SoulBounce Honors 2010’s Video Of The Year: Erykah Badu’s ‘Window Seat’

The video for "Window Seat" by Erykah Badu, directed by Coodie Rock, was the first official video released to promote her 2010 release, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh.  It opens with the voice of a news anchor giving a play-by-play of the Friday, November 22, 1963 presidential motorcade parade showcasing President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. We know that day, even if we weren't born yet. On that day, as the president and first lady were driven in their convertible motorcade in Dallas, Texas along the street lining Dealey Plaza, President Kennedy was assassinated. But, the announcer doesn't mention that yet during the video, because, in those fifteen seconds, it hadn't happened just yet. This commentary excerpt, minute in nature, signifies that something big is about to happen. This audio from yesteryear overlaying the visual of Badu getting out of her car is a profound juxtaposition of past and present. And, boy did it start some mess.

After the bounce

Whether you liked it or not, you can't deny the overwhelming impact that this video made in 2010. While Badu has many great video moments, "Window Seat" will most likely be her most defining. Many of us who have been fans of Badu for years found inspiration in her boldness. Some of us questioned the authenticity of this boldness to strip naked on film, casting it off as diva, attention-seeking antics. For those outside of Erykah Badu's fan base, this video was their introduction to her music and celebrity as excerpts of it were replayed again and again on news stations. Outrage from those present during the video's filming followed. In short, the "Window Seat" video was the most controversial video of Erykah's career. Garnering over two million hits on YouTube, spawning a lawsuit for indecent exposure, and generating online mayhem revolving around intellectual notions about Erykah's buttocks, condemnation of her lifestyle and pacifist views of her video's message on the concept of groupthink, "Window Seat" and its implications were a national obsession for more than a moment this year. 

But was the video any good?

While there are many more videos out this year that were more colorful, had actual plots and upped the ante on artistic video angles, Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" served a larger purpose as a conversation tool. Whether or not you appreciated her approach in the video, you more than likely discussed its intended message, Badu's sanity and artistic merit, and her music in general. This video created discussion, pushed boundaries and elicited an overwhelming response from the world. In short, it forced people to have an opinion. It forced folks to pay attention to an artist with a point to prove. Measured by artistic standards and coming from a singer like Erykah Badu, you can't deny that it doesn't get much better than that. Therefore, "Window Seat" was not just good, but was very good, recognized easily as our Video of the Year for 2010.

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  • Eddie

    great choice.....& Erykah's album is up there with Janelle's.

  • stoneyisland

    Video of the year?????????????? come on?!? what's the difference between this and any other video where a sister parades around half ass naked? artistic? nope. Janelle should have won easily for tightrope, and I mean EASILY.

  • jj

    Please , this video was a joke, major FAIL!

  • Window Seat was the most epic moments in good artistic flow. Good call!
    The controversy alone was pure entertainment.

  • Best Regards, Anonymously

    I don't agree in video of the year. For me the video hurt the song and the song was good! This video brought about unnecessary 'hype'/hoopla. I love Erykah still but it just wasn't great. Even her follow-up video (a continuation of the story...I forget the actual song) was 'meh'. I don't think about this video unless its placed before me; when I hear the song I'm tired of it. Don't like it anymore. Matter of fact I don't really listen to the album much. Besides this video was a 'copy'; she even said so herself---a copy from that duo performance artists whose name I can't remember. If we're not being bludgeoned over the head by the 'art of music video' (a la Kanye's "Runaway") then we're being water-boarded of the 'art of music video' a la "Window Seat". Never before have I been able to pick apart (or wanted to) a music video; never before have I seen all the influences, affluences, straight-jacking or having been TOLD what it means than I have with the lot of music videos this year featuring our artists. The one small consolation--at least they're being artistic. Still it comes across as less 'art' and more show-and-tell. And less about the actual MUSIC! Perhaps we as viewers/listeners are just TOO informed? (thank you internet). 🙁

  • Anonymously Returneth

    One more thing. The video and the song didn't connect for me because at the time I followed her on Twitter and it was as if she had a brainfart concerning 'Groupthink' within the one/two weeks before the video released and shortly after she announced having done the 'bravest thing ever' [sic]. It forced folk to think, yes, but only because the three ideals prevalent didn't quite mesh. And to agree with you, yeah, I guess that's something and to that end, sure, give her the greatest video of the year. I think my initial response coincided with the averse reaction I have in looking in retrospect on that period of time surrounding the video and its backlash, etc. SO yes, let Miss Badu have it. I am a fan; far be it from me to begrudge the artist their art....still, I just don't LIKE the video and the contrived (maybe too harsh) bubble in which it was formed contrasted to the song and its meaning, clashed with the video and its meaning. It's just a big ole mess; or was and I just had to stop thinking about it.
    Was this video nominated for an MTV Video Music Award? Let me Google and see...


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