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SoundTable Discussion: SoulBounce Watches Erykah Badu & The Flaming Lips’ NSFW Video


Just when we thought we were going to coast into the weekend, we had to call an emergency SoundTable Discussion at SBHQ to address this new music video from The Flaming Lips featuring Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok. The video in question is for a low quality lo-fi remake of the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," made famous by Roberta Flack. Erykah's on vocals, which was to be expected, but what has eyes bugged and mouths agape are the NSFW visuals that have your friendly SoulBouncers Editors seeing red and way too much of Nayrok's naughty bits. We're no prudes -- after all, we loved "Window Seat," naming it Video of the Year in 2010 -- but we gotta draw the line somewhere. This video makes that one look tame. If you're at work, make sure your boss isn't nearby, and if you're anywhere else, clear the kids out of the room and brace yourself for what you're about to witness. Watch the video if you dare, then read our commentary and determine for yourself if this is high art or just a hot pornographic mess.
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D-Money: Y'all seen this? I figured I'd share the disturbing wealth.

AudioDiva: O_O Was down with the glitter but was NOT expecting the Carrie "pig blood" thing. Erykah, I love her, but that was too much. On another note, the internets will def explode over this.

Lady J: It's like a trainwreck, I can't stop watching. I promise glitter woman hated herself after the shoot.

@2:33 OMG this is disturbing.

@4:11 OK, I'm just not deep enough for this right here.

Butta: What in the entire f--k did I just watch? That was on some neo-porno sh-t, I'm sorry. Especially that last scene.

Remi: Rihanna's poom-poom pat just got SERVED!!

AudioDiva: Watch how someone will come back and say this is some "deep art" bullsh-t; that there is a innovative message within this f--kery. I'm all for symbolism, analyzing art, and I get utilizing nudity to express it (i.e. "Window Seat"), but this sh-t was just too out there for me today.

Lady J: So, I guess that's Nayrok, Erykah's sister showing us all the business.

Butta: Yes, that's Badu's sister. So what do we think about the song?

Lady J: There was a song playing?

AudioDiva: Thanks for the clarification on Badu's sis.

D-Money, my Friday was going all wholesome and then this. You corrupter of my conscious! I gotta go watch The Little Mermaid or something, anything Disney to clear whatever I just watched out of my brain.

D-Money: I actually like the song (it's actually one of my favorite standards ever). No idea why it's ten minutes long, though.

Butta: It was something. More along the lines of a funeral dirge than anything I'd want to listen to again.

Somebody get Roberta Flack on the phone, cause I know she didn't sign off on this.

D-Money: My first thoughts while watching it were "It's like Magic City meets that bad Mariah Carey movie meets that elevator scene from The Shining." Surprisingly, those three things just don't work together visually.

AudioDiva: It's an interesting take on the track for sure -- changes the whole vibe of it and makes it sound like a completely different song. I usually like when a familiar song is transformed like that. I also usually like weird, spacey sounding things, as I am a fan of kooky gals like Kate Bush and Bjork, but this...um, not really my cup of green tea. It's a bit over my head really. Or maybe it's cause it's Friday, the Spurs lost terribly last night, and I just don't care anymore this week...I don't know.

SoulUK: I heard the song earlier in the week and was kinda on the fence about it. Bit too left-field for me. Now I've seen the video....Errmmm...NO!

Badu could do no wrong in my eyes until this came along. It's f--ked up for the sake of being f--ked up!

AudioDiva: Where is the Men In Black neuralyzer when you need it? I need my brain erased of this.

I was wondering that too, SoulUK, why is sis showing and Erykah not? Is the whole "Window Seat" debacle to blame for that? What is the reason for sis and not Badu in the buff? Or it some "deep music video message"? Does Erykah have two people inside of her? She's her own sister? #overanalyzingmeltdown

I can also see Racialicious all over this video. Yet another topic on over-sexualizing of Black women and why it sucks.

Butta: I was cool with the glitter scene (although I'm sure she's still finding glitter in her hoo-hah to this day), but the "blood" scene and the "jizz" scene are doing too damn much and on the wrong side of disgusting.

Racialicious needs to be all over this. I mean, WTF does this have to do with the song, man? Why are the dudes fully clothed? Why aren't they romping around in confetti and K-Y? So many questions, so few answers...

If Badu wanted to shock us, she definitely succeeded.

SoulUK: I'm all for pushing the boundaries when it comes to music videos, but this? How can you listen to this song and translate it into that video?

I've watched it for a second time, and I'm convinced that there is no "meaning" behind the visuals its just shocking for the sake of it. If I'm wrong, and someone can convince me otherwise, I'll film my own DIY version and post it to YouTube.

AudioDiva: Ditto, SoulUK. There is really no point, it's just done for the sake of shock and that isn't "art" to me. Note how the song is just buried in it. You're not focusing on the song, and that's what's been happening to music lately. All flash in your face to distract from problems -- problems that we've gotten lazy and uninspired with music and music visuals in recent years. Not all artists today are guilty of this, but some are, and it's showing more and more.

I guess it did do one thing right, it got us all talking...

SoulUK: Erykah's needs to get a new album out ASAP to make up for this f--kery!

Ms. Krista: I just wonder how the conversation went between Erykah and Nayrok for this whole shenanigan.

*telephone rings*

Erykah: Hey Nay?

Nayrok: Yeah E.

Erykah: Hey you know I got this new joint with the Flaming Lips coming out right?

Nayrok: Yeah.

Erykah: Well, how'd you like to be in the video?

Nayrok: Yeah, I'm up for it, you need me to sing backup?

Erykah: Naw.

Nayrok: Dance?

Erykah: Uh, no.

Nayrok: What then?

Erykah: Well you know I almost caught a case for that "Window Seat" video right?

Nayrok: Yeah.

Erykah: Well, I can't risk that again. So the concept is for me to be nekkid in the bathtub...

Nayrok: Ohhhhhhh snap! I'm the body double right? Cool and I get to...

Erykah: Nay! don't interrupt my energy flow on this lemme finish. So, okay, yeah I'm nekkid in the bathtub with Hershey's syrup and and some Pilsbury Cinnamon Roll icing, right?

Nayrok: Oh girl that icing is GOOD? Will we have some left over to bake?

Erykah: NAY! Don't redirect the light I'm trying to radiate over here! Where was I? And I, well, "you" (heh heh) gotta show your cookies a couple times, while the Flaming Lips toss some Reynolds Wrap in the air and beat on a squirrel pelt with an air compressor hose,
cool?

Nayrok: E this is that concept you came up with after you smoked that bag of hydro from Azealia Banks the other day ain't it? Girrrrrrrrrl! Sis, you are a genius!!!!!

Erykah: Yeah, the ancestors spoke to me through the herb. All praises due to Lola Falana.

Nayrok: Girl, I'm there! Let me call to make an appointment to wax my situation for the occasion. Thanks! Bye!

Erykah: Namaste.

/End scene.


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