Selfless Expression (NSFW)


About a week ago one of my co-workers came into my office and said in a little more than a whisper, “Have you seen Erykah Badu’s new video?” Hadn’t not seen it I asked what the big deal was. She went on to attempt to describe the video, but I was unable to get a fully mental picture. However, I am very familiar with Mrs. Badu and her ideas of “self expression” over the last few years. I went on without a second thought until the other day, when I came across the video. The video for the song entitled “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” is actually performed by Flaming Lips featuring Badu and was actually released in summer 2012. (Apparently it has only recently gone viral.) I must say I was speechless from start to middle, I say middle because I was unable to watch the video in it’s entirety. I was hesitant to post it’s content but decided to go ahead and do so. Hopefully you are able to continue reading after watching because what Badu has to say about the video is quite interesting.


Badu is “shown” completely in the nude, covered in pigs’ blood, glitter and what could be assumed to be semen (or the frosting used on Cinnabons I’m not really sure).  It is quite disturbing to be honest. Being an huge fan of Erykah I explored the concept behind the video hoping to find an answer and I was surprised! Here is what Erykah had to say:

““You showed me a concept of beautiful tasteful imagery (by way of vid text messages). I trusted that. I was mistaken,” she wrote. “Then u release an unedited, unapproved version within the next few days. That all spells 1 thing, Self Serving. When asked what the concept meant after u explained it, u replied, ‘It doesn’t mean anything, I just want to make a great video that everyone is going to watch.’ I understood, because as an artist we all desire that. But we don’t all do it at another artist’s expense…you begged me to sit in a tub of that other shit and I said naw. I refused to sit in any liquid that was not water. But out of RESPECT for you and the artist you ‘appear’ to be, I didn’t wanna kill your concept…sooo, I invited Nayrok, my lil sis and artist, who is much more liberal [than I], to be subject of those other disturbing (to me) scenes. I told u from jump that I believed your concept to be disturbing. But [I] would give your edit a chance. You then said u would take my shots (in clear water/ fully covered parts -seemed harmless enough) and Nayrok’s part (which I was not present for but saw the photos and a sample scene of cornstarch dripping ) and edit them together along with cosmic, green screen images ( which no one saw) then would show me the edit. Instead, u disrespected me by releasing pics and rough vid on the internet without my approval. (Contract breech) That is equivalent to putting out a security camera’s images of me changing in the fitting room.” “As a human I am disgusted with your what appears to be desperation and poor execution. And disregard for others. As a director I am unimpressed. As a sociologist I understand your type. As your fellow artist I am uninspired. As a woman I feel violated and underestimated…you can KISS MY Glittery ASS. O and Nayrok told me to tell u to kiss her ass too.”


Interesting…. Thoughts?

Window Seat

Last night was one of those sleepless nights, with nothing else on at 2 am I was forced to watch a rerun of the Mo’Nique Show from 2010 on BET. Surprisingly she actually had someone of interest in the penthouse, Erykah Badu was in the building. I have always been a huge Badu fan since she debuted in 1997 with her album Baduizm. Her appearance on the Mo’Nique show was filmed following the release of her controversial video for her song “Window Seat”, in which she strips nude as she walks down the JFK assassination strip (Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas).  Until last night I had never actually seen the video, although at the time I was aware of the controversy behind the video. Badu explained the message behind her video, saying that she was making a statement against “groupthink” which is “an unwritten rule that I will not express my true opinion if it opposes those that I love and fear.” She explained that this was her way of expressing herself and breaking the chains that she is bound by in society.

I think that at some point we all are bound by chains that represent what others believe we are or should be. We repress who we are and what we stand for in an effort not to offend those around us, all this does is force us into a box. While shedding your clothes as you walk down a sidewalk full of people is a little extreme, the message is clear, No matter what, don’t let other people silence you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, people fear what they do not understand.