Dear dudes from Flaming Lips and Erykah Badu,
First off, I want to say that I am a fan of your music. Flaming Lips—you fellows have always come with that heat (hence the name…Flaming…get it?). And Erykah—you are from another world. A different world. With eyes that force the truth and and a voice that broadcasts truth, you make rapping men melt (and men who can’t rap, too). So when I heard that you great artists were getting together to do a cover of Roberta Flack’s banger, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” I bugged out.
Hold up—I can’t lie with Erykah Badu’s monumental eyes looking at me. I didn’t hear about y’all getting together. What happened was, my wife was on the Internet and she stumbled upon the video. Laptop on the bed, baby on her lap. You know, some late night conversation and some music to help spark it.
I watched the video and I didn’t know how to feel. It polarized my monkey ass. I mean, in this brave new world with black artists being more free than a million Kunta Kintes, (and Erykah has been a runaway slave since DAY ONE) I thought, wow, this is some kind of serious artistic statement. It felt like somebody took too many pills and the shiver that comes along with that act had swallowed up the screen. The tune itself was dusted in a PCP kind of way, and it vibrated like a tear sliding down the cheek of an anonymous county fair clown.
I will also say that the video scared me. Made me feel like somebody might roll up and slit my throat from behind. On some levels, that’s great. Artists want people to react, and this video gets the heart pumping. It’s freaky too, in that you see Erykah and then you see what looks a lot like Erykah but somehow seems a bit off…which makes you feel like somebody gave you some bad acid (not that I’ve ever done drugs). Turns out, the ripe vagina lips we spy in the video aren’t Erykah’s, but her younger sister’s. Erykah comes from a handsome family (clearly) but seeing the entrance to her little sister’s Love Canal made me feel like some racist cop just tazered my bum because I was somewhere I didn’t belong and they wanted me out of there and they wanted me to remember that, hey, if I ever somehow wound up back there, they would shock me again and possibly KILL me.
That’s just how that video made me feel. To quote Andre 3000, “I’m, I’m, just being honest…”
But sweet Erykah is pissed and these white guys in the Flaming Lips don’t understand that Erykah is a powerful black woman with otherworldly powers and numerous gully (and cultural) big league rappers who would love to Apollo Creed their Rocky Balboa selves (as in the time that Apollo whipped Rocky’s Rambo ass, of course). Word to the Flaming Lips: keep bangin’. Keep pushin’ the envelope. Just be careful when you try to push the envelope with black women. It’s just a weird look, with you authoritative Caucasian men fully dressed in the video, with the beautiful little black girl walkin’ around all naked and exposed. Reminds me of that lovely Rolling Stones tune, “Brown Sugar.” Go peep the lyrics to that song, you young blogger motherfuckers.
That video is just straight David Dukes of Hazard.