Around the internet, folks have been buzzing about Erykah Badu's
latest video "Window Seat," in which the singer strips naked as she
strolls through downtown Dallas. And the reviews, from what I've seen,
have been mostly positive, with many people praising Badu for her
It was riveting to see this black woman's progress down a Dallas
street. The gauzy, Zapruder-style filmmaking gave it a languid,
dreamlike quality that had the effect of transporting me. Honestly, I,
too, wanted to see if she'd go all the way. I wasn't titillated, I was
just aware that she was approaching a societal line. Would she actually
cross it? My hat's off to her because, seriously, you're not getting
me to walk naked down anybody's street.
But then again, I don't have a new album to sell.
We are asked to take this video very seriously. But what's it really
about? Is it about freedom of expression? Stripping away pretense? A
wake-up call for each of us to be ourselves? Fine. But why the
conflation with Kennedy? Because Erykah sees herself on that level.
JFK. Badu. Y'all get the connection, right? I don't. When you look at
the Matt and Kim video that inspired "Window Seat," you
can see that it was fun. They were really trying to see how long they
could go before the cops showed up. As is often the case, it's tough to
make a message video and do great art, and it's usually the art that
Erykah tweeted: "funny thing is, the physical
nudity is nothing lol . i been naked all along in my words actions and
deeds . thats the real vulnerable place".
So there was no real risk for Erykah. And if she's not risking
anything emotionally, physically or artistically, then what are we
applauding? Holla atcha boy after
you rip up the picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live.