There are some interviews I read where I’m like “I need to be high or drunk to really get in the mood for reading this.” Erykah Badu’s Vulture interview was like that, probably because I honestly think she might have been high when she gave the interview? Who knows though. It starts out wacky, with Badu explaining music vibrations and why Kendrick Lamar is hip with kids (or something) and then the talk turns political. To be 100% fair to Vulture, the interviewer was basically begging Badu to say “no comment” about so much of this sh-t and she just kept on f–king talking about Hitler and how he was a good painter. I’m not even joking. Vulture eases into it by asking her about Bill Cosby and she talks about the parable of Jesus and Barabbas. Vulture is like “…?” and a mess of sh-t happens. You can read the full piece here.
She loves Bill Cosby: “I don’t want to get scared into not thinking for myself. I weigh everything. Even what you just asked me, I would have to really think about it and know the facts in each of those situations before I made a judgment. Because I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him? The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people. I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team. I’m not trying to rebel against what everybody’s saying, but maybe I want to measure it. Somebody will call me and ask me to come to a march because such and such got shot. In that situation I want to know what really happened. I’m not going to jump up and go march just because I’m green and the person who got shot is green. The rush to get mad doesn’t make sense to me.
Her defense of Louis Farrakhan and her refusal to denounce anti-Semitism. “But I never made a statement about Louis Farrakhan — ever. What you’re talking about happened in Palestine. At the time, the working title of my album was Saviours’ Day — which is a holiday for the Nation of Islam but also my birthday. So I’d gone to Palestine.. and journalists asked me, “Do you believe in Louis Farrakhan? Do you follow him?” Sure I do. I’ll follow anyone who has positive aspects. He single-handedly changed half of the Nation of Islam to clean eating, clean living, caring for their families. He has flaws — like any man — but I’m not responsible for that. I said I’ve appreciated what he’s done for a lot of black Americans. I mean, I’m not Muslim, I’m not Christian, I’m not anything; I’m an observer who can see good things and bad things. If you say something good about someone, people think it means that you’ve chosen a side. But I don’t choose sides. I see all sides simultaneously.
The good in Hitler: “I’m also okay with anything I had to say about Louis Farrakhan. But I’m not an anti-Semitic person. I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.
Vulture replies “come again?”: “Yeah, I did. Hitler was a wonderful painter.”
Vulture was like “Hitler was a terrible painter”: “Okay, he was a terrible painter. Poor thing. He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, Mars, I could imagine her being in someone else’s home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn. I see things like that. I guess it’s just the Pisces in me.
What the what? She goes on and on about she’s a Pisces and an empath and she doesn’t even watch the news because she just feels too much, but really she just sounds… I don’t know, like she’s making a choice to be ignorant. It’s ignorant to sit there with a straight face and say that you can even have empathy with Adolf Hitler because he was a wonderful painter who had a terrible childhood. WTF?
Also: this is far from the first time Badu has had some strange/unpopular/insane/problematic thoughts. She previously blamed young girls for wearing clothes which could tempt men into being predators and claimed that R. Kelly had “done more for the blacks than anyone else.” That was in 2015/2016!!
Photos courtesy of WENN.