Erykah Badu: ‘I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler’

The British Fashion Awards

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.

[From Vulture]

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!!

The British Fashion Awards 2017

Photos courtesy of WENN.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

82 Responses to “Erykah Badu: ‘I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Rapunzel says:

    Somebody call Tyrone and tell him come home and talk some sense into this woman.

  2. Mia4s says:

    Never thought I’d be in the position to tell Erykah Badu to sit down, but here we are.

    Sit DOWN Erykah Badu!

    • tegteg says:

      She tweeted this morning:

      “People are in real pain. So I understand why my ‘good’ intent was misconstrued as ‘bad’. In trying to express a point, I used 1 of the worst examples possible, Not to support the cruel actions of an unwell, psychopathic Adolf Hitler, but to only exaggerate a show of compassion.”

      • Reef says:

        This is the most tired point of view ever in the history of life. When do powerful monsters not get shown compassion? Hitler is getting the bulk of the attention but she was sympathetic to Bill Cosby and R. Kelly.
        She’s a bird. Touting bird philosophy with bird acolytes burning incense and sage as they do it.
        Yesterday was so gross on social media in how people tried to justify her statements.

    • GigiC says:

      Seconded, oh goodness.

  3. lightpurple says:

    She named her daughter Mars?

    • Elkie says:

      Her kids are Mars, Puma & Seven. Which is the only thing I know about her!

      Hitler was apparently very good to his dog, fought to improve animal welfare standards in abattoirs and introduced the first ever smoking ban in government buildings to, erm, prevent the “right” kind of people from being killed by poisoned gas.

      Still a bit more in the negative column though…

      • tegteg says:

        I remember history teachers always thought it amusing to ask “Which man would you rather have as president?”

        Man 1 ////Man 2
        Alcoholic ////Loves Animals
        Two Mistresses ////Vegetarian
        Smokes ////Doesn’t Smoke
        Assoc. w/ Crooked politicians //// War Hero

        Man 1 is FDR and Man 2 is Hitler. Idk what the point of it is, other than to show us that even “heroes” and villains are flawed? Kind of stupid to ask who you’d rather have as a leader without talking about their political views, IMO. Man 1 wants to help us out of a terrible depression, Man 2 thinks certain people should be gassed. Pretty obvious who you’d rather have as president when the question contains pertinent information.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Even Hitler loved dogs-That’s the old saying I was taught when I was debating on whether or not to stay married to my verbally abusive ex husband.I was telling my friends all of the good things about him,and they were like ,sweetheart,’even Hitler loved dogs’-That statement is meant to say even the worst form of humanity may have one positive-don’t think that person is okay based upon one single positive.

      • Scal says:

        He loved dogs until he didn’t. He used his favorite dog to test the cyanide capsules he used to kill himself, and then had her puppies shot after he died. A big part of his ‘love for dogs’ was german propaganda during the war.

      • Nick says:

        ^^^was going to say this.

      • Lama Bean says:

        I’ve never heard “Even Hitler loved dogs,” but a friend constantly tells me “Even Hitler had a girlfriend.”

      • wood dragon says:

        He was vegetarian too and he’s sort of responsible for the Volkswagen, but other that…I got nothin’. Too many black marks against that man’s character – for reasons no one should forget.

      • M&M says:

        He was also a vegetarian.

    • Loopy says:

      And a son called Seven

  4. Alix says:

    Kookier than a Jaden Smith interview.

  5. queenE says:

    Cocaine is a helluva drug

  6. sparrow2 says:

    She doesn’t look well, does she…

  7. Renee2 says:

    You know, I remember when I was in undergrad and she first came out, I never liked her, something always seemed off with her. I can’t with any of her mess, aside from her veganism.

  8. Alot says:

    I think she is just trying to be controversial. She knows that everything she says is going to piss people off.

  9. RBC says:

    Don’t most celebrities have staff or pr people in the room when they do interviews? To prevent the celebrity from embrassing themselves?

  10. burnsie says:

    Is there a necklace in her mouth…?

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Thought she was drooling 🤔

      • starkiller says:

        I’ve spent far too long looking at that picture and trying to work out whether that was drool or some type of jewellery made to look like drool. Still not sure which would be worse.

      • manda says:

        Yes, was coming here to say the lip ring/chain makes her look like she is drooling.

    • Lady D says:

      Isn’t it her earrings.? The piece starts in one ear loops down, gets buttoned, and on the right side, it curves around to the back. To me, it looks like she is wearing earrings that could also be a beaded necklace down her back. I spent a long time on that jewelry too.

      • Pabena6 says:

        @LadyD — I think you’re looking at her green beads. If you enlarge the picture, you’ll see there’s a thin chain several inches long dangling from her lower lip as a single strand. HOW is that not a recipe for disaster?! I’d be terrified of its getting caught on something and ripping my lip to shreds.

      • Lady D says:

        You’re right, Pabena6. I completely missed the chain hanging from her lip. I’d be seriously afraid of ripping it out of my lip, or gagging half the night because I accidentally swallowed it with my drink or food. I was trying to figure out how the earrings worked. I also don’t think the earring is buttoned on her dress, I think it’s part of the earring/necklace/bead thing.

  11. Hh says:

    I’m not sure if she’s cancelled in my mind, but I’m just gonna enjoy her past works. Don’t know if I’ll see it for anything new she puts out.

    Also, not everyone is all good or all bad. Or perhaps the better way to say it, is that not everyone has only good or bad qualities/character traits. However, you need to have a more nuanced conversation about it (and I probably wouldn’t have used Hitler). Or perhaps, it’s not a conversation to have in public. And if you’re going to have it in public, let’s not throw Hitler’s name around so casually.

    I’ll need to look up what she said that’s anti-Semitic. Plenty of anti-semitism still exists, but sometimes people will wrong stretch that label to fit any criticism of Israel, which doesn’t allow for productive dialogue.

    • magnoliarose says:

      What is there to look for? Anyone who follows Louis Farrakhan is an antisemite. There is no gray area with that. He has praised Hitler and spewed hate about Jews. The Nation of Islam is on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s site as a hate group along with the Klan and Neo Nazis.
      It is always somewhat acceptable to be mildly antisemitic.
      I care about Israel, but I am American. That is like me going up to Catholics and asking them what their take on the latest happenings at the Vatican concerning the scandals with the priests. And then being hostile when I don’t like their answer.
      There is too much focus on that problem when serious atrocities are going on that are ignored. A lot of it is because of Christian’s obsession with the region. Before the Brits got involved Jews and Muslims lived together in peace.
      So criticism is warranted but as long as it is fair and knowledgeable and not second-hand nonsense from people who haven’t been there and don’t know the history.
      Erykah has been there in body, but her mind has been MIA for well over a decade. She is marinated in coke residue.

      • Xi Tang says:

        The old and tired reasoning to not criticise israel because there’s worst atrocities elsewhere is stupid. This exactly the reason why nothing ever gets done in the region.
        “Christian’s obsession with the region. Before the Brits got involved Jews and Muslims lived together in peace.”=> this is 100% true.

  12. trollontheloose says:

    Hitler: he killed 35M people but he was a painter. You Know: ART.
    Cosby: He rapes because he is sick. You know not gonna judge someone I love. and you know ART.
    Woody Allen: He molested his daughters because he loves them and he’s a good filmmaker and I won’t judge nor criticize because you know ART.
    Polanski: You know ART.

    I think Badu is one of these stupid jacked head who thinks that you can’t jail artists.
    “Oh but he’s done so much good. Don’t forget that”. and she has the same line of thinking as Kate Winsley and Cotillard “I don’t know anything about their private lives so i can’t judge if I don’t have proofs because everything is hearsay” as well as many others sicko who buy nazi artifacts”If you knew me you’d know I’m not racist. I just love the nazi era”. So I woud love to have her in front of people who went to Daschau and other concentration camps and tell them :You’ve been gazed but Hitler has some good in him. Did you see his paintings? surely if you’re grandmother before being butchered and holed up in mass grave had seen his ART she will agree.. or the Cosby’s victims “but he gave money to Black teens so they can go to college and Dr Huxtable”.. sick. sick sick.. she is cancelled even though I knew she was wacko and pretend she is enlightened.

    • Lilith says:

      Exactly. Well said.

    • Lorelai says:

      VERY well said. It’s as if she can’t believe something happened unless she personally witnessed it? Please.

    • Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says:

      I’ve always felt like Badu is more “art” than “human”. Everything she wears and says feels like she is trying to either distance herself from the rest of the world or she simply lives in an alternate reality. She is always fascinating to look at and try to interpret and she certainly evokes emotions and questions, the way true art always does….but would I want to hang out with her? Has she finally moved on from being an artist to being a piece of performance art? Do I invite her to a dinner party or do I just observe her while she eats?

    • Suzanne Alex says:

      Perfect. Thank you.

  13. HK9 says:

    I love you Erykah but no. If you’re an empath, you’d be empathetic to Cosby’s victims and note that he’s not sorry and if he had the chance he’d do it again.

  14. littlemissnaughty says:

    I won’t comment on the Cosby stuff. To me as a white person, he was part of my childhood and I loved him and The Cosby Show until all the sh*t came out. But I can imagine that to many black people he was/is one of their icons who was not *just* an icon to them but to America as a country. That hasn’t happened that often yet. I can’t presume to understand what that feels like.

    Hilter, however. Hitler was responsible for one of the worst crimes in recorded human history. GTFO with the painting. He also loved his dogs. So? Whenever people say they can see good in everyone I think “That means nothing. What is the purpose of that statement?” He liked to paint. He orchestrated a world war, the Holocaust, set 3 continents on fire, and is responsible for millions upon millions of deaths. What weights heavier??? And yes, he was a crappy painter.

    I just … get riled up when it comes to Hitler. I mean who doesn’t.

    • Honey says:

      I’m black. I fell out with Cosby after he made what I thought were ill-informed, ignorant, not well-thought out comments about blacks and poverty and living in the ghetto. So, I am glad that he *ss is being dragged through the courts and publically revealed to be a rapist. However, I acknowledge that through his comedy routines and even his television shows (Fat Albert (which I watched as a kid) and The Cosby Show (which I can admit was good) made a lot of people laugh and feel good BUT what he did to those women (who, yes, were looking for a come-up) wasn’t right. Erykah and others who sing Cosby’s virtues need to acknowledge that that morally outweighs his ability to make people laugh and escape into TV land for 1/2 hour.

    • marianne says:

      I can kind of get if she was trying to say that the world isnt so black and white. Theres many shades in between. But perhaps she didnt articulate that well. At least I hope so. Because Hitler having a soft side by painting doesnt excuse what he did.

    • Jeannie says:

      Littlemissnaughty, agree 100%.

  15. Nancy says:

    There are scores of people on YouTube who want you to believe all the good in Hitler. I don’t care if he was Jesus’ second cousin…..the man wanted to wipe out all the Jews on the planet. He brought so much carnage and committed so many atrocities, his name shouldn’t even be spoken other than to remind us of how evil man can be. This woman needs to sit down and watch tapes of the men, woman and children in the death camps. Shame the hell on her.

    • Doc says:

      Not to mention other ethnicities as well, Roma as well as Serbian people. There are sites all around Serbia which are either conxentration camps or mass graves. One camp has a count of 30,000 Serbian men, 10,000 Roma men and 7,000 Jewish men… :’(

    • Kath says:

      Oh, and then there’s the tiny detail of the 6 million Poles he killed – both Jewish Poles and non-Jews. My (Catholic) Aunt died in Auschwitz.

      I worry about the jaw-dropping ignorance of people like this.

  16. Beth says:

    Wow. This lady needs to get a clue. She looks exhausted or high as a kite. A nap or sobering up won’t help, because she’s always seemed clueless and ignorant

  17. Honey says:

    I will jump out here. I THINK I understand her point: people who do bad and even horrible things can and probably do have have some virtues and redeeming qualities. Ok. I can acknowledge those qualities; however, I cannot and will not have compassion or empathy for them. Nor will I ever use those pro-social qualities as a way to neutralize, excuse or argue positively on behalf of people who have done heinous things to others even if they have been subjected to deep trauma themselves. That’s just me.

    Understanding something or even acknowledging positive aspects of people who comment heinous acts against others should not outweigh the harm that they’ve done. And neither should it call for fence-sitting behind the shield of supposedly waiting for all of the facts (all of the facts in most situations will never be known and most things are subjective or circumstantial) or sitting behind some bogus shield of needing to see to full picture to the degree that you have basically ignored the harm done to others because you want to be fair to the person who has done the harm. Perspective taking is one thing but to not call a rapist a rapist, a pedophile a pedophile, and rogue policing rogue policing in the name of being a humanist doesn’t help humanity at all.

    Peace.

  18. minx says:

    Trying to get attention.

  19. Appalachian says:

    Why is she doing this…?

    Erykah, somebody…hit the brakes.

  20. marc kile says:

    Its kinda hard to slag her when she’s not in her right mind the comment about Hitler proves that.

  21. elimaeby says:

    She was crazy enough to get pregnant with 3 Stacks’ baby. I’m not shocked here. Disappointed, but not surprised.

  22. jferber says:

    Crazy demented bitch.

  23. Lala says:

    I cancelled Ms. Badu a LONG TIME AGO…because she thinks she’s so deep and avant garde, but she always came off trifling as hell and mean as a rattle snake to me…

    • mela says:

      i love her old music SO MUCH but yeah…she’s turned into a crazy mean old lady. she is getting into Lauryn Hill territory with this wacky interview…

  24. Parigo says:

    Someone once told me Hitler couldn’t have been all bad because he was nice to his dogs. 🤢

    • milla says:

      Which is not even true. And btw every leader good or bad has a dog. To look like a good person. Hitler was evil person. He hated the jewish, black people and the serbs and homosexuals. Could it be any worse? Killing for skin colour and religion and sexuality?

      • thaliasghost says:

        The SS men and women of Auschwitz went home to their families and loving homes each night. They tortured and murdered people every day and then went home and played with their children. That doesn’t make them any less guilty.

  25. Danielle says:

    I *think* she was trying to say trauma perpetuates more trauma. This is a personal anecdote and could be brushed off as my way of healing and reconciling, but….One side of my family has a history and problem of abuse. And in every case, they were sexually abused themselves. I do mean literally. In most cases, disregarding psychopaths, but some of them too, people who hurt other people have experienced it first hand. THAT BEING SAID. You don’t need to make references to people to make that point. You could use case study statistics or simply say what you mean. We are all a mixed bag and some of us don’t capacity, willing or unwilling, either mentally, physically, or otherwise suppress and properly handle that pain/trauma. And so they simply perpetuate it. Do they need love and prayers and empathy? Yes. Can and should you do it from afar in most cases? Absolutely. I completely agree with her sentiment but Jesus Christ she butchered the delivery.

    • CairinaCat says:

      It’s total cr*p to use the example of sexual and physical abusive people having been abused themselves as any kind of excuse.
      The people that CHOOSE to abuse are doing just that, making a selfish choice to indulge in thier desires. Seeing other people as objects and not real people.

      Because you know what, most people that are abused do NOT go on to abuse others. I have it in me to be physically abusive, but you know what I CHOSE to do before I had kids?
      I had 8 years of therapy to understand and deal with that in myself, because I did not want to be an abusive POS like my parents.
      I was also sexually abused and that was never a thing for me to worry about in myself, if it was I would​have CHOSEN NOT to have children.

      Everything is a choice, Everything.
      And you can’t use mental illness as an excuse either.
      I’m Bipolar I and I, OCD, ADD, several severe anxiety disorders, depression, I had severe PPD with both kids.
      Even at my most manic, and I get the euphoric mania, I made choices. I chose to give my husband my checkbook, debit, credit cards, change all my passwords on the computer, hand over my car keys. And I chose to get help each time, even to the point of temp volentary commitment a few times.
      Because you know why? Deep inside my family is more important than some superficial wants for myself.

      Unless you are so far out of your head you don’t know who you are (that can happen) you’re​ responsible for making choices.

  26. j says:

    I HATE when people play devil’s advocate – using an extreme example you don’t really believe to make a point. in order to…win the interview? which by her own words, she was doing. It just muddies the argument and confuses everybody.

    i think she accidentally brought up an important point – there are no perfect victims or perpetrators. that’s a real conversation to have. neither side looks/behaves like what we’d expect a lot of the time. however, she’s revealed herself as an apologist for abusers and harmers of others.

    • milla says:

      I like being that devil’s advocate. Because most deserve some kind of second chance or another pov.

      But you cannot defend some people. You cannot defend pure hate cos there is no but. Sometimes, the right thing is to shut up and don’t bother. Saying anything good about Hitler, especially in this climate, it is just feeding that hate and evil, which he woke in already disturbed people

    • Anna says:

      “devil’s advocate” is usually that, defending the devil with whatever b.s. excuses. I’ve never heard anyone say that phrase who wasn’t either trying to stir up some shit, not wanting to deal with their shit so trying to deflect, or just plain on some bullshit

  27. mela says:

    is that a string of drool hanging from her mouth?

    is she trying’ to look froth at the mouth cray? man she use to be so cool and beautiful, what happened? she’s a has been

  28. reverie says:

    Oh man. Another example of a good person with nothing but good intentions trying to apply their philosophy to a given situation and coming off idiotic, out of tune, detached, high af and cold. In theory what she was saying is ultimately what the world needs more of… goodness, perception, facts, warmth and love. But even those things when applied to delicate situations like the Holocaust just don’t work. Philosophy and reality just don’t work. Oh Erica…

  29. HannahF says:

    As a family law attorney I frequently tell my clients that no one is all good or all bad but rather we are all shades of gray. While most of us are in the middle somewhere, there are people who fall on each end of the spectrum. To me, as a child of Holocaust Survivors, Hitler and Farrakhan are at the far, far, FAR end of the spectrum. Nothing they have done is forgivable. NOTHING.

  30. Izzy says:

    And now my Jewish a** is here to tell her to Take. Several. Seats.

  31. thaliasghost says:

    Oh boy. I love her. But sometimes having heard nothing but yeses for years and having your opinion valued doesn’t do any good. Maybe if you are called out on something and don’t even know the meaning of the word, you think and research before you speak next.

  32. Jaded says:

    I doubt she’s ever been to Dachau… I doubt she’s ever been to Anne Frank House. I’ve been to both and left sobbing uncontrollably. She strikes me as someone who thinks she’s in touch with the energy all around her because she’s an “artiste”, a creator, and that everyone else with a creative bone in their bodies should be congratulated for it, even Hitler. However I dare her to go visit these places and feel the energy they emanate. I’m a Reiki teacher and practitioner and as such am pretty in tune with energy and I can tell you I never felt such sadness, horror and pathos as I did visiting those places. She denigrates the millions upon millions of people who died horrible deaths at the hand of the devil and for that I can’t tolerate her utterly thoughtless and vapid comments.

    • Dee says:

      I was at Anne Frank house this past summer, something I’ve wanted to do for so long, and I cried the entire time, and for a good few hour after. If you sit on the benches across the canal from her house, it really puts it in to perspective for you. I want to visit Auschwitz in the coming future, but don’t think I am strong enough for it.

  33. LittlefishMom says:

    It’s the chronic.