Put Some Clothes on Girl

With her new album released on March 30, 2010 (“New Amerykah, Part II: Return Of The Ankh”) Erykah Badu has generated serious buzz over her newest video for the single “Window Seat.” The message is simple – when you conform you become a part of the uni-mind, in essence you cease to think for yourself. As usual her song is thought provoking. With lyrics such as “so, in my mind I’m tusslin’/back and forth ‘tween here and hustlin’/I don’t wanna time travel no mo/I wanna be here” Badu searches for a space in which she can live her life and be herself with no apologies.

That said the video has become a commentary on good taste versus artistic integrity. As Badu puts money in the meter she proceeds to walk down the street stripping off layers of clothing until she comes to the place where Kennedy was assassinated. It’s an intense video with a strong statement, but what exactly is it that Badu is attempting to express? One clue may be the voiceover as the listener hears Badu narrate over her naked body as blue blood bleeds from her cranium: “They play it safe. Are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. . . .This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual.” However, is being that graphic necessary? By Badu going commando the thought of children seeing her naked did not seem to be considered until after the video hit the web. Once more the unsuspecting people who saw this did not know they were seeing a music video being shot. The ramifications are seemingly afterthoughts.

Badu is an artist, but the video takes away from the well-crafted rhythmic melody of this tune. It’s a sultry song that is rich in meaning and takes the listener on an emotional roller-coaster. With the video it doesn’t leave any space to be interpreted, instead we are left with a naked Badu lying on the ground.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 589 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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