Erykah Badu Talks Controversial Video, Writers Block & Twitter
Posted by Media Outrage on April 21, 2010
Erykah Badu sat down with HoneyMag for an interview about her new album, life, and the criticism she’s come under as of late. Peep game…
What does 2010 Erykah think of the aspirations 2000 Erykah wanted to accomplish?
Same things. I feel the same way, same spiritual aspirations, just evolving higher and higher. I’ve been on the same path.
Tell me about making the album?
I feel great. I love it.
What kind of space were you in when you were writing and recording?
I was in a very good space, a very balanced space. For me the space doesn’t matter because it’s always the right thing. Whether I’m in a low place, good place, or a high place. The point of the music is to tell the truth and it’s usually therapy for me. That’s my responsibility. Whatever kind of space I’m in is irrelevant. The music has to come out honesty. It’s apart of who I am.
Do you ever face writer’s block?
I don’t believe in that. Writer’s block, there’s no such thing. If I can’t think of any creative thing or artistic thing that I’m feeling then that means that it’s not time to write, it’s time to learn, downloading time. There’s no stress involved in knowing exactly where you are.
Does that account for the long period in between albums?
I procrastinate and live. I don’t feel pressured to make albums at a certain time. It’ll come when it’s ready.
You say on the album that all emotions stem from fear or love, what do you think the detractors fear and what do you think the fans love about the “Window Seat” video?
The video is just about a person’s aggression, processional, or a walk of evolution. The things that they have learned for years and years to start over to be an individual to redo and renew and that makes the group very nervous because it threatens the groups structure. It breaks what they believe, what they think and what they feel. So the next step is to get rid of the individual or bring them back down to size by assassinating them spiritually or mentally or worse. We see it happen so much because people are really afraid to defend others and defend themselves in fear of being ostracized by that same group they are apart of. They don’t get to really experience what love is. They fear this assassination in use thriving so they resort to other methods to cope with it.
Do you think it would have been different if you had shot the video in the MLK center? Do you think black people would have been up and arms about it? Do you think the conversation would have been different?
The conversation would have been the same. Because it’s all a part of what Shannon Irving who is a philosopher in sociology would call “group think.” When I collapsed on the ground in front of the monument where Kennedy was shot the words “group think” came out of my head. “Group think” is what assassinates people. When a group of people feels a certain way, they don’t have individual thought. Most of them would have been offended, black or white. I don’t think society knows where to base a woman’s unity when it’s not packaged for the consumption of male entertainment. The art has so many layers to it. The video has so many layers. You can pull back one or you can pull back many. But that’s what art is for. It’s open for interpretation, and as expected it has raised such an enormous dialogue that it can only be positive. Talking about it, trying to figure it out — that’s exactly what it was for.
What do you think of the technology, like Twitter, and the art coming together?
I think Twitter is a very big part of our social evolution. We get to share our ideas and thought, clearly. It’s the age of Aquarius, the age of “I know.” These are things we know. You can go straight to the artist and know anything you want to know. You don’t have to lean on an interpretation or an edited version of how he or she feels. I have been documenting “group think” everyday since the video. Day One is when I released the video. Right now we’re at Day 12. I put the results on Twitter everyday, what’s happening in society based on the reaction of the video. Of course the media ignores that, but anything that is controversial or can be newsworthy that deters us from the real news we need to be paying attention to, they’ll put on there. It’s the media’s job to pretend that they are angry, so that this news will be newsworthy, but they love it. This is how our world works. I am very present, very sober-minded. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I watch. I am an artist — not just in music but in every sense of the word. I think it’s beautiful to see people dialoguing and socially networking. The more we can do it the better understanding we can have for one another. I only think it creates more compassion. It weeds out the people who aren’t evolved enough to embrace one another, so you can chose who you want to speak to. It’s so clear. The writings are so clear.
Have you been charged?
I have not been charged with anything. I don’t know anything about that.
You’re not being sued by some angry mom who’s kid was there?
No. The funniest thing is the mom only came forward after I put on Twitter that I was concerned about children that were there. After I said that, then this came up. It’s Twitter revelations. Everything that I write happens.
Get on over there and finish reading the very complex thoughts of Ms. Badu. See what she thinks of her body after having children by clicking here.