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Seeing an artist expand their musical territories is one watched with inspired eyes, so originally, we were excited for the collaboration between The Flaming Lips and Erykah Badu. An interesting track called “Now I Understand” was released through the band’s Soundcloud four minutes ago and the hype for a second collaboration entitled “First Time Ever Saw Your Face” began once frontman Wayne Conye began posting stills for the music video on his Twitter. Then, the video was released and all hell broke loose.
It’s a cover of a Ewan Macoll & Peggy Seeger song, which became a big hit for Roberta Flack. So, what’s the issue?
“First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” featured Badu naked. Again, what’s the issue? After all, we did get the politically forward video for “Window Seat,” which featured the singer stripping through the area John F. Kennedy was assassinated at in the name of bringing awareness to an ongoing sociological happening called group think. This collaboration, which is directed by Conye, shows several scenes of Badu and contains scenes of her sister Nayrok in a bathtub with various liquids poured all over her.
That’s it, you ask? That’s it. While it seems as though it’s some sort of obscure artistic vision, one could see why it would cause a little controversy. Skip forward to the end of the video where it looks as though Nayrok is being covered in milk..or semen. We’re unsure of the motives and it seems as though Coyne was too. Erykah Badu posted a large rant via her Twitter page where she lashed out against the direction of the video and proclaimed the entire situation, video and recording of the actual song itself made her extremely uncomfortable.
“@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 .
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.
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 .
We currently have Erykah tweeting positive and negative reactions her colleagues and fans are posting to her, while Wayne pouts in the corner at the backlash and continues pulling the defensive card by reposting tweets that praise the video or speak illy of the neo-soul singers thoughts.
If this were a game of Mortal Kombat, we’re currently at the FINISH HIM stage. Erykah Badu is trying to find the cheat code to friendship, while Wayne Coyne is attempting to revive that last bit of mortality toward the situation.
We hope they both pack light.
Watch the explicit, extremely not safe for work video for “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” here and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.