Recently The Flaming Lips leaked an “unapproved” video of their cover of Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Erykah Badu is not impressed.
The video, which has since been removed features Badu’s sister Nayrok completely naked in a bathtub at first filled with water, then what looks like blood, then some kind of white gooey stuff while mouthing the words to the song and occasionally slapping her glitter-covered behind.
In one of the most NSFW clips ever made, the clip features full-frontal nudity and is generally pretty graphic, but is about as pornographic as Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Superbowl.
Using a service for people who really can’t condense what they want to say into 140 characters – Twitlonger – Badu tweeted:
@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 .
Coyne has made a few tweets in his usual erratic fashion regarding the video, saying:
Sorry!!Sorry!!! Sorry!!!! Video First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is temporarily taken down…should be back up Monday!! (here)
To all the haters who think Erykah Badu has lost her mind!!! She has NOT!!! The Flaming Lips take full responsibility .. (here)
Followed by countless retweets of fans either in support of the video or claiming the whole feud is nothing but a publicity stunt.
If the twitlonger post wasn’t enough, Badu answered a fan who mocked another news site’s coverage of the incident by saying “Wayne’s old ass needs this.” before Coyne’s wife jumps in saying with a TMI post saying Wayne has the ass of a 26 year old&would never be 6hrs late for a shoot.
This snarky to-and-fro continued with Badu asking hi was wondering when u were gonna sober up and say somethin.your husbands an ass and u know it-tell the truth.Do not lie., which prompted Mrs. Coyne to turn around and say she’s a lover not a fighter. (twitter conversation is here)
I admit I feel a little dirty giving so much attention to this childish twitter feud when the video is incredible and so is their version of the song. Hopefully this will all be a thing of the past and the fans get a chance to check out what is undoubtedly one of the great videos of 2012.
Follow the author Tim Cashmere on Twitter.