Erykah Badu with Janelle Monae at Verizon

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Erykah Badu is a vanishing specimen, a pop star who courts controversy not out of some narcissistic need to be in the headlines, but because she is legitimately different. Sunday night at Verizon, she could have been a 21st-century female George Clinton, looking for higher ground through the most low-down music she could make. PHOTOS BY JODY PERRY