Thursday, 7 June 2012

On&On&On... My Personal and Loving Rebuttal to Erykah Badu

Just recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding one of my favourite artist's, Erykah Badu. This controversy was about how she had no idea about what kind of image that was being sent out regarding a promo video that she and her sister were featured on and how she felt 'manipulated' and violated.

 Let me just preface this and let you know, I have all her albums, seen her live in concert endless times when she has travelled to Europe; in fact, I remember seeing her live at the Jazz Cafe years ago before she became the mega superstar in the noughties. I am what you call a person who loves her vibe; I don't consider myself a 'fan', because to me that has too many negative connotations attached to it. I even had the chance in meeting and chatting with her several years ago when she was invited to London to a natural hair conference - check my video on youtube: Erykah Badu @ Adornment 2007 and she struck me as a very down to earth sista. So... having said that, I'm disappointed in you Ms Badu. Look, we're all human, and yes, we do have our fallacies - we are not perfect, and that is a great thing, because with our imperfections can come gradual revelations that help us to grow, learn and proceed with our lives.

 However, when we are in the public eye and under that judgemental (at times) microscope, we need to really overstand how mainstream perceives us. Let me state right here, we do not need to censor ourselves,  seek validation or compromise our art, but at the same token, we have to have an AWARENESS of the bigger picture and what is involved in that bigger picture. Thus, we need to not only look at the picture, but the frame and the context of that picture as well, in my humble opinion!

Anyway, here is Erykah's rebuttal to the controversy about the video:

3:33pm dallas 

 then... perhaps, next time u get an occasion to work with an artist who respects your mind/art, you should send at least a ROUGh version of the video u PLAN to release b4 u manipulate or compromise the artist's brand by desperately releasing a poor excuse for shock and nudity that sends a convoluted message that passes as art( to some).
Even with Window Seat there was a method and thought process involved. I have not one need for publicity . I just love artistic dialogue . And just because an image is shocking does not make it art. 
You obviously have a misconception of who I am artistically. I don't mind that but...
By the way you are an ass. 
Yu did everything wrong from the on set . 
You showed me a concept of beautiful tasteful imagery( by way of vid text messages) . 
I trusted that. I was mistaken. 
Then u release an unedited, unapproved version within the next few days. 
That all spells 1 thing , 
Self Serving . 
When asked what the concept 
meant after u explained it , u replied ,"it doesn't mean anything , I just want to make a great video that everyone is going to watch. " 
I understood , because as an artist we all desire that. But we don't all do it at another artist's expense . 
I attempted to resolve this respectfully by having conversations with u after the release but that too proved to be a poor excuse for art. 
From jump, 
You begged me to sit in a tub of that other shit and I said naw. I refused to sit in any liquid that was not water. But Out of RESPECT for you and the artist you 'appear' to be, I Didn't wanna kill your concept , wanted u to at least get it out of your head . After all, u spent your dough on studio , trip to Dallas etc.. Sooo, I invited Nayrok , my lil sis and artist, who is much more liberal ,to be subject of those other disturbing (to me ) scenes . I told u from jump that I believed your concept to be disturbing. But would give your edit a chance. 
You then said u would take my shots ( in clear water/ fully covered parts -seemed harmless enough) and Nayrok's part ( which I was not present for but saw the photos and a sample scene of cornstarch dripping ) and edit them together along with cosmic, green screen images ( which no one saw) then would show me the edit. . 
Instead, U disrespected me by releasing pics and rough vid on the internet without my approval. (Contract breech )
That is equivalent to putting out a security camera's images of me changing in the fitting room. 
I never would have approved that tasteless, meaningless, shock motivated video . 
Our art is a reflection of who we are . I have no connection to those images shot in their raw version. I was interested in seeing an amazing edit that would perhaps change or alter my thoughts . Never happened . 
You also did the same thing with the song itself which displays crappy "rough "vocals by me . I let it go , perhaps iiiii was missing something, I thought. 
I Should have followed my first mind back in studio when recording the vocals "your way". 
( Red flag.) It was uncomfortable. 
For that I am at fault . 
Consequently, brother, As a human I am disgusted with your what appears to be desperation and poor execution. And disregard for others . As a director I am unimpressed . As a sociologist I understand your type. As your fellow artist I am uninspired. As a woman I feel violated and underestimated. 
Hope it works out for ya ,Wayne. 
Really i could give a shit less.
Still love your live show tho. 
And , you're welcomed. 
Lesson learned . 
By the way I have guested in very few videos. But I have always been given the opportunity to see the edit and contribute to it when my roll is substantial. Not this time . 
I guess u feel it better to apologize than ask for permission and be refused . Hey, Love u man, but your ways are not very nice . 
O, And on behalf of all the artists u have manipulated or plan to manipulate, find another way . 
These things have been said out of necessity. 
And if you don't like it 
you can KiSS MY Glittery ASS .
O and Nayrok told me to tell u to kiss her ass too .
Almost forgot. 

Ms. Badu

source: Erykah's Rebuttal

So, I imagined, what would I say if I had the same opportunity to write a rebuttal to what she had written about the video. Well, here it is. Any thoughts? Comments would be wholeheartedly appreciated!

'I'm an artist, I'm sensitive about my shit!' 

Erykah, Erykah... I've seen the video, and what I saw was soft porn, not 'art'. Overall, it was exploitative and I felt like a voyeur watching it. I read all of the reactions about it being 'art', but my spirit was itching. This was not ART, as much as people wanted to pass it off as ART. It was exploitative soft porn. Yes. Soft porn.

How could you be so DANG NAIVE??? Yes, I overstand the context of your artistic endeavours, but Ms Badu, you got PLAYED like a piece of chess. Did you have no idea that these 21st century  men would undermine and insidiously exploit and manipulate you and your sister's  BLACK BODIES; I mean, lets be frank, their ancestors have been doing this for centuries. Aint nothing new with this particular notion! 

How could you, as an 'artist' let such sensitive images go unseen, without permission? This to me was a digital raping; this may seem as an exaggeration, but this is how I saw it when I painfully watched your video through slightly dampened eyes. When your ancestors were raped several centuries ago, they had no choice, but you had a choice, with your 21st century voice. But their voices were muted due to their gender and their fragile and pathetic status as enslaved women on the plantations. 

Ms Badu, I am a fan of you and your music, but you need better people on your side who have your BACK. 

As an artist, I get the notion of art and how one must and can apply and express oneself through the many avenues of their art, but to then go and backpedal because of you maybe(?) wising up to the exploitative and sneaky nature in how the video was released and unleashed on the general public; Ms Badu YOU need to have your 3rd eye open at all times, especially when it concerns you and how the mainstream and the manipulative and pernicious nature of media constantly keeps on vilifying the BLACK BODY for their overall consumption.

Keep being you  with your art for art's sake Ms Badu, but please be involved and evolved with your  production, your involvement and your context of how your image may be  misconstrued. You have had too many years in the industry to be naive in how you are being ultimately perceived.

Still inspired by you, Ms Badu!

Love, Light and Blessings


No comments:

Post a Comment