Erykah Badu attends The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2017 in London, England.
Samir Hussein—Samir Hussein/WireImage
By Raisa Bruner
January 24, 2018

Leave it to Erykah Badu, beloved artist and mystical persona, to baffle fans and audiences in her latest interview.

In a wide-ranging chat with Vulture about everything from musical vibrations to midwifery to motherhood, Badu waxed poetic about her empathetic character. And in one instance, even the interviewer became flummoxed by her musings.

“I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler,” she said, adding “Hitler was a wonderful painter.” She continued: “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.”

Her comments came in response to a line of questioning about controversial statements she’d made in the past.

“I’m an observer who can see good things and bad things,” she had explained. “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.” She further rejected the label of anti-Semitism, noting that she wasn’t aware of “what anti-Semitism was” at the time the charge was leveled at her.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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