Posted by: mrdmcday | April 3, 2010

Miscommunication (A Discussion on Individualism and Erykah Badu)

Ok. So it’s been a couple of days since Badu’s viral sensation and I’m wondering what people are getting out of this message. I guess I could start with my own depiction.

JFK had to be one of the most influential presidents within our nation’s history-definitely one of the most beloved.  Badu, at the end of her video, was “shot” in the very spot he was. The word “groupthink” oozed from her body like an eerie river of blood. Her nakedness was supposed to convey individualism in one of its most extreme states.

Now Badu is extremely talented and it’s nice to see such an artist see as much success as she has and still have soul. But, in her efforts to promote individualism, she may have just overstepped her boundaries and deterred a generation.

Walking down a public street stripping? That isn’t necessarily a new phenomena, as we’ve had our share of streakers before and- they too-have probably poorly influenced a handful of young minds that happened to be exposed to it.

Now I agree with Badu’s point that this dead ambience of groupthink and conformity is what’s hindering the average individual from seeing their true potential but at what cost was she willing to convey that message?

As an artist, I could see the point she was trying to make. And, to an extent, she made it loud and clear. But, as an older brother, I could also see the threats her message could bring upon the public-with our children being on the front lines.

Now I know modern-day children are exposed to a heck of a lot more than those of the old school. But, at the same time, can we just allow things like this to happen with no type of emotion? Shrug our shoulders as they are exposed to things they aren’t yet able to handle?

“Ah dang. There goes another naked lady again. Let’s go junior.”

What happens on the car ride home?

We’ve seen how being exposed to things to early has affected this generation and the ones after us-when you can find youtube videos of ten-year-olds dry humping and grinding-rest assured, the world is in a daaarrrrrk place. But, with so many unfit parents and no other way of putting poisonous images and actions like this in check, what are we to do with the next generation of children brimming with lust and malice?

I happened to notice a young, white girl watch Badu go by as she pulled her top off. What do you think occured within her mental realm? Did she ask her mom why the lady was naked? Did she continue to watch in confusion as Badu continued to unclothed? What do you think this will do to her?

Now I realize that Americans tend to sexualize everything and that Badu in no way intended for this to have some type of sexual meaning but come on now. This is the United States. Out of 300 million people, who do you REALLY expect NOT to look at her with gaping mouths? I mean…she isn’t necessarily anorexic.

So, my question is, in her efforts to convey us finding ourselves and promote how important being an individual is, could there have been a better way?


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