Erykah Badu's album "New Amerykah" gets a savvy review from Sasha Frere-Jones in the New Yorker--it's a invaluable primer for where Badu is coming from and where she's going, both musically and thematically. The album is challenging and strange, angry and consoling, and if you manage to get past the strange, deliberately dissonant interludes between songs you'll find a potent and intoxicating array of music.
My current favorite is the metronomic "Soldier", a call to awareness and action for a populace numbed and pacified. There's a euphoric swell of organs behind "Baptized when the levees broke" that cuts into your heart. It's followed by this passage that refers to Harriet Tubman's practice of forcing slaves to participate in their liberation; pulling a gun on them she'd say, "you march or you die".
"we gone keep marching on/till we here that freedom song/and if you think about turning back/I got the shot gun for your back/and if you think about tunrnin back?I got a shotgun on ya' back/(harriet style)"