New Amerykah: Badu In The Buff
Erykah Badu’s latest release New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh has been playing in my ears nonstop. She has been making the rounds on television shows promoting the new album and performing her new single Window Seat. A controversial video for the song was released the same week New Amerykah Part Two hit the stores. In the video, Badu is seen walking towards the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza, in her hometown of Dallas, stripping away articles of clothing until she is in the buff and ends with her collapsing to the sidewalk as if she has been shot. Rolling Stone writes “In the video, Badu is making a statement against ‘group think,’ saying in a voiceover in the closing seconds, ‘They play it safe, and are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand.’” A mother of two filed an indecency complaint with the city of Dallas and claims her and her children were offended by Badu’s actions during the guerilla video shoot. The city of Dallas is issuing Badu a disorderly conduct citation. The citation is similar to a traffic ticket and will result in a $500 fine.
Part of the shock lies in the setting of the video since it is the same location where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Erykah tweeted “I would never disrespect JFK. His revolutionary thinking is my inspiration. My performance art has been grossly misinterpreted by many”. The low budget video was done in one continuous take and shot in a similar gritty film quality as the home video footage from that fateful day in 1963. While one can always rely on the soulful, jazzy hip-hop sounds of Erykah Badu the musician, you can also rely on her unpredictably as an artist.