Erykah Badu, naked and assassinated in Dallas

I don’t know the first thing about Erykah Badu. Our worlds, to my knowledge, have never overlapped in the past. I am, however, intrigued by this news story:

Neosoul singer Erykah Badu faces a disorderly conduct charge for her nude music video shoot in downtown Dallas’ Dealey Plaza, officials announced Friday.

Badu, a Dallas native, performed a walking striptease in front of tourists and pedestrians during the March 13 shoot for Badu’s “Window Seat” music video. The performance ended with a nude Badu acting out receiving a fatal gunshot to the head at the spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963…

I’m fine with the public nudity. The thing that has me bewildered is the part about the “fatal gunshot to the head.” I wouldn’t have thought that the worlds of neosoul and assassination studies would ever have reason to intersect. Are there other instances of this happening? If I search the internet, will I find, for instance, footage of Alicia Keys being shot in the balcony of the Ford Theater?

And, if I slow down this footage of Badu being shot, am I likely to find any troubling irregularities? I don’t know if Oliver Stone has a sense of humor about such things, but, if he did, it would be great if he responded with a video of his own, breaking the Badu footage down frame by frame, and making the case for CIA involvement.

This is also interesting to me for another reason. Back in college, I wrote a screenplay about a man intent on killing himself at the spot of Kennedy’s assassination, under similar circumstances. The script was absolutely excerable, and it pains me to be reminded of it, but I thought that I should mention it, as I’ll likely never have the opportunity again.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted April 5, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me of how much I like Erykah Badu.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFkHylBiPyQ

  2. Skiper
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me how much I like the Kennedy assassination.

  3. Erik
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you for including the Badge Man link. I’d forgotten all about him.

  4. Kim
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Wanda Sykes did a version with a different ending. This comes from the coverage of it.

    In an interview that followed, Ms. Badu told Ms. Sykes that the point of the “Window Seat” video “was grossly misunderstood all over the United States of America.” Kennedy, she said, was a hero of hers. “He was not afraid to butt heads with America,” she said, “and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth.”

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/wanda-sykes-nabs-erykah-badus-window-seat/

  5. Posted April 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Growing up in Dallas, I assume that the assassination stuff is pretty pervasive. I still find it weird to be brought up in this context, though.

  6. Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Just happened across a right wing article on this incident. I wouldn’t link to it under normal circumstances, but they had a fantastic headline… They called it the Assy Knoll… I wish I’d thought of that…. Here’s a clip:

    …So, let’s digest this: America is full of angry hate groups who are out to kill our leader. I mean, that has to be the message: why else would she reenact the JFK assassination – and end with that finger-wagging speech?

    But her dopiness is magnified by a simple fact: the man who killed JFK was a pathetic loner, drenched in commie ideology. For her to ignore that simple fact, in order to condemn “us” as nefarious assassins – makes her worse than offensive. It’s makes her boring.

    Yes, Erykah, you’re boring. You’re just another conformist playing in an echo chamber – desperate to revive a flailing career by parroting the same crap you’d find in a daily kos chat room…

    Some people, however, actually liked it. Here’s a clip from the Dallas News:

    …By stripping at Dealey Plaza, the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Badu liberated herself not only of her clothes, but also her inhibitions, her fears. She was brave to doff her duds before an unsuspecting crowd milling around a landmark and not a bunch of paid extras in a secure studio. She took the difficult route to making art, fully aware that it wouldn’t be embraced by the masses.

    The outrage her video caused, including a disorderly conduct fine, only proves Badu’s point, which she makes at the end of the clip. A shot rings out, she falls to the ground and from her head leaks blue blood that spells “GROUPTHINK.” She says, in a voiceover, that the masses “are quick to assassinate what they do not understand … This is what we have become … afraid to respect the individual.”…

  7. Mark H.
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    What I like about Badyu is that she’s a pop artist working on very contemporary themes and with contemporary material, yet she utterly rejects every formula, and creates original work. I don’t always like or get her political or cultural message, but she has a unique voice and is a great artist.

  8. Ted
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    E. Howard Hunt put her up to it. I’ll bet you anything.

  9. Robert
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    This piece really opened my eyes and made me think. Her pop art is probably good too, but I’m not much interested in seeing him naked.

  10. Joanne
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    After she was naked and after they filmed it and now that’s is released, now they want to arrest her. Isn’t it too late? They had their chance when she was naked on the plaza.

  11. Robert
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to investigate who might have fired that fatal shot. Anybody with any taste or sense would have motive.

  12. HauntedChickenCoop
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen her in concert and I think she’s occasionally to frequently quite high. So maybe this carried over.

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