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The Naked Truth


So, never mind the passing of the health reform bill. Forget about the importance of mailing back your Census form. Erykah Badu gets naked in her music video, and it immediately grabs our attention.

Anyone who has seen the Beyonce “Single Ladies” video had to wonder what could top THAT. After watching Beyonce sing and dance in less in her underwear, we thought we had seen it all – until Erykah showed it all, for real.

The thing about showing us everything is where do you go from there? Now that the news is becoming old, has she really accomplished that much? Yes, it probably will be one of the most talked about music videos in history, and who can be mad her for making headlines her own way, on her own terms? When it comes to exploitation, she’s raised the bar … or lowered it, depending on you feel about it.

I like Erykah’s music, but I can’t remember a time when anything she did got this much media attention. She boldly owned up to her antics and her intentions, not that her intentions are that easy to follow. Some things are just tough to explain. In fact, for me – and most men I know – no explanation is necessary, not for the video.

But the song? That’s another story. I was baffled after listening and not much better after reading the lyrics.

“Can I get a window seat? Don’t want nobody next to me. I just want a ticket out of town.”

Add her theory that everyone who speaks out or expresses an unpopular opinion gets shot down in this country, and it really messes up my mood. You don’t usually like to mix the viewing of a naked woman with politics.

“I need you next to me. I need your attention, I need someone to clap for me. I need your direction.”

Well, you got our attention, Erykah. And when I think about it, what you’ve done is very close to being a “party with a purpose.” That’s what we do. We get you laughing, dancing or bobbing your head, then we try to shoot some knowledge and empowerment your way. Erykah got the first part right, but I’m not so sure of how well her message got across.

Most people I know are looking for unique marketing strategies that make them outshine the rest. And most of us hope it won’t require us to be naked – unless you’re my sidekick J.Anthony Brown, who followed Erykah’s footsteps by showing a side of himself that most of us have never seen. Shot in Atlanta, people who witnessed it didn’t know if they needed binoculars or a blindfold. He let his freak flag – and whatever else – fly in front of the world. Check it out right here.