Arresting Badu Would Prove Her Point

How ironic that yesterday as we were winding down "Du Day Part Deux," blogs were ablaze with word that Erykah Badu may be arrested for her "Window Seat" video if at least one person who witnessed her midday public striptease was willing to step forward as a witness. If you haven't seen the video by now, then you did not witness Badu stripping to her birthday suit admidst a crowd of onlookers, which included children. Badu infers that her video is artistic commentary about groupthink, human behavior that she describes as an "unwritten rule that I will not express my true opinion if it opposes those I love and fear." While Ms. Badu is definitely bringing the term to the masses, she did not make it up. Journalist William H. Whyte coined the term in 1952, in Fortune magazine and it was later used to describe the tendency found within political and work place groups to come to a consensus even if all parties do not agree. However, authorities in Texas could really care less about all of that. They are investigating whether to charge Badu with indecent exposure and other violations, including filming without a permit.

After the bounce

But I, I need you to want me
I need you to miss me
I need your attention

The irony abounds. While Badu's video is garnering a record number of
viral hits and a few copycat versions
(think about the online popularity of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and subsequent homemade remakes), the fact that her video has drawn
the ire of the law and anger from folks who say that her message should
have been conveyed without the nudity is proving her point to the hilt.
This trend of groupthink has already begun to rear its head, if you buy
into Badu's description of the term. On popular online blogs,
commenters are describing Badu as everything, from a "PR genius" to a
sad "product of mental illness." Here's my question, though, why didn't Matt
and Kim
, the Punk Rock duo who inspired Badu's vid, cause this
much hype and reaction from listeners and the law? If you haven't seen
their vid yet, check it out below and share your feedback.

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29 Responses

  1. I hate to see any decent, educated, productive black man or woman locked up................HOWEVER when you wantonly break the law and expose children to nudity, you are crossing the line. We as black people tend to look to the left and find a excuse every time one of us breaks the law. We find out today she had no permit to film and just think if some dude driving got distracted by her walking down the street ass naked and crashed his car into a bus full of blind kids, would all of you Badu Stans still support her and make excuses??? I hope she doesnt get locked up but I hope they fine the shit out of her. if she wants to expose her kids to nudity, more power to her but when she decides to not give a shit about everyone else's kids then yeah I got a big ass beef with her. All that BS about her proving a point is stupid as shit, I never recall MLK or Aretha taking their clothes off to prove a point back in the day and they were protesting a real problem........... Ms. Badu video has got her just what she wanted good PR, which might help her sell more albums but at what cost? should a man or woman sell their soul for 30 pieces of silver and gold???? i'm sure alot of her stans are gonna say other artist did it before she did, but as my grandmama use to say if all your friends went and jumped off a cliff, would you follow???????

  2. stoneyisland - I started playing a harp in my head halfway through your commentary. "bus full of blind kids?"
    I get your point & totally feel you. She did allegedly break rules but so did Galileo in the name of science. Shit happens. w/respect
    In general we as American get so hung up on nudity & I don't think I will ever get that.
    And I was wondering if Matt & Kim got into any trouble when filming there video. Ive never heard of them before Sunday so I'm curious to learn if there was fall out.

  3. Yes Tafari a bus full of blind kids:-) Tafari you decent people, walk in peace. Holla

  4. She broke the law so if she's punished you can't really be mad at it. Erykah being who she is, I kind of feel she took the easy way out with the video. It just so happens that the easy way was also the most effective for spreading the word. The WORLD is talking about this video. I think the controversy over her nudity will take away from the message though which is unfortunate because its an important one.

  5. "Here's my question, though, why didn't Matt and Kim, the Punk Rock duo who inspired Badu's vid, cause this much hype and reaction from listeners and the law?"
    A black woman stripping in Dallas, TX vs. 2 white kids stripping in NYC

  6. Nudity does not always equal sexuality. Today's children encounter much more harmful images on a daily basis. The video, for me, is more about challenging us to think about what part societal pressures play in informing our individual thoughts and actions.
    And yes, I'm a Stan. But, even I had to ask myself whether I support this video because I'm such a hardcore fan, and don't want to go against the grain, or if I support the video because I believe in what she's saying.

  7. Avatar

    This video is a gimmick, a clever shock and awe ruse to avoid dealing with a very intimate, forthright song about escape from the terrors of motherhood. She took the easy way out, creating a spectacle that I believe was meant first and foremost to tittilate and "art school project" sneak her way back into a game that has no room at the top of the billboard charts for fully clothed black women besides Sade. The fact that she retweeted a number of comments about her "bangin body" suggests her subliminal intentions behind this desperate striptease.
    Wanna really be brave? Deal honestly with the song's subject matter

  8. I totally hate prudes. The controversy is childish. It appears that we haven't progressed as a species. She just took her clothes off in a very artistic way. Hell if it wasn't artistic I still wouldn't have had an issue with it. In a day and age when banksters bring the economy to the brink of destruction, the US is involved in two illegal wars that have killed tens of thousands of people, and the top 1% of the population have as much wealth as 90% of the country, trying to put Erykah Badu in jail for taking her clothes off is the height of ridiculousness. Just because something is "illegal" doesn't mean that it's right. Plus it's totally racist because we all know if Erykah was white their would be no Po-Po's talking about bringing charges on her. I'm totally on Team Badu. F@%* Tha Police!

  9. I love the song. I don't love the video. If she wants to get nekkid to prove some artistic point, fine. I wasn't crazy about the kids being around during the guerilla shoot.

  10. Ok i hope she does not get arrested or fined...however all of the attention and Hoopla just confirms just how DOPE this video is. I cant remember when ive been so inspired. Soul bounce help me out can you please post the introduction from her album, I hate to admit it but these old eyes can't see it with that yellowis brown background.

  11. Substantive art often challenges societal conventions and that's exactly what Erykah's short film does. Erykah has always been very consistent in her refusal to do what's expected or safe as an artist, so I really don't get how anyone who understands that could assume that this is simply a publicity generating gimmick. I also know as a person who teaches elementary kids that the large majority of kids are not fazed by the image of a naked woman.

  12. @: Groupthink as marketing ploy? How cleva!
    I agree with you a little bit that this was a marketing tactic. Of course it was. She has a new record to promote. But you say she took the easy way out and didn't deal with the song's subject matter when nudity IS vulnerability (which is what the song's about). How else could/should she have done the video? How would you have done the video differently??
    And I don't know how much you read but she retweeted many unfavorable comments about the video. She told one person that she respected their comment and it was "far."

  13. I meant to say "fair." My bad.


  15. As I said in a previous post *yawn* to Badu and this video. Nudity=vulnerability=freeing self=overdone performance art cliche.

  16. I've been following this woman for years because of her fearlessness. Loves her. She can do no wrong in my book.

  17. Think it's funny that she's starting her own "group" that's thinking a specific way "eff the establishment! the man! everything!" She's promoting groupthink, too! It's just her own group...
    She's targeting this ambiguous notion of "the other" as a marketing ploy. most of the twitter comments seem to just be a big mass of opposition. but opposition to what? is there a point to this "revolution"? is she doing anything other than selling CD's?
    granted, i thought the video was dope, but i don't think it's "prudish" to wonder about the legality of such activity

  18. To the people who continue to support her artistic view, if your say 13 year old daughter came home today and said out of artistic support for Ms. Badu that they wanted to recreate this video say at their school would you still be supportive???? hell no you wouldnt, so stop fronting.......................

  19. Joe e hit it RIGHT on the head. This whole thing is promoting a "groupthink" with her stans. Please ... the thing that kills me about the "elevated" negroes is they claim to be against the grain and they are little more than cliches themselves. As somebody said, this whole thing is over done: I took my clothes off to be artistic. BS ... You wanna get attention and sell records. Just own it! She's a phony, always has been and always will be. She just happens to make halfway decent music. When she's focused anyway ... But if you all wanna delude yourselves into thinking this is about art, more power to you.

  20. REALLY!! Stop hating on Erykah! I just can't take much more of it especially on this site! and FAKE???? Erykah is the realest thing about this music industry! Raw talent, Raw emotion and genuine artistic creativity, There's so much phony, Superficial crap on the radio and videos now that when we see something real we ridicule it! I got the message Erykah even if no one else did! Thank you sistah for expressing what so many of us black women really feel deep inside about being real and what would happen to us if we decided to truly free ourselves. Later to the Haters!

  21. I'll admit it. I'm a Stan. But you take your clothes off in the beginning of your career (see Gaga, Britney, i.e.) to sell records.
    And I say this every time but for someone who hates Badu so much, Stoneyisland is ALWAYS in every single Badu post on Soulbounce commenting:)

  22. @ jennifer, somebody has to stand up and confront all these Badu Stans, who if you listen to them she belongs on a cross next to jesus. Hmmmmmm hit it right on the head the thing that kills me about the "elevated" negroes is they claim to be against the grain and they are little more than cliches themselves." Ms. Badu or Ms. Out of wedlock as I like to call her is about as real as a weave at a hair show:-)

  23. @Stoney: Confront Badu fans?? You can't be serious. And elevated negroes?? I just can't respond. I won't. But it's nice to see you in yet ANOTHER Badu post:)

  24. Well whichever side a person stands on concerning this video you have to admit Erykah has people's emotions flaring. And in the end isn't that what art is supposed to do? Make us feel SOMEthing? I'm so happy we still have artists like Ms Badu around. Gonna take a Window Seat and get my mind straight.

  25. i wish there was this much discussion around the last two beyonce videos - video phone and telephone.... she's basically been a high-class stripper for the last 5 years or so with no one making a fuss. she's created much more of an issue for our young girls than erykah ever will. why does she get a pass?

  26. I enjoy what she does sometimes and I have paid for her music, that's as far as it goes with me.
    I'm not sure we should always define what is acceptable by what is fit for the kids to see, there has to be room for the grown-ups too, but I would have no problem with any of the kids in my family seeing this particular video. There is nothing lewd or crude in what she's doing, she's nude to those who were actually there, to us she's pixilated, her modesty is preserved and her nakedness is established to make a simple narrative point in a controversial way; It's also great showmanship and shrewd salesmanship. No 'business' no 'show', especially in these times.
    There are many many more questionable lyrics, dance routines, artists and videos out there. I was far more irritated by that Gaga idiocy.

  27. To me this video is like having a poster that says "Learn to Read". Those of us that are already aware of the issues she is trying to combat are pretty much the only people who will take anything away from the video. I guess I'm a STAN but I'm not happy about all the new attention pretty much gained from her showing her ass. People that didnt know her before now know her as the "naked black chick".

  28. Cam, I dont think Beyonce gets a 'pass' people here just aren't her audience.

  29. The realilty that it is not desired for individuals of certain economic and racial backgrounds to think outside the box is so clearly apparent with legal stance being taken. It is dangerous to the status quo if individuals start to think period.