Erykah Badu's Window Seat

Erykah Badu's Window Seat

Art Institute Of Atlanta Arts Examiner

Erykah Badu is known for music that challenges the listener; with their highly personal, emotional, philosophical, and political content. She weaves seemingly, disparate musical influences together creating a rich texture of sound.

The video “Window Seat”  depicts the singer, walking through downtown Dallas, as she shed her clothes along the paht that President Kennedy road along. As she fully becomes au naturel, she is shot in the head, falling near the same grassy knoll near where the President was shot in 1963. Instead of blood, animated words that spell out “groupthink” leak from her head on the sidewalk.

Badu didn’t file for an official permit to shoot the video. According to her Tweets Badu stated, (the video) “was shot guerrilla style, no crew, 1 take, no closed set, no warning, 2 min., Downtown Dallas, then ran like hell.”

The directors of the “Window Seat” video, Chike and Coodie, told MTV News that they were well aware of potential attention from law-enforcement officials. They also said Badu was fully prepared for the consequences. Coodie and Chike, admitted they had bail money ready during filming if Badu was to be arrested. Coodie said, “I think she really wanted to get arrested and even make a bigger message.” Badu said the video was a protest against “groupthink” and was inspired by Matt and Kim’s music video Lessons Learned. Badu has also said she has “no regrets.”

When asked about stripping nude in the presence of minors, Badu said “I didn’t think about them until I saw them, and in my mind I tried to telepathically communicate my good intent to them. That’s all I could do, and I hoped they wouldn’t be traumatized”. Badu also explained on The Wanda Sykes Show on April 3, 2010, that it was not her intention to insult the memory of the late President Kennedy, saying “My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. JFK is one of my heroes, one of the nation’s heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth.”

The video has since been pulled from numerous sites, including YouTube, which is becoming to be an all too familiar phenomena. Is it OK for these video sites to pull videos they don’t agree with or spur controversy?

Founded in February 2005, YouTube built it’s following as the world’s most popular online video community, because they allow millions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. It’s also billed as a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. If they keep pulling videos, will they keep their following?

Many have complained that music videos are going too far lately.    What do you think?

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