"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.
: 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).
: 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.
Labels: Erykah Badu, music, religion, United States, video