Erykah Badu is not only causing some excitement with her new song “Window Seat,” but she is also causing a bit of a stir with the video she shot in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza (the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963) where she strips, gets completely naked, and ends the video mimicking being shot.Â But it isn’t just that Erykah Badu got naked for the “Window Seat”Â video that is controversial, it is the how and why of the video that is in question as well.Â
Erykah Badu described the “Window Seat” video as “guerilla style,” according to CNN, shot in a single stream without actors.Â The video follows Badu as she walks through popular Dealey Plaza, passing hundreds of tourists in Dallas taking in the historic site of the John F. Kennedy assassination.Â Along the way she begins to strip.Â By the time she reaches the area where President Kennedy was shot, she is naked.Â She then mimics being shot, her head snapping back.Â She falls to the ground as if dead.Â
Badu, sometimes referred to as the Queen of Neo-Soul, says that the video is a statement against “groupthink,” a phenomenon that presents itself when a group of people refuse to express their individuality within a group, often to the detriment of themselves and others, because of fear or love or respect of others within the group.Â
It is unclear (thus far)Â if Erykah Badu is making a statement in the “Window Seat” video about the single bullet and the single assassin theories that have been the officially recognized find of the U. S. government via the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
If that weren’t controversial enough, Erykah Badu got naked in broad daylight in front of real, unsuspecting people, including children.Â She later wrote on Twitter: “there were children there. i prayed they wouldnt b traumatized.”Â
Dallas Police noted that what Erykah Badu, a Dallas native, did was a Class B misdemeanor, but they were not interested in pursuing the singer and mother of three.Â They acknowledged, though, that had they been there during the Eryka Badu’s strip scene, they would have been forced to arrest her.
For her part, Badu said that at first she was very nervous, was “too busy lookin for cops,”Â but the more clothes she shed, the more liberated she felt.Â She said people were trying hard to ignore her (which is evident in the video) and someÂ made comments about how she should be ashamed of herself. She laterÂ tweeted:Â “i been naked all along in my words actions and deeds. thats the real vulnerable place.”Â
And at the video’s end?Â She said, “We ran.”Â
A publicity stunt?Â A marketing tool?Â A political or social statement?Â A work of art?Â All the above?Â Erykah Badu is as cognizant as the next recording artist that controversy sells — and naked controversy sells better.Â Her latest album, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh,” was released Tuesday, Â just days after the “Window Seat” video launched.