Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Can We Talk?: Erykah Badu's "Window Seat"- Toya

I would like to pose a question: Do you think that if Erykah Badu wasn't black and didn't have the physique that she has that her video for "Window Seat" would be viewed as so indecent and be surrounded by as much controversy? Case in point, the video was inspired by Matt and Kim's "Lessons Learned" which I am willing to bet less people are familiar with than Badu's latest video.

Mind you the following message on Youtube came up when I looked for "Window Seat":

This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community.


The are only a few differences I see between the two videos. According to this interview with Matt and Kim on Pitchfork they had a permit whereas Badu did not and has since been fined. Matt and Kim were in Times Square where there were also children around. Another difference, if I may just put it plainly, is that Kim is not as umm, endowed as Badu is? Grant it, you see the side of Kim's behind in their video but I am willing to bet that even if you would've gotten a rear view, there still would be no uproar over their video. What if Badu would've just stripped down to a bikini? We can be inundated with pictures of Kim Kardashian in a bikini but Badu is deemed inappropriate? What's the real issue here? If you ask me, a good part of the issue is this: the mass of the ass.

I know that's crass. It's downright ridiculous! But I am telling you, women are dressed like that in music videos intentionally quite often nowadays. In no way am I saying what Matt & Kim and Erykah Badu did was right. I'm not even talking about that. What I am saying is if she was shaped like Kim of Matt and Kim in some boy shorts, would this even be an issue? I posed this question to Candice Benbow over at
Selah and Amen who just blogged about Pastor Jamal H. Bryant's announcement that he will pay Badu's indecencey fine (yeah, you need to check that out for real. He is on some other stuff) and she said this:

"A) What she did was illegal and b) there's always been a black law and a white one. I thought they had a permit. I feel the same way about theirs as hers but legally, I think they were covered. Had she gotten a permit and gone through the proper channels, she'd be straight. I think if she was shaped like Kim and Black, it still would have been problematic. Many artists have made statements like this before but they did it correctly."

Just like my winning card in Spades, I am taking the race card and sticking it on top of my forehead for this one. And I still say some of it has to do with the mass of the ass (I really need to stop saying that and I need to stop liking to say that. Seriously.) Thoughts?

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