Erykah Badu, "Window Seat"

Earlier this month, I wrote about Erykah Badu’s performance of her new song “Window Seat” on the Jimmy Fallon show. In it, I noted that she was wearing an unorthodox outfit that revealed more of the shape of a woman’s body than we usually see on network television. (For the record, I’m very much pro the shape of Badu’s body; honestly, I like to see as much of it as I can.) As we learned over the weekend, we hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.

In the video for “Window Seat,” which was released on Saturday, the wonderful singer walks through Dealey Plaza in her hometown of Dallas, right where president Kennedy was shot in 1963, and takes off all her clothes. It was filmed real fast, apparently, with no warning given to onlookers who might be forgiven for being a bit distracted themselves at the sight of a famous hometown girl, publicly starkers, as they say in England, on a Wednesday afternoon. It was St. Patrick’s day, actually, so most of them were probably good and drunk. Badu’s been writing about the experience on her twitter feed:

“I heard people yelling diff things @ me but i held my head up and kept moving. there were children there. i prayed they wouldnt b traumatized…” and “..didnt remember what kind of undies i wore that day so i chked 1st b4 removing pants. lol. i knew my intent was good. that thought made it ok.”

There’s lots of interesting things about the video: the radio broadcast of the moments before the Kennedy assassination, the stress evident on Badu’s face as she walks, the fact that she fed a parking meter when she set out. But my favorite is the guy in the red jacket and blue-striped that she passes early on. He seems to have recognized her-he stares, and then picks up her jacket and sandals and chases after her for a bit. Is he a colleague? A production assistant? Or just someone collecting souvenirs? Oh. And hip-hop gossip blogger Sandra Rose is already saying the whole thing was shot on green screen. Hmm. Doesn’t seem like that to me. But I guess we’ll have to wait for the Zapruder film to surface for frame-by-frame analysis. Whatever the case, it’s all pretty terrific.

The video was inspired by a similar one that Brooklyn indie-rock duo Matt and Kim made last year for their song “Lessons Learned.”

And here’s from the “secret shows” (not at all secret!) that Badu played this weekend.