On June 1 the world got a look at a very risqué (i.e., NSFW) video for Erykah Badu's cover of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," performed with experimental rock band the Flaming Lips. The Root's Myles Marshall Lewis described it as follows:
She emerges from the bathtub covered in golden glitter, full breasts on view. Her next time on camera, she spanks her own glittery backside. And in her next few frames, intercut with the Flaming Lips, she dips a hand into the sparkles and slaps them between her legs. Her vulva drips golden glitter. Badu continues, whipping her braids out of the gold in slow motion, pouring sparkles over her head.
And it only got more explicit from there.
It's no surprise that the video was controversial. But today we're learning that Badu was just as scandalized by the video as were many of her fans. In a lengthy post on her Facebook page, she gave Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne a piece of her mind for allowing what was evidently an unapproved version of the video to be released:
@waynecoyne 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 …
Coyne apologized profusely in the following statement:
The video link that was erroneously posted on Pitchfork by the Flaming Lips of the Music Video 'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,' which features Erykay Badu, is unedited and unapproved … Sorry!! We, the Flaming Lips, accept full responsibility for prematurely having Pitchfork post it. It has outraged and upset a segment of fans and we apologize if we offended any viewers!! This is a Flaming Lips video which features Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok and is not meant to be considered an Erykay Badu or Nayrok statement creation or approved version.
Read "Erykah Badu's Naked Ambition" here.
Read more at Consequence of Sound.