Musical pioneers Erykah Badu and James Poyser collaborated for a Record Store Day 2019 special, covering Squeeze’s “Tempted” and putting their own jazzy spin on the 1981 original. Ali Jackson, Derrick Hodge, and Thundercat all contributed to the track, which was released by Yep Roc Records along with its instrumental. You can stream both below via Spotify.
The release is one of the few Erykah Badu has sporadically released in the past few years, as she appears to prefer touring and hosting shows like BET’s Soul Train Awards. However, her collaborators on the track have been plenty active in the past few years, with James Poyser contributing to television as part of The Roots as well as producing on the side. Thundercat has recorded with luminaries like the late Mac Miller and Flying Lotus and is currently on tour with Anderson .Paak, while still producing singles for Adult Swim and promoting 2017’s Drunk.
However, in 2018 Erykah Badu did make her long-awaited debut on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, as well as sneak in some new music of her own during a live mix set. She also appeared in 2018’s BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher as the maestro of an all-women freestyle session and headlined last year’s Afropunk festival in Brooklyn.