Home Singers and their Kids ERYKAH BADU GOES NAKED WITH HER KIDS PERMISSION

ERYKAH BADU GOES NAKED WITH HER KIDS PERMISSION

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Erykah Badu has caused quite a stir with her latest video for song Window Seat, from her album New Amerykah, Part ll: Return of the Ankh. In the video, Erykah recreates the JFK assassination in the nude. Before filming her controversial new video, however, the singer says that she had a candid conversation with her kids first.

“I have young children whom I was considerate of and I told them what I was doing. My 5-year-old said, ‘OK, Mommy, can I have some more pudding?’ My 12-year-old said, ‘It’s all right because I can explain to everyone that my mother is a wonderful person and she’s just having fun.’ After hearing that, I took myself a lot less seriously,” Erykah says in an interview with DallasNews.

So what is Window Seat all about?

“Window Seat” is about liberating yourself from layers and layers of skin or demons that are a hindrance to your growth or freedom, or evolution. I wanted to do something that said just that, so I started to think about shedding, nudity, taking things off in a very artful way. I am from the theater, and this is just a part of expression to us, a part of art. And I saw a video by a group called Matt and Kim, and it was filmed in Times Square. And I thought it was the bravest, most liberating thing I’ve ever seen two people do. And I wanted to dedicate this contagious act of liberation and freedom to them. I hoped it would become something contagious that people would want to do in some way or another,” says Erykah.

Erykah adds that her video was “a protest to awaken a term called “groupthink.” It’s a term that was coined in 1952. It’s the recognition of a state of being for humans. It’s human nature for a person to be afraid to express his or her self in fear of being ostracized by the group or general consensus. A lot of times people are judged unfairly because of that.”

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57 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that she has a tour beginning in June 2010 and the timing of this stunt.

  2. Erykah Badu is not at fault!

    In her defense, I must say that she may not have known how the finality of the shot was going to be. Especially, if she were told that it was going to be an over-lay. That is, that her body-shot production would be overlaying a pre-selected and pre-scripted background, of which her blame would be in not inquiring as to which backgrounds and their compositions she would overlay. Many movies and theatrics employ this method and it rates for box office hits.

    I do not think that Miss Badu had anything to do with the outcome of her video. The culprits at fault belong to the camera persons and all persons and departments involved after the shoot, especially, those in end-volume marketing. Even if she were to have reviewed the finality of her shot, in all probability it would have been changed to anything, especially with today’s technology.

    • You do know that this was done live and in person, not in a closed studio? Give Badu credit for her own idea. She’s already accepted responsibility for her video.

  3. Well, someone was watching the video closely because a witness statement was taken and she has been fined. When I stated it was disrespectful, I was referring to the fact that she chose the place where a President was gunned down to get naked. What is she going to do for an encore;strip where MLK was shot down.

  4. It appears that nobody watched the video correctly….she strategically got fully naked AFTER she passed the chidlren. THe area at which she was fully unclothed had no children there at all, just adults. but its funny how the reaction that everyone is having to this just basically proved her point. THe real truth isnt that she is naked but rather that, she could have walked out of there just for being black and wearing her huge fro with african clothing plus being a woman and STILL have gotten the same exact judgemental looks from people. THat is the point. People have lost their sense of individuality but have become a consumer of the masses. THEre is no such thing as individual choice or freedom, its slowly being “STRIPPED” away.

  5. Some of y’all need to go back and read some of the replies from the NON-groupthinkers. lol

    IMO guerilla- style filmmaking WAS the point. Ariel, are you telling me that the media knew and no one showed up to cover it or reported it to the authorities?!?! How did that happen? Was somebody sleeping on the job? In other words, the truth is the media didn’t know ish about that shoot. You’re seriously buggin’.

  6. I do not have a problem with expressing yourself, however, I can not believe the location she chose. Stripping where JFK was assasinated is just plain disrespectful.

    • what makes it so disrespectful? Who says that is disrespectful? How do we define that word?? that word is defined based upon what society we live in, its funny how “WE” created “society” yet now “We” have allowed ourselves to be bounded and confined to this “society” that we invented. ITs like creating a monster and now becoming fearful of that monster and feel the need to abide by it or else get eaten up alive. THE interesting is, what you create you can also destroy. THErefore if we created society and its norms, we could also destroy society and its norms by broadening the way we think and expanding our horizons so that it surpasses the confines of this crippling society.

  7. Hana, “Guerilla- style” filmmaking is not the point. The media is called a lot by celebrities publicist; especially when the career is dry and you want those album sales to really go up. Especially in this economy. Not brilliant!!!! Get out more, learn more. Sounds like you might be part of her camp! :) Have a good day!

    Most importantly get yours! You deserve it!

  8. I THINK THIS IS A BUNCH OF BULL…..ITS FUNNY HOW THESE PPL DIDNT HAVE NOTHIN TO SAY BEFORE THE MEDIA BROKE OUT WITH THIS…IF IT WAS THAT BIG OF DEAL THEY SHOULD HAVE WENT TO THE POLICE RIGHT WHEN IT HAPPENED…SMH..AND JUST SO YALL KNOW..THASS DALLAS ….THEM WOMEN BARELY WEAR ANY CLOTHING ANYWAY…IM JUST SAYIN…!

  9. Guerilla-style filmmaking is an off shoot of street art/graffiti, a subset of hip-hop. I think the “stunt” was brilliant and, no, the media did not know about the video. If they did they would not have been able to shoot it like that. Come on people!

    And the album is HOT!

  10. Publicity stunt. Her career has been dry lately. A way to get back out there. I’m sure her people called the media to tell them what she was about to do. So obvious.

  11. It’s great she got permission for her kids to be nude in the video.

    I’m sure the parents of the kids who were out in public that day would have wished you did the same for them. They could have at least warned the public (which she admitted on CNN that it was in public, no stand ins. And they didn’t tell any of the passerbys what they were doing.) that they would be shoooting a video there, and there would be nudity…gave them to option to not be & not have there kids be witness to it!

    So it not the video itself that’s the issue for me, if you don’t like the video it can always be turned off. It’s the fact that she did it in PUBLIC, in front of CHILDREN,and others without giving them the option to say “Okay I don’t want myself and/or my children to be apart of this so we’ll leaving.” It’s public nudity illegal?

    • You know, I hadn’t even thought of that. Freedom and privacy issues of those who appeared in that video. They really didn’t have a say did they. I saw some kids in it too. I know I would not want to appear for more than a split second without being compensated myself–lol.

      Freedom of speech is great, but then again you do wonder when it begins to infringe on others…

      I still don’t down her for this.

  12. I’m all for artistic expression,but when you involve other unknowing people you have to think about that. Those people were just hangout downtown and had no clue that out of no where some lady was goin to streak naked in front of them. Why couldn’t she have said to people “ok we’re goin to be shooting a video in 5mins and there will be some nudity” Then that would have given people an option. Not everyone ok with public nudity and there nothing wrong with that.

    It was irresponsible and selfish. This has nothing to do with being judgemental it’s about common sense. Our bodies shouldn’t be look upon as indecent,but there is nothing wrong with modesty.

    And saying that her 5yr old gave her permission is just ridiculous.It’s fine if she run around naked at home(like most of us),but that’s at home around her family.

  13. SO…..I just watched the new Video by Ms. Badu for 2 reasons: 1: Because I am a fan & 2: I Really wanted to see what the buzz was All about! OK…..I also read everyone’s blogs on here & realized just how Judgemental people Really are!? If you do not like her music DO NOT buy it! THINK: Like dining out somewhere new & hating it! Will U ever go back? 9 times out of 10, the answer is No. Same Concept. NOW…Last night I watched American Idol & the 2 guest artists were: Usher & P. Diddy/Daddy. They both performed(BOTH songs Sucked!) & BOTH songs were sexual:( I personally thought American Idol was a Family show which means Rated G for Everyone. After seeing it last night my thoughts have changed! The Point I’m trying to make is I sat down w/my 13yr old Daughter last nite to watch a “Family” show & had to end up sending her out the room until the show went back to a G rating! You Cannot blame Society or depend on them to raise your children. This is OUR jobs as parents to Instill Morals & Values into our Future Leaders! Please stop using the children as Scapegoats for Ms. Badu’s Personal Endeavors. She has a right to Freedom of Speech as we do too. Just remember we are ALL sinners & are not perfect. People will disappoint you @ sometime in your life. Whether it’s your Family member, Co-Worker, Celebrity, or even your Minister @ Church! “WE” ARE NOT PERFECT!!! Stay Blessed~Stay Humble~Stay Positive:-)

    • I agree with all that you said, but I think that you’re missing an important point. You had the option of telling your child to leave the room when the content of the show became more than what you wanted your child exposed to. Ms. Badu took that option away from the bystanders in her video, a number of who were children. I love the song Window Seat and would have no problem with the video had there not been children around. She could have done the same video on a closed set with people who had given consent to be in her video, and it would have been just as artful and would have had the same message!

  14. I agree with what many people have been saying about her expressing artistic freedom! Nudity is beautiful. It was the way in which GOD intended for us to be in the first place; ahem, have we forgetten about Adam and Eve and the fact that everyone comes into the world naked?!!! It wasn’t until after Adam && Eve ate from the apple that they became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed.. which is what’s wrong with the world now and exactly what Erykah was stressing. People are so limited and afraid to do things that are seen as wrong that they can’t even open their minds to let others be themselves!Her video,in my opinion, was LOOOONG over due!

    The Kennedy assassin was more than just what met the eye, it represented her wanting to DIE before CONFORMING to the standards of today. The day that she gets naked in a video for entertainment, is the day she, as an artist with a message, and an individual, will die…..says alot about her as a person let alone an artist.

    And as for the children, like it was stated, they don’t realize anything is wrong until they are told. Children love to be naked in their early life because it’s nautral, my children HATE clothes after a certain period of time. And I mean how can you come down so hard on Erykah for stripping when the way alot of these females now-a-days dress, they may as well just leave naked from jump, their clothes leave very little to the imagination.

    So I commend Ms. Badu for not caring what people think……more people need to step away from laws and what’s “politically correct” and just let life happen. Damn seeing one person naked is NOT worth all this stress and uproar!

    **I also read that she hasn’t been relevant since the 90′s? So NOT true, her last few albums have sold just as well as her earlier ones. But IF there were a decline in sales, don’t blame it on her, blame it on the bull in which this generation is considering music….**

    • My colleague allowed her 2 year old to watch the video and he enjoyed the song very much. His only comment when he saw Badu strip down was,
      “Clothes off!”. Now whenever she opens her laptop to work he runs over to ask, “Clothes off?”

      Interesting! I wonder if Badu let her kids see the video.

  15. Thank you shesh1nes! The amount of violence children are exposed to is ridiculous and IMO is more of a problem than nudity but we live in a society full of Puritans, so…

    SIGH!

  16. ALOT of peopLe say she is weird!…but theRe is aLways something behind a persons story that we dont know about. I think she is just being herseLf..and i Love Erykah for that. I heard about this on tv 2daay..but i have noo cLue about whats goin on! Sumbody xpLain pLz?? thnx.

    • Starr08…You are always so cute and optimistic when you write. It’s always fun and uplifting to read your little quips. Stay sweet and never change, okay?

  17. among the many messages regarding groupthink in this video one of them is about the construction of the female body. Why should we shelter children from the eye of a naked woman, a naked breast (janet at the superbowl) but we do not shelter them from the violence that they see on tv and cartoons everyday. Im seriously, speaking of Gaga and Beyonce (btw, I love the video but if we’re gonna talk about it lets!), that was a completely glorification of violence. Is that ok, but Badu is not?

  18. OMIMGAWD PPL…SO ITS OKAY FOR LADY GAGA AND BEYONCE TO BE NAKED IN MOSTLY ALL THEIR VIDEOS… AND NOT TO MENTION THE RAP VIDEOS WITH WOMEN SHAKIN THEIR BUTTS.IN MY OPINION THE ONLY THING I DISAGREE WITH IS HER DOIN IT IN THE PUBLIC WITHOUT NOTICE..PPL DIDNT KNOW WHAT WAS GOIN ON…..THEIR MAKIN A BIG DEAL OUT OF NOTHIN…KIDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN EXPOSED TO ALOT OF NUDENESS ON TV…

  19. Real Talk, I am not reading between any lines. It was quite clear to me when I saw the video, before I heard Badu’s “groupthink” message. She was shedding her illusions in the public where she is already labeled as a black woman and artist. This is not what Gaga, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, etc. are about. Their steez is totally different and the comparison is unfortunate. Your opinion regarding her new album is just that. I’ve been listening to the new one and I like it a lot.

    I also don’t believe you (Real Talk) are for real artistic expression, freedom of thought/action. Otherwise, you would have realized just how much courage it took for Badu to do what she did.

    By the way, the Dallas officials released a statement that they will not fine or otherwise punish Erykah Badu.

  20. She couldn’t think of another way to upstage the other ladies-Beyonce, AKeys, Mary J, Gaga, Monica- working their butts off and ruling the airwaves so she went with controversy as opposed to quality production and a refreshed act. Read whatever you want into it, it was irresponsible and self serving. She defied the laws of the land and disrespected the citizens of that community to get her name in the press to sell more mediocre material. SMDH! I was over her with the fifty eleven baby daddies. I am gone forever after this stunt! Shameless! I am all for aristic expression but even that has its limits!

    • I don’t think Badu is trying to upstage anyone. She is doing her and I doubt she gives much thought into what others are doing, think of her, etc.

      She is trying to get at the “germ” of her own creativity, enlightenment without “art” ironically.

      Don’t know if she pulled off anything particularly “deep” or enlightening with the strip, but it was brave and I appreciate the effort at communicating and expressing herself.

      No comment on her lifestyle ‘cept to say, that is her business and the men are involved at least with their kids and she appears to be a good very involved mom –this from the outside of course, looking in.

      • GTSA, I was gonna type a concurrence response to yours, but I really think you’ve said it all, lol. Agreed on all fronts. Real Talk, would you respect Erykah more if she conformed more to what those other artists you mentioned are doing? Wasn’t that her whole point re: groupthink?

  21. I can’t believe some of these comments…actually I can believe them. They come from ignorance. Yes, I wrote that word: ignorance. i.e. being ignorant of the political and personal significance of the video; being ignorant of the socio-politic/philosophical connections between the setting, the act of removing one’s covering/labels/protection in order to be free of thought (and actions).

    Her provocative act was both political and personal as a black woman, as a woman in a patriarchal society, as a contemporary artist who is as relevant, if not more so, than Lady Gaga or Rhianna.

    I am reminded of the scene from Instinct when Anthony Hopkin’s imprisoned professor overcomes Cuba Gooding Jr’s ambitious psychiatrist. With his head in a lock and a pen digging into his neck Gooding much answer Hopkin’s question: What have I taken from you? The answer was: My illusions. This is what Erykah Badu was stripping away as she walked the famous site where Kennedy was shot…for challenging the status quo!

    “Group think: They play it safe. They are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups. Less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we’ve become. Afraid to respect the individual. … A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love oneself. To evolve.”

    Y’all need to watch that video again and again…

    • So because we don’t agree with the “genius” that is Erkyah Badu we are ignorant? I actually deeply feel her song and I do like the video overall. Did it occur to you that some of us get what her message was about we just don’t agree with the way it was delivered.

      What do you have to say about the children that were present? Because really that is my only beef with her guerilla style stunt. You don’t think it was disrespectful and selfish of her as a mother to consider the thoughts and feelings of her own children and not of those that were at Dealey Plaza?

  22. Erykah has the right to be artistic but when the police in Texas throw her in jail or hand her a hefty fine….
    Has anyone heard the song? Is it good?

    • Check out youtube. You can hear it there.

      I like the song. I do not see anything particularly avant garde about what she did in her video. Everyone seems to be on “shock and awe” mode these days, subtley and finesse are out also nothing surprises me much these days. Call me jaded. But whatever, she made her statement that she felt she wanted to make. Give her props as this is great publicity (stunt?) that also allows her to feel like she is being artistic. Win/Win for her and her fans and admire that she expresses herself unfettered it seems–must be freeing not to care too much what others think.

  23. @sit down please! and cathy you just became exactly what she talked about (group think) and fyi SDP if you don’t like her why take 15 minutes of your life to write an essay?? *rolls eyes and replays window seat*

    • No my dear, Group Think would be mindlessly agreeing with everyone who thinks this is art when I don’t or being afraid to call a spade a spade, which I am not. So is “Group Think” the new “Hater”? I called her on her bull and gave specific and tangible reasons why … did any “no Group Thinkers” to do the same? Oh, and I wrote the reply for the same reason that you rolled your eyes … because I can.

  24. Yeah, I don’t think it was cool at all that she was naked in a very public place with kids around. I would have been heated if my son was witness to that. I do like the song and could be more supportive of her message if she would have done the video on a closed set and with willing participants. And where were the police? Indecent Exposure. If it were a man who walked around azz naked, especially in front of children, I don’t think there would be any positive comments at all!

  25. i saw the video and really,no one should be praised for that..i don’t see Lady Gaga or Beyonce walking naked in a public place full of tourists and kids,it was very tacky and very inappropriate.there are times and places for this sort of thing.i don’t condone what PETA does either.Great that her kids gave her permission,but really what about all those kids that were there?did she think about them?it didn’t even look artistic

    • Amen to that, Giggles. Nobody complains about the oversexualization of kids in this society by emulating Beyonce or Lady Gaga, who- make NO mistake about it- are selling sex. And they are free to do that, because they are grown-ass women, and I think those videos are made for adults like me (and they’re damn hot, that “Videophone” is fire!!!) But how many mothers let their 11-year-olds watch it, and think it’s cute when their 4-year-old is mimicking those videos? And then people complain about one woman stripping her clothes in public. Nudity does not equal sex. And I’ll tell you what- I’d rather see, ANY day of the week, a child taking his clothes off to be free of them than see a child trying to mimic Beyonce/Lady Gaga/Shakira in their videos. Any day of the week.

  26. If Lady Gaga and Beyonce can do a video like “Telephone” I don’t see why Erykah should get any heat. She’s always been about freedom of expression, just look at her! lol! I love Erykah and can’t wait to get the new cd!

  27. This woman is not revolutionary, she is not visionary, she is not artistic. She is just opportunistic and used this as a cheap unlimited publicity vehicle to draw attention to her album. She has not been relevant since the 90s, which, by the way, is the last time one of her songs sounded original. All of her songs sound the same and if she things that “Group Think”, “Window Seat”, and the assassination of JFK is thought provoking just because she put three random things together and makes people think about how they can make a connection she is bat crazy and be smoking to much bud. Better yet, how does taking off all of your clothes as you walk down a public street express any of the above mentioned random things? Is this the only way should could express these ideas … in a very selfish manor? People may talk about Lady GaGa’s video, but at least she did it on a closed set and no one that was not involved had to view it. Why is Lady GaGa’s video not art?

    As for considering her children before doing this why did she not consider all of the children who were going to be in a public place with their families who had no choice in the matter if they saw her buck nakedness or not? If she was so convinced this was art and wanted to tell her children about it why didn’t she just bring her children so they could watch the art unfold and the other children who were there did?

    I am sooooooo tired of people giving her air play by discussing this pathetic attempt at attention gorging. I would just love if people just stopped talking about this so that she can just go away.

    • LOL she was considerate of her children???

      I’m from Dallas and I’ve always liked Ms. Badu, but I don’t think that was appropriate of her to do. When do we as consumers of these people’s music and movies etc. draw the line? How much exposure is too much? Not just of Ms. Badu but all of these entertainers. Black, white, brown, yellow. If we are okay with public nudity for the sake of art, is public sex next as long as we can call it art? She could have gotten the same message across had she got a bunch of actors on a closed set and simulated that part of the video.
      I think that unconsciously much of the reason black folks are okay with this is because she is black and female. What if this had been a white celebrity, or more importantly a man?

      • …Thank You…thought I was alone in my thoughts of Double Standards being in play..race, gender,…etc. No matter how much we may not like it, lines are drawn within everything we do. I support the arts. whether its music, poetry slams, art gallery but should I go buttnaked into the local C-Town/Kroger/Piggly Wiggly naked because I have a point to prove?

    • Who said Lady Gaga’s video isn’t art? I think you would find very few who wouldn’t think so. Did you read the article about why Erykah did this, and what it’s about? As you well know, you’re free to dislike her if you choose, but I think you’re putting your own spin on what she stated about the video in very clear terms. And as for the kids who watched her strip, trust me- they’ll be fine. Worry about their parents, who probably- like you- seem to think nudity is something to be feared.

      • You seem to be missing one of my points, so let me be clear. Who the hell is this woman to impose what she thinks and what she believes children should be exposed to (not her own by the way)? My children are not exposed to any of this crap because I don’t have them watch more than 1 hour of PBS kids a day, they go to a top rated school and I am very careful who I expose them two. That is my choice and I have every right to raise my children how I see fit. Now, if I was there with my children damn right I would have been heated because she has not right to impose her “ righteous art”, “group think” or what ever she wants to call it on me or them … I see she didn’t do it to her own kids.

        For the record I like Lady GaGa’s video … but she didn’t impose herself onto people who may not have agreed with her “statement” and I noticed quite a few black folks, particularly black women made comparisons to devil worshiping and what not … but when this woman does it, in a public place no less, it is somehow are.

        And if I were there I probably also would not have approached her because anyone who knows anything about mental illness and those having a psychotic break know that that is the behavior that they exhibit (stripping naked in public because they find the feeling of clothes unbearable) and I would be fearful that she was having some type of mental break.

        I am glad the police are not going to persuit this … don’t give her any more air time.

        • Obviously you missed the part where I said that my kids only watch 1 hour of PBS kids TV. You don’t really know anything about me and my household … all you stated where assumptions. My major point is people can CHOOSE to watch or not watch what they want. Badu took that choice from all those people she imposed upon.

  28. Got the message, I think it’s a relevant and powerful message to deliver. I’m just not so sure how I feel about the delivery method- the stripping in public places where there were kids n all, but, that’s Ms. Badu for you…

    • But isn’t that the point, Jade? Why is a nude body offensive, something that we should hide- from kids especially, the most innocent and nonjudgmental among us? She challenges all of that. Kids don’t feel uncomfortable with nudity until we teach them to be.

  29. i heard this was all the buzz on twitter yesterday. i don’t care either way. i kind of already know she is definitely an out of the box thinker. altho i wouldn’t consider opinions from kids that young to be “honest feedback”. i don’t think they’re quite old enough to really know how big this is for her to do. since one of them said ok and asked for more pudding lol!

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