For Erykah Badu, neo-soul singer, producer, activist, mother, and self-proclaimed child of the funk, it’s always been about the music. “You can remember anything from the music you listen to,” she says. “How things smelled, how things looked, how things hurt, how things came back together.” Here, she took a few minutes to share with Vulture what she calls her “soundscape,” the formative soundtrack to her growth as person and artist. In the face of a music industry that has changed to resemble what she calls a “cattle race,” these are the songs that go back to the core of what music is all about for her. “What we gotta do as artists is keep using the funk,” she says, and in her opinion, these are the ones that did it best.