Baduizm is the debut album by American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, released on February 11, 1997 by Kedar Records. After leaving university in order to concentrate on music full-time, Badu then began touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, where she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during January to October 1996 at Battery Studios in New York City, Sigma Sounds & Ivory Studios in Philadelphia, and Dallas Sound Lab in Dallas.
Upon release Baduizm was met with universal acclaim from music critics who praised the album's musical style and Badu's "artistic vision"; other critics noted similarities between Badu and Billie Holiday. Baduizm was a commercial success debuting at number two on the Billboard charts and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, the album was awarded with a variety of certifications, it was certified three times platinum by Recording Industry Association of America, Gold by British Phonographic Industry and Gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
The album was promoted with the release of four singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime", "Otherside of the Game", and "Apple Tree". The album won numerous accolades including winning awards for "On & On" and a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998. The album serves as a landmark album in the neo soul genre, Baduizm's success earned Erykah Badu popularity at the time and helped establish her as one of the emerging neo soul genre's leading artists. Along with fellow contemporaries such as D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), the album has been recognized by music writers for beginning neo soul's popularity and helping the genre obtain commercial visibility at the time.