When: Sat., April 7, 8 p.m. 2012
Erykah Badu has had an enviable career—early smashes like "On and On" and "Bag Lady" allowed her to bank enough goodwill with listeners and labels alike to finance expeditions into the fringes of pop music, far from the coffee-shop neosoul that made her big. It's hard to imagine any other performer who'd even think about interrupting her own set on one of the big stages at Lollapalooza to haul out her laptop and give a crowd of several thousand a whirl through her favorite iTunes tracks, never mind actually do it—and amazingly that stunt put Badu in line for just about zero in the way of audience outrage. She hasn't released an album since 2010's woozy, existentialist New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, but she's kept busy. Some of her recent pursuits—recording with the Afropop-influenced supergroup Rocket Juice & the Moon, training to become a doula—fit her bohemian earth-mother persona. But given that she's also collaborated with ur-materialist Rick Ross and publicly defended Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator, she seems determined to challenge that image too. —Miles Raymer Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick open.