By now you must’ve heard about or seen the Erykah Badu video for window seat, if you haven’t then you probably have been under a rock or something. When I 1st viewed it, I was quite surprised and knew it was going to be a problem. I wasn’t offended; in fact I was quite amused because I got the point, I read in a book “How to make friends and influence people” that to get your point across you have to sometimes “dramatise your ideas”
The video appealed to the non-conformist and anarchist in me. I know I am one that is into breaking boundaries and using art to convey a message. That's my thing.
Apart from the video trying to send a "message", it was a perfect promotional tool for her album which was dropping 3 days latter, in this day and age in the music world it seems your promotional game has to be stepped up a few notches in order to be noticed. Most rappers use women and their barely clad bodies to promote their videos and work and now Erykah is doing it too though not in the same way because she tied it with conveying an idea of her “stripping away outer layers to reveal her true self” and make you think about the concept of “groupthink” besides she was calling the shots. I don’t think the aim was to titillate folks or turn you on as much as provoke thought (and promote the alBUM oops I said BUM hehehehe just joking)
It’s not like she was the 1st to do something like this, folks are going on about how it was so “original” hehehe come on now LOL! She even mentions in the beginning of the video that it was “inspired by Matt and Kim” I think what made hers different was because she was a black lady and she tied the theme of J.F.K’s assassination into her execution of the whole “stripping in public” thing. (The car she pulled up in beginning is the same kind J.F.K was in when he got shot, the path she took when walking was the same one J.F.K took and where she fell as if shot was the same place J.F.K was shot, in fact X marks the spot in the video) She also tied the concept of “groupthink” into it too. (The blue blood that spills out of her spells “groupthink” check it on Wikipedia if you are familiar with that it is)
I find it quite amusing that even though you might get this message, the outcome of the exercise seems to be that due to hero-worship by Erykah Badu’s fans, they exhibit the same kind of groupthink too and I say this because if anyone questions the video and doesn’t seem to show total support towards it, they probably would be attacked with the same kind of groupthink/mob action that “assassinates” Erykah in her video.
I have questions for Erykah like “is stripping in public the best way you can show you’re evolving as a person?” or “is the freedom you seek within yourself from fear found in breaking societal norms of decency?” or “do you realise that as a celebrity, many of your fans exhibit hero worship more than critical thinking towards your work and are therefore just hoping on your bandwagon exhibiting groupthink?” or “do you realise making yourself the subject in your art and actual metaphor might come off as you being quite self-absorbed, attention seeking and martyr-like in a video tackling a topic like this?”
As much as I get the point, I don’t think the execution of Erykah stripping in public was the best way to go about it but then having said that maybe she wouldn’t have gotten people talking if she had done it in another way. People have gone on about how the kids who saw her on the street naked would be “traumatised” I think that’s over the top. How about all the violence they see as entertainment all the time? I know religious folk will react to this video negatively, especially very religious men because it will stir the lust in their loins and they don’t like feeling those urges or remembering that they still have them and have to deal with them.
So was it worth it? I guess it was worth the buzz and the discussion not to talk of the album promotion which will add to sales (if only I could get a CNN mention when I drop a project, maybe I should strip in London? Hmmm Oxford St maybe? LOL) but let’s face it, most will miss the point or not even care about it because the big booty is in the way. Hehehehe. I kid! I kid! Or do I?
I know this article may have a slight skeptical tone but I am one who appreciates Erykah's music. So please don't throw the word hater my way because I am a lover hehehe.
(This is just part one of my thoughts on this. Tomorrow, I am gonna blog about groupthink for real in a whole other way)