“On & On” was the debut single from neo-soul singer Erykah Badu and her 1997 debut album, “Baduizm”. The track was written and produced by Badu, with co-writer JaBorn Jamal and co-producer Madukwu Chinwah. The song was recorded in Battery Studios in New York City, and has become one of Badu’s most iconic songs.
“On & On” is a neo-soul track where Badu sings about the world’s issues, and how the world “keeps turning” and keeps going on despite whatever is going on, as well as the importance of learning lessons throughout your life. The track is deemed to be a Neo-Soul signature.
The music video for “On & On” was released in 1997 and was directed by Paul Hunter, however the video was uploaded to Badu’s official YouTube channel in June 2009. The video features Badu playing a maid in a black family household, gong about the her chores while she sings the track. She is also shown chasing after the family dog, who ends up getting her muddy, leading Badu to change into an all green outfit, performing the rest of a track surrounded by men and women in a barn. The video is loosely based on the 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”. As of June 2020, the video has 39.7 million views and well over a quarter of a million likes.
Release Date: December 1996
Songwriter/s: Erykah Badu & JaBorn Jamal
Producer/s: Madukwu Chinwah & Erykah Badu
Label/s: Kedar / Universal & MCA Records
Music Video Release Date: 1997
Music Video Director: Paul Hunter
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Awards: Within a year of its release, “On & On” hit #44 on New Zealand charts, #12 on the UK Singles chart and the US Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. “On & On” is certified Gold in the US, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”.
The lyrics to “On & On” can be viewed here: LINK