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.