: Click the link at right to read the "Negative Confession" as translated by E. A. Wallis Budge in The Egyptian Book of the Dead (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1898).

Last revised: 14 June 2014 – Replaced image file to image with Ma'at holding papyrus staff; add source link to image file; fixed broken links to Hooker's article on the 42 laws; add link to Budge's book; correct spelling errors; replaced previous video with one that has the full track.

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Comments:
Great song. Just found your site looking for exactly what the 'little girl' says at the end of that song. thanks for shedding some light.

-Osita, NJ
 
Glad to be of service.
 
That's Isis (Aset) in your pic...
 
I'm no expert but what makes you so sure that's Isis? My understanding is that the single ostrich feather worn on the head is associated with Maat, not Isis.
 
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