Leave it to Erykah Badu to merge one of the most popular music videos in recent memory with one of the most infamous moments in American history: In “Window Seat,” the second video off her New Amerykah Part Two (Return Of The Ankh), Badu combines Matt & Kim’s stripping-in-Times Square clip for “Lessons Learned” with the Kennedy assassination, shooting her one-take video in the exact same Dallas intersection where President Kennedy was killed in 1963.
Badu removes articles of clothing throughout her walk down the grassy knoll, and as just as Matt & Kim’s “Lessons Learned” ends with Kim being killed by a bus, Badu’s death — like Kennedy’s — comes from a sniper’s bullet. The music video was even shot in a blurry style that mirrors all the home movie footage that now serves to document the Kennedy assassination. In the video, Badu is making a statement against “group think,” saying in a voiceover in the closing seconds, “They play it safe, and are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand.”
Badu has been on a Twitter spree since the video was unveiled yesterday, answering fan questions and relaying her experience walking naked down a crowded Dallas street in the middle of St. Patrick’s Day. “They were yelling , THIS IS A PUBLIC PLACE : YOU OUGHTA BE ASHAMED : PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON : DAMN GIRL!,” Badu tweeted. “Heard people yelling diff things @ me but i held my head up and kept moving.there were children there. i prayed they wouldn’t b traumatized…” Badu says no camera tricks were employed in the video and that she called Matt & Kim for advice and permission before shooting “Window Seat.” “Funny thing is, the physical nudity is nothing lol. i been naked all along in my words actions and deeds. thats the real vulnerable place,” Badu wrote on Twitter.
For much more on Badu, be sure to check out our profile on the New Amerykah singer in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, on stands this Wednesday. Until then, check out Matt & Kim’s “Lessons Learned”: