Erykah Badu isn’t known to shy away from a little provocative nudity. But it appears that even the woman who walked Dallas streets naked for her own music video has her limits. After the (very NSFW) video for her collaboration with the experimental rock band Flaming Lips hit the Internet last Friday, Badu has lashed out on Twitter against Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, complaining the video wasn’t what she had agreed to appear in and that it had been posted without her approval.
The video for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” premiered on Pitchfork, but was taken down the next day. Coyne issued an apology via Twitter:
To all the haters who think Erykah Badu has lost her mind!!! She has NOT!!! The Flaming Lips take full responsibility ..—
Wayne Coyne (@waynecoyne) June 06, 2012
The Lips also released a statement:
“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!!!”
Badu’s outrage at the video seems to be over a matter of artistic taste. The clip features Badu soaking naked in a bathtub, a scene she says in her TwitLonger message to Coyne that he “begged” her to do.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
The “disturbing” images Badu refers to are scenes of her sister, Nayrok, featured fully nude, dripping in gold glitter, red-dyed corn starch and a questionable milky substance.
Badu was under the impression, she writes, that Nayrok’s scenes would be edited with “cosmic, green screen images,” and that it would be clear that those images are not of Badu.
At first, it seemed like Badu was all for Coyne’s vision for the video:
Those nude photos posted by Wayne (flaming lips) are of the beautiful Nayrok my lil sister and bestee.We do look alike.Video looks cosmic.—
ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) May 30, 2012
But after seeing the cut, she wrote, “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.” Badu clarified that the issue at hand wasn’t the nudity, but the way in which the nudity was presented. “As a woman I feel violated and underestimated,” she wrote.
As a parting note to Coyne, she advised the singer: “you can KiSS MY Glittery ASS.”
Coyne, for his part, moved from conciliatory to taunting in his responses:
In response to Badu, Coyne tweeted a picture of his mouth covered in glitter, with the caption “Hey @fatbellybella I kissed it!!!! Thanks!!!!!!”
Way to keep it classy, Wayne.