On Friday morning, Vibe posted a length piece on Erykah Badu well worth the time if you have it--because, as part of the magazine's online "Full Clip" series, it's mostly just Badu on Badu, with the Dallas R&B star explaining her motivations, headspaces and conflicts with each and every album she's released.
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Most pertinent among these explanations? The singer's commentary on New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ankh and the controversy she faced following the release of her "Window Seat" music video. In short?
"The reaction to the 'Window Seat' video didn't teach me anything."
Well, nothing except that public nudity can cost you 500 bones. Check the rest of her thoughts on the matter after the jump.
It confirmed exactly what I said would happen in the video. Once you walk a path and you shed all the things and labels that people put on you--the things they teach you in school and church--you are venerable and naked to an assassination. Whether it's your character or worse. Once you don't believe what the group believes they usually group up out of fear to kill your ideas and your thoughts because they don't understand. How can she not be like us? How dare she have her own identity and ideas? How dare she not wear the latest fashions? How can she mock us like that? That's what happened in the video and after the video [laughs]. This is what you call 'group think.' Individuals are afraid to go outside the group's thinking fearing that they will be assassinated.
That's the biggest crime on humanity. By doing this, you are cheating us all out of greatness. Was I happy with the reception of [New Amerykah Two]? I don't know. I don't think a lot of people heard it [laughs]. I didn't know I was going to be in the 6 o' clock news for the "Window Seat" video. I was just in the mode of a performance artist...in the tradition of Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Yoko Ono... nudity is often used in performance art to bring attention to an important issue. The whole point of performance art is used to create dialogue. And the dialogue does not have to be something that the people agree or disagree with. It's about making people think, talk and feel. That's what art is all about. It's a very sacred thing to me. I feel music in me, right now. So I'm going to go somewhere and get it out. I've had another child and I am having a love affair with a very beautiful man (respected lyricist Jay Electronica). I have something to say; there's something in me that needs to come out. And that's what music is for me...its therapy. I don't know if I'm a role model or any of those things that people want me to be. But I have to be who I am. And I do that best of all."