I make no secret of my extreme dislike for Baduizm. Maybe at the time of its release, I'd have been accused of not really being conscious or patient enough to buy what Erykah Badu was selling thematically. But that so wasn't the case. Without getting into it and summarily drawing the ire of everyone that reads this site, let's just say this album's saving grace for me was "Otherside of the Game."
While a line like "to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin' in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin' to make some money to feed my daughter" could come off as irresponsible and lazy when delivered by a rap artist, Badu's track gave us the girlfriend's or baby-mama's perspective on how hustling affects the entire household. She certainly doesn't glamorize the lifestyle, but it's a reality and, like it or not, within that reality are people that live and love and have the same worries and headaches as those of us with less unsavory career paths. All that aside, the reason I claimed this track for our Top 100 is the execution. The message was clear from the get-go, but what kept this one on repeat for me was how smooth and somber it was, almost sexy by virtue of its instrumentation alone. While other tracks on Baduizm seemed rather sing-songy and too-catchy, this one felt very grown, and embodied a sound that would carry the better part of her next release, Mama's Gun.