One doesn’t have to know Erykah Badu personally to know that a) she’s a force to be reckoned with, and b) you do NOT want to be on her bad side. Too bad that The Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne made a horrendous bad judgment call and got a swift reality check from Mama Badu.
Erykah Badu and The Flaming Lips have always had an amicable relationship with each other and sang each other’s praises often. No surprise that the two then got together to collaborate on a cover of the Roberta Flack song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face from their Heady Fwends album, which has a very risque accompanying video.
The video featured Erykah Badu in a tub along with her sister Nayrok as a body double for the nude scenes. The video featured her in a bathtub with water and then Nayrok took over when Wayne insisted on shooting full nudity in a tub of gooey glitter and, um, fake semen.
The problem arose when a version of the video was released on Vimeo by Wayne Coyne that was not approved by Erykah and needless to say, she was beyond pissed. Not only for releasing a video that she did not approve, but also because Wayne then followed it up with tweets that showed nude photos of Erykah Badu and Nayrok (photos below).
While it was a video shoot she willingly participated in that he was showing and photos from the photo shoot that he himself had taken and she was aware of, the problem stemmed from rough cuts that Erykah felt were in poor taste and that she felt were simply opportunistic. In response, Erykah Badu lashed out out Wayne in what is the verbal equivalent of a violent beatdown.
The Flaming Lips claimed full responsibility thinking that it would quell the onslaught, but nothing is more severe than a woman scorned. They posted that “It has outraged and upset a segment of fans and we apologize if we offended any viewers!!!” They continued, “This is a Flaming Lips video which features Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok and is not meant to be considered an Erykah Badu or Nayrok statement, creations, or approved version.”
Needless to say, the damage was done. Here is Erykah Badu’s very long and way over 140 character tweet to Wayne Coyne that will haunt him for years to come.
@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 .
Below is the offending video and it must be premised that it is very NSFW (Not Safe For Work). The actual video was pulled by Vimeo, and we have nothing but love for Erykah and if she demanded it get taken down, then we have no plans on posting it even though we located a copy that we could show you, but won’t.
It’s not worth it and doesn’t come with her blessings. However, as far as we’re aware, she was okay with the photos that we’ve posted below and the pics that were still posted on SPIN as of this post. If she is against them, we’ll immediately pull them at her request.