Some music journalists have labeled her Nu soul or
neo soul, often comparing her to Billie Holiday in
lyrical delivery and grouping her with Maxwell and
D'Angelo in musical genre. Badu dropped her "slave name"
"Erica Wright" in favor of "Badu", which she reports is
Arabic for "to manifest truth." She has performed with
roots rock reggae musician and singer Burning Spear.
Erykah Badu has a son named Seven with actor and ex-boyfriend, Andre 3000 of Outkast fame. On July 5, 2004, Badu gave birth to a daughter, Puma, in her Dallas home; the father is reportedly rapper The D.O.C.
Erykah Badu also serves as an activist in South Dallas, Texas where she grew up. Her charity organization, Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development (B.L.I.N.D.) provides community-driven development for inner-city youth through music, dance, theater and visual arts. Badu has teamed up with contemporary painter Dawn Okoro to hold art shows which help raise funds for B.L.I.N.D.
Erykah Badu appeared in the films Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules, House of D, and Dave Chappelle's Block Party.