Mama's Gun 20th Anniversary

‘Mama’s Gun,’ Badu’s sonic journey towards self, turns 20 today.

About The Collection

Fans likely wondered how the wise beyond her years artist would follow a debut as strong as ‘Baduizm,’ and the singer didn’t disappoint. On ‘Mama’s Gun,’ she dug deep, felt the emotional spectrum and got raw about what it means to be a Black woman in America.

Motherhood certainly informed the project—she had become a mom for the first time in between ‘Baduizm’ and ‘Mama’s Gun.’ The themes present throughout are ones often aligned with the process of raising children, such as the hyper awareness of state sanctioned killings of Black people, the trauma of mental baggage and remembering to take care of yourself in the midst of all of your duties. To be a mother is to be a fierce protector of your loved ones, your people and yourself.

The breakout single from ‘Mama’s Gun’ was “Bag Lady,” a record about the freedom that comes with letting go. It was nominated for two Grammys at the 2002 award show and was Badu’s first time entering the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. But arguably, the most memorable song from the album is “Green Eyes,” a searing cut about the complications of heartbreak that reminded us that although Badu has become a figure revered for her divine leanings, she is human.