First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Wayne Coyne Disturbing Flaming Lips Video Controversy Angers Erykah Badu

The Snake does bite

By DiMarkco Chandler

Erykah Badu’s career has always taken the artistic path. She has never sold out as an artist just to put a few nickels in her pocket. That’s why it is so hard for me to understand how she could make such an error in judgment when dealing with the self-interested Wayne Coyne for their collaboration “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

In her follow-up response to Coyne, she somewhat gets it right, but like I say here, only somewhat. She takes responsibility, and that says a lot; however, Coyne is a snake.  No ifs, ands or buts about it: he’s a snake, and we all know what snakes do. They bite.

Badu’s recent experience with Coyne made me think of the Al Wilson 1968 hit single “The Snake.” The lyrics seem to accurately describe their relationship up until the present. The chorus is quite interesting and fits Coyne perfectly: Take me in tender woman, take me in for heaven’s sake, take me in tender woman, cried the snake. Equally, Badu’s fans might agree that she can be tender and we have reason to believe that she was tender to Coyne, after all she helped him finish his project by supplying him with her sister. Again the lyrics are apropos: She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk and she laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk. She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived she found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived.

So far, “The Snake” song arguably portrays a segment of the Badu/Coyne relationship; but the song doesn’t end there, and neither did the journey between these two artists’ collaborators. Just read what Al Wilson’s song says next:” She clutched him to her bosom ‘you’re so beautiful she cried. But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died. She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight, instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite.”
Wow, sounds familiar? Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘he (Coyne) would not have died if she (Badu) had not taken him in. Well I think Badu would agree with me and she even implies it in her response when she suggests that she did not want to leave Coyne with an artistic expression remaining in his head. In other words, uncreated and therefore left to die; but after all she did to help, he turns around and bits her and I can only imagine what the private conversations she had with Coyne said, which we are not privy to, would tell us. So in keeping with the lyrics of the song, here is what imaginatively happened next; and I’m simply writing the song, word for word: ‘I saved you’ (video project) cried the woman, ‘and you’ve bitten me, but why? You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die!’ ‘Aw, shut up, silly woman,’ said the reptile with a grin, ‘you knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.’ Well maybe their private conversation did not quite go that way, but it might as well should have.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Badu made a very strong statement in her response. As I said earlier she took her medicine by fully taking responsibility for exposing herself the way she did to the snake. And you see all of this in her statement below, as I have republished it in its entirety.

@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 a**.
Yu did everything wrong from the on set .
First:
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.
From jump,
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 s%** 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 **S .
O and Nayrok told me to tell u to kiss her **s too .
Almost forgot.
Peace

Ms. Badu

2 Responses to "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Wayne Coyne Disturbing Flaming Lips Video Controversy Angers Erykah Badu"

  1. Larry Bryan   June 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    “They who play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel more comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become, afraid to respect the individual.” – Erykah Badu, in reference to her Window Seat video in which she stripped naked in Dealy Plaza, in downtown Dallas, in full view of families and children who had not been warned of the fact that they would become unwilling participants in her “artistic vision”. Seems like it’s a dish she’d rather serve than eat herself.

    Reply

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