Like everyone else on Twitter, I was geeked for Erykah Badu (AKA @fatbellybella) ‘s debut of her video for Window Seat as soon as she tweeted the link. Full disclosure: I am a fan. I sincerely appreciate that Erykah Badu has always been about more than just a hot song with a catchy hook. As a true fan of music with meaning, I’ve always appreciated what she contributes. Having said that…
Window Seat left me conflicted, but in a good way.
From the minute she removed her coat and shoes then kept walking, I knew this video would end with some symbolic act – I wasn’t necessarily expecting complete nudity, though. But Badu being Badu, who has always spoken out against what’s expected from women in the media — needless to say this was about more than being just butt nekkid with a beeper on, and glitter.
I love that Erykah went so brave and so bold with her latest video. She has elevated what could have been a mere companion to her latest song into a true artistic statement, the likes of which we don’t often see in today’s industry. Addressing the subject of groupthink delivers much needed knowledge to just about everyone who has seen or will see this video. I appreciate her message of confronting fear, stripping away one’s defenses, of finding freedom despite what others may expect of you.
But in my opinion, the nudity in this video is a double edged sword. The act that makes the video so powerful and significant and worthy of discussion, is what also may serve to undercut her message to the masses.
Just about every blog comment or tweet I’ve read about this video has focused more on Erykah’s “donk” than even attempting to unpack what the video is trying to convey. More about the perception of sexuality than the substance. And the comments I’ve read online bother me and make me wonder – could she have tried to deliver this message without the nudity? Is this purely gratuitous, or is this complete artistic freedom? Would this video have recieved the same kind of response if say, Jill Scott, Ledisi, or Angie Stone were the ones removing their clothing?
Erykah Badu being Erykah Badu…I don’t think she cares much about what we percieve her video to mean. She’s gonna go on speaking her truth either way. That’s what makes me love her, love her music, and love what she brings to the table each and every time — and that’s why I plan to cop New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh tomorrow.
But enough about what I think. What did you think of Window Seat? And do you plan to buy Erykah’s latest album?