Photo courtesy of iamdjseptik.com
The Flaming Lips recently released unedited, explicit footage of singer Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok. The artists collaborated on the music video for The Flaming Lips' new single, "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face." Days after shooting the video, the Badu sisters were outraged to find that The Flaming Lips had made the footage public before they had even seen it.
The band has since taken the video down and apologized, but not before Erykah Badu published a furious open message addressed it to the band's lead singer, Wayne Coyne. In it, she claims that he showed her "a concept of beautiful tasteful imagery," not the explicit images seen in the raw footage. I wonder how Badu pictured a beautiful and tasteful depiction of naked women reclining in bathtubs full of fake blood, glitter and "creamy white liquid"?
Photo courtesy of consequenceofsound.net
In any case, every stage of their artistic collaboration seems to have been shockingly unprofessional, starting with the Lips' misrepresentation of their vision and Badu's blind naiveté while participating in the filming. It's extremely slimy that the Lips released the footage without a green light from Badu. Even if they didn't have a contractual agreement, it just seems like an expected show of good faith to have the subject of an explicit video approve her contribution before it's made public.
And the ensuing Twitter war between Badu and Coyne is the pettiest, least classy finish to the whole situation. In response to Badu's rambling open message (which she finished, unconvincingly, with "Really I could give a shit less"), Coyne posted a tweet thanking Badu for the controversy, since it boosted interest in the music video.