Images of America -
Analyzing Music Videos: Erykah Badu
Integrated U. S. History and American Literature Class
Deborah Aufdenspring and Sandra Mings-Lamar
New Technology High School, Napa, CA
(Quick Links to related pages)
Below are some captured stills from a music video that will help you
understand the kinds of analyses you are expected to do. Remember that all
captured stills are the property of the particular music video copyright
holder. Stills are to be used in your scholarly work only and copyrights
"Next Lifetime" - Erykah
"Next Lifetime" shows Erykah Badu in three time periods, two
historical (in Africa and the U.S.) and one imagined (in the future). There
are a number of historical images in the first two periods. Besides singing
about love, is Badu (who was co-director) making other statements? About
history? About struggles? About morality? About the role of women?
All Erykah Badu stills copyright Kedar Entertainmemt / Universal
Is there a significance to the date "1637 A.D." at the beginning
of the video?
Most of our ancestors came to America from somewhere else. Only one
group came in the chains of slavery. Is Badu's video saying anything about
that and about conditions in the "motherland?"
What was "The Movement?" Why was it chosen as a title?
Who are these hooded figures?----------
What's the history here?
How do they relate to what's going on in the video?
The video has a wealth of detail. African-American politics in this
period was never tightly united. Along with traditional African-American
political organizations, there were "black power" and "black
nationalist" groups. Are there clues to various organizations and factions
in the video?
Introduction - Analyzing Music Videos
Music Video Assignment
Comparing and Contrasting Music Videos
Stills of Sample Videos, with Sample Analysis Questions:
Billy Joel.....Erykah Badu.....Pop
up Videos.....Tracy Lawrence
Rage Against the Machine.....Vince
For examples of recent student projects on analyzing music videos:
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