Flaming Lips, Erykah Badu Respond To Fan Outrage Over Controversial Video

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 6, 2012 1:31 PM
12 Comments
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OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM - WAYNE COYNE / FLAMING LIPS "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 Erykah 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 Erykah Badu or Nayrok statement, creation, or approved version.”

I just received that statement on my Video page where the controversial music video is hosted, as well as in the comment section within the S&A post that contains the video.

I wasn't sure if it was legit, so of course I looked around and saw that it IS legit, as it's posted on Erykah Badu's own website, as well as several others.

So there ya have it folks; the video has been played over 20,000 times on this site alone; the post containing the video has received over 9,000 Facebook *likes* and counting, and received what might be a record (or close to it) 256 comments, and counting.

Damn, right? And to think that I almost decided against posting it. 

So does the above statement change how you feel about the video?

I check Erykah Badu's Twitter timeline, and saw that she'd asked her followers what they thought of the video, and of course, she received a wide range of replies. But what I found most curious was her second question, after she'd received a few replies. She asked how her followers would feel if the video ultimately didn't mean anything ("What if the video has no meaning at all? Now how do u feel?") - suggesting what some of you thought was just a completely surface exercise that didn't require any deeper analysis.

I'm over it at this point; but maybe you aren't, and these new reveals alter your interpretation of the video, or not.

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12 Comments

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  • Lovesfilmnmusic | June 6, 2012 7:57 PMReply

    She can be soo wack to me sometimes. This is definitely backtracking. If she was so uncomfortable w the imagery, why would she allow her sister to do it? Especially if it's supposed to represent her?

  • Missingreed | June 6, 2012 9:32 PM

    because erykah's sister is her own person capable of setting her own comfort levels.

  • Hilarious | June 6, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    Not sure I'm buying this explanation -- a day late and dollar short -- but here's a twitter convo between Erykah (@fatbellybella) and Wayne (@waynecoyne) retweeted by @JillScott


    3:33pm dallas

    @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 .
    First:
    You showed me a concept of beautiful tasteful imagery( by way of vid text messages) .
    I trusted that. I was mistaken.
    Then u release an unedited, unapproved version within the next few days.
    That all spells 1 thing ,
    Self Serving .
    When asked what the concept
    meant after u explained it , u replied ,"it doesn't mean anything , I just want to make a great video that everyone is going to watch. "
    I understood , because as an artist we all desire that. But we don't all do it at another artist's expense .
    I attempted to resolve this respectfully by having conversations with u after the release but that too proved to be a poor excuse for art.
    From jump,
    You begged me to sit in a tub of that other shit and I said naw. I refused to sit in any liquid that was not water. But Out of RESPECT for you and the artist you 'appear' to be, I Didn't wanna kill your concept , wanted u to at least get it out of your head . After all, u spent your dough on studio , trip to Dallas etc.. Sooo, I invited Nayrok , my lil sis and artist, who is much more liberal ,to be subject of those other disturbing (to me ) scenes . I told u from jump that I believed your concept to be disturbing. But would give your edit a chance.
    You then said u would take my shots ( in clear water/ fully covered parts -seemed harmless enough) and Nayrok's part ( which I was not present for but saw the photos and a sample scene of cornstarch dripping ) and edit them together along with cosmic, green screen images ( which no one saw) then would show me the edit. .
    Instead, U disrespected me by releasing pics and rough vid on the internet without my approval. (Contract breech )
    That is equivalent to putting out a security camera's images of me changing in the fitting room.
    I never would have approved that tasteless, meaningless, shock motivated video .
    Our art is a reflection of who we are . I have no connection to those images shot in their raw version. I was interested in seeing an amazing edit that would perhaps change or alter my thoughts . Never happened .
    You also did the same thing with the song itself which displays crappy "rough "vocals by me . I let it go , perhaps iiiii was missing something, I thought.
    I Should have followed my first mind back in studio when recording the vocals "your way".
    ( Red flag.) It was uncomfortable.
    For that I am at fault .
    Consequently, brother, As a human I am disgusted with your what appears to be desperation and poor execution. And disregard for others . As a director I am unimpressed . As a sociologist I understand your type. As your fellow artist I am uninspired. As a woman I feel violated and underestimated.
    Hope it works out for ya ,Wayne.
    Really i could give a shit less.
    Still love your live show tho.
    And , you're welcomed.
    Lesson learned .
    By the way I have guested in very few videos. But I have always been given the opportunity to see the edit and contribute to it when my roll is substantial. Not this time .
    I guess u feel it better to apologize than ask for permission and be refused . Hey, Love u man, but your ways are not very nice .
    O, And on behalf of all the artists u have manipulated or plan to manipulate, find another way .
    These things have been said out of necessity.
    And if you don't like it
    you can KiSS MY Glittery ASS .
    O and Nayrok told me to tell u to kiss her ass too .
    Almost forgot.
    Peace

    Ms. Badu


    Original link: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/hno30u

  • NinaG | June 6, 2012 5:58 PMReply

    Erykah's statement: https://www.facebook.com/erykahbadu/posts/10151036974141554

  • Ash | June 6, 2012 3:30 PMReply

    I guess they can clarify if they think that people were disgusted by it, but I don't think I reacted as strongly as some other people. I just laughed because Erykah has gotten progressively weirder with each album.

  • Sergio | June 6, 2012 3:15 PMReply

    "...and received what might be a record (or close to it) 256 comments" And that beats the previous record - my "Why did Red Tails fail to soar at the box office?" piece which got 253 comments. It had to be beaten one day

  • nat | June 6, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    is there a way to view earlier comments on the first thread? they seem to have disappeared or are just not currently visible.

  • Tamara | June 6, 2012 2:33 PMReply

    After viewing some other Flaming Lips vids, yeah I can see it as their (the band's) concept and Erykah and Nayrok as the "stars" of the vid. I can also see it having no preconceived 'meaning at all'. And if that's the case, bravo. Art has been served. The viewer takes what they want from the work regardless if the artist intended a message or not.

  • troy | June 6, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    She has the right to ask that second question cause the truth is entertainment means nothing more than the value people are willing place on it. Entertainment value is a currency only to be paid by the consumer. Regardless if you like something or not it is only worth what you are willing to pay for it. The bootleg industry has proved that movies and music have value and no value all at the same time. Or could be said if you have a limited data plan they are worth the MBs-GBs used to download them. How do you value your megabytes.

  • Deej | June 6, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    Erykah's response

  • FilmGuy | June 6, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    Sounds like backtracking to me. If you're gonna do a thing, stand behind it when the sh*t hits the proverbial fan, Suckaz.

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