As we've seen with her recent Vulture interview, Erykah Badu is not afraid of a little controversy. Our track this week comes from the Godmother of Soul herself.
"Window Seat" is the lead single from her 2010 album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). It is the perfect slow jam for a Sunday morning, with a twinkling harp and a rhythm that will instantly get you moving. In the song, Badu struggles with her simultaneous desire to get away and relax alone but have someone missing and waiting for her back home.
However, it was the music video that really caught peoples' attention. It was shot guerrilla style in Dallas' Dealey Plaza, where JFK was assassinated. In it, Badu slowly walks the streets, stripping nude before being shot by an unknown assassin, her blue blood pooling out into the street and spelling out "groupthink". It ends with a monologue from Badu:
"They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not 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 have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love herself. To evolve"
Dallas police charged Badu with disorderly conduct for her public nudity, but that was the least of her worries, as sentiment spread that the video disrespected the late JFK. Journalists, politicians and listeners spoke out against Badu, saying her lack of awareness around the issue was unacceptable. Similarly to her current controversy, Badu struck back, saying, "My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. JFK is one of my heroes, one of the nation's heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth."
This isn't the first time Badu feels misunderstood and it certainly won't be the last. "Window Seat" serves as a reminder of the power of art, and the influence music has on our culture and society. And it's a pretty damn good track.
You can learn more about Erykah Badu here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.