Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you’ve probably seen Erykah Badu’s controversial video, “Window Seat,” the lead single from her latest album New Amerykah Part 2: The Return of the Ankh.
In my opinion, I think the video and the album are just aight. What I’ve found to be more interesting than the video (and the album) is the discourse about it. It’s amazing, with this video E.Badu has everyone talking. Whether they are decrying her nakedness and guerilla video shooting tactics or praising her protruding posterior, everyone has an opinion. According to google, there are over 1,000+ news articles referencing the video. I can’t imagine the number of blogs (including this one) on the subject. And of course there is this entertaining post on Erykah Badu-affiliated site www.okayplayer.com. And then just in case I was living under a rock, @abc tweeted me about the video. I mean, damn. You can’t buy this kind of publicity.
So back to the actual video.
Via twitter E. Badu (fatbellybella) states that the purpose of the video is: “@fatbellybella character assassination due to mob mentality/ groupthink is the theme of the window seat video . The message is encoded.”
I aint really get any of that from her video, I just thought it was a brilliant marketing/media move. That’s not an indictment; I just didn’t find anything sublime about strip strolling to the JFK assassination X. The only thing I felt about the video is annoyed that a dope ass song like “Window Seat” is going to take a distant second to its own video. Tragic.
On a related note, if you’re anything like me, I wondered, “Who the hell are Matt & Kim?” The duo’s music video for “Lessons Learned” featured a strip stroll (and Final Destination-esque video ending) through Times Square. This was Badu’s template and inspiration for the “Window Seat” video. Mystery solved.
As far as the album is concerned, it’s cool. Go get it. My only gripe is it’s always kind of anticlimactic when the single is the best song on the album. The tantamount bright spot is the last track, “Out of My Mind Just in Time” which is a 10-minute brooding soliloquy about the vicissitudes of love. (Think: “Green Eyes” from Mama’s Gun but about Jay Electronica instead of Andre 3000).
But I did think this was kinda cool. The good people over at Frolab have already put out this compilation of all the original samples used for New Amerykah. I could hear the Eddie Kendricks and Sylvia Striplin, but didn’t know the Wings sample. I love the internets. (Thanx QW for putting me on.)
In the end, this quote from the LA Times pretty much sums it up for me:
“New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” is a velvety, but still appealingly odd, exploration that feels more like a casual counterweight than a heady sequel.”
I’m out. Look for me, I’ll be strip strolling in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center…