Bag Lady

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"Bag Lady"
Erykah badu - bag lady.JPG
Single by Erykah Badu
from the album Mama's Gun
B-side"On & On (Live)"
ReleasedSeptember 12, 2000 (2000-09-12)
GenreNeo soul
Length4:04 (remix edit)
5:48 (album version)
LabelMotown Records
Songwriter(s)Erykah Badu, André Young
Producer(s)Erykah Badu
Tone Da Backbone
Erykah Badu singles chronology
"Southern Gul"
"Bag Lady"
"Didn't Cha Know?"

"Bag Lady" is the first single from singer Erykah Badu's 2000 album Mama's Gun.[1] The song is about a woman who is trying to begin a new relationship but has too much emotional "baggage" and can't get close to people.[2] The message of the song is to "pack light" and have hope for the future. The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for seven weeks.[3]

To date, this is the last single released by Motown Records to reach number one on the R&B chart under the original banner of the label before merging with Universal. It earned Badu two nominations at the 43rd Grammy Awards: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video, which was directed by Badu and designed by visual artist and designer Ron Norsworthy, uses the Cheeba Sac remix of the song which samples Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive" from his 1999 album 2001, which was based on the song Bumpy's Lament from the soundtrack to the movie Shaft.[5] In a segment during the music video, Erykah and her "bag ladies" (consisting of singers Yahzarah and N'dambi, as well as Badu's mother and sister) dance to an excerpt of Johnny Hammond's "Gambler's Life" (1974). (Badu also interpolates "Gambler's Life" on "Booty," another song from the Mama's Gun album.)[6] The video was shot on Mini DV digital video — an unusual choice for a mainstream music video production, which gave it an appearance comparable to a home movie.

CD single track list[edit]

  1. Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Radio Edit) (4:04)
  2. Bag Lady (Main Radio Edit) (4:06)
  3. Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Instrumental) (4:57)
  4. On & On (Live) (5:25)
  5. Bag Lady (Remix Radio Edit) (20:14)

12" single track list[edit]

  1. Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Main) (5:09)
  2. Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Radio) (4:04)
  3. Bag Lady (Main Radio Edit) (4:06)
  4. Bag Lady (Cheeba Instrumental) (4:57)
  5. Bag Lady (Main Instrumental) (5:50)
  6. Bag Lady (Main Acapella) (5:40)

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format
United States September 12, 2000 (2000-09-12) Compact disc
Worldwide October 12, 2000 (2000-10-12)


Chart (2000) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 93
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 6
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard)[9] 1


  1. ^ "Erykah Badu continues on her funky way". CNN.
  2. ^ Copel, Shelby (May 8, 2020). "These Are Some of Erykah Badu's All-Time Best Songs". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  3. ^ "Erykah Badu". Billboard. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "43rd Annual Grammy Nomination List". Variety. January 3, 2001. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bumpy's Lament by Soul Mann & the Brothers on WhoSampled". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  6. ^ "Erykah Badu's Booty sample of Johnny Hammond's Gambler's Life". Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  7. ^ " – Erykah Badu – Bad Lady" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 2000". Archived from the original on November 9, 2000. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 42.

External links[edit]