Promotional Tour Poster
On the album teaser, “Bow Down,” Beyonce` made it a point to say “I took some time to live my life, but I’m not just his little wife” to remind everyone that even though she’s madly in love with her rapper/mogul husband, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, no one will limit the definitions of her identity or life roles. Over the span of their roughly 12 year relationship, the couple has intently kept their personal life personal and their professional lives as such, only mixing their brands long enough to do a few song collaborations. I find this to be brilliant, as all too often women become so enmeshed with their mates, they don’t know who they are or have a sense of purpose outside of the relationship and have to start from the ground-up should the relationship end. Despite this and all of Beyonce’s many individual accomplishments, some people still attribute her success to the man standing beside her (gotta love gender bias). With Beyonce` clearly being aware of how quickly people will underestimate her based on the ring on her finger, I can’t understand for the life of me why she would name her tour (and, according to rumors, her album) “The Mrs. Carter Show.” After sweating hard to build an empire on her own name since before she was old enough to drive, she’s picked a title that doesn’t reflect that? 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of her 1st solo single, “Crazy in Love,” and album, “Dangerously in Love.” It would be awesome and celebratory to build her promotional campaign around that, especially with Pepsi at the helm, but no, you’re going to put focus on your marital status. Hell, if we’re going to name the tour and album after someone else, let’s call it the “BeyHive Tour,” because after all, that’s who she’s putting the show on for anyway.
Bottoms up for Beyonce`
This morning, Beyoncè officially got her Pepsi ball (the star has a new million-dollar sponsorship and endorsement deal with the soda giant) rolling with an official 1-minute "Live For Now" commercial that debuts her reported 1st single from her forthcoming album. The ad wasn't of Michael Jackson epic proportions, but anyone who has followed the Queen Bey's career will find sheer delight in it as she quite literally 'reflects' on her past and faces off with former versions of herself, concluding with "Embrace your past, but live for now." What you hear of her new track is a bouncy, urban beat with international influence that might remind you of 2011's "Run the World," but it's much more catchy and attractive. A full version of the song is rumored to be released on Monday. Watch and love the commercial below.
"Uh-oh" would have a new meaning for Beyonce`
By Eddie J., contributing writer
When you’re at the top of your game with few blemishes or scandals, people start to wait for you to slip up. It’s clear that’s the case with Beyonce`, considering the ridiculous frenzy her singing on top of a track at President Obama’s 2nd inauguration caused. Despite that so-called “blunder,” Beyonce` is about to begin a sold-out tour without a new album out. Here are 5 things Beyonce` would have to do if she really wanted to flush her career down her gold and marble toilet. This list started out as satirical, but when you think it about it, it could really apply.
#5 Release an Album of "Bow Down"-esque Music
In light of the new sampler, hype has surrounded the "King B's" name as promo for her upcoming album continues. Although some of the Bees are living, I honestly don't think any fan of hers could endure an entire album or concert of Rihanna-styled club anthems. We know she's gonna have ballads and blah blah blah, but if every other track consisted of something as ratchet as the teaser, people would live for a week, only to live in the glory days of "4" the following week later. But this would only be the beginning of the end. After she releases an album of crappy hood anthems, Beyonce` would have to...
#4 Start Having "Accidental" Body Exposure
Nipple slips on Good Morning America, naked pictures or videos of her and Jay-Z conceiving their next child Red Oak, hell, even Instagram bathroom pictures of her mooning the world would start to build icing on the cake, cake, cake, cake. The snowball would only get bigger, not because we view her as an innocent virgin who gave immaculate birth to Blue Ivy in a lowly Texas manger, but because legends who didn't become such by being trashy don't usually mix well with audiences when their trashiness ensues. Sure, Madonna can flash audiences while on stage, but that's because she's been doing that since she started. Beyonce` couldn't afford to cross over into the depths of "MediaTakeOut chic" as a mother and icon in the making at age 31. Especially since she's now managing herself; without a Mathew Knowles (AKA "Knowl-ivia Pope") figure in her corner, it would probably be impossible for her to turn that into a PR positive. I mean think about it, if someone like Celine Dion accidentally exposed themselves in pictures or onstage, do you think all would be forgiven? Case in point, Janet Jackson. Looking at her album sales after her Superbowl “Nipplegate” in 2004, it appears the answer is no. So now that the queen has lost her “good” image appeal, the next thing to do is...
SoundCloud single art
Well, the BeyHive (Beyonce’s fanbase) has been aching for ANY sign of new material and it isn’t clear if Beyonce’s upcoming album is finished or if there are plans for a single release in the near future, so it seems the Queen Bey decided to try to pacify her eager fans with a short audio teaser. Recently posted to her Tumblr, “Bow Down/I Been On” has one sung verse and one verse in Houston “chopped/screwed” style. The chopped/screwed part is mostly thanks and random ramblings, while Beyonce` boasts about being top-notch and reminds everyone that taking an extended break (the singer took hiatuses right before her 2011“4” album and around her pregnancy) does not mean she’s “fallen off” and she isn’t solely defined by her marital status. While I liked the sentiments behind the reminders, I didn’t care for the bragging tone of the song, the expletives or the musical production; it gave me post-traumatic stress flashbacks of the inartistic, basic and unsophisticated “Sasha Fierce” portion of “I AM…Sasha Fierce” (ex. “Video Phone” & “Diva”). “Bow” gave me elements of what I don’t like about some of Rihanna’s music and if you follow my site, you know that’s never a good thing. I hope that this isn’t indicative of what her new album will sound like. Listen to the track here.
Someone posted “I've been looking forward to a psych analysis of Beyoncé's doc from you,” so here it is. This one is for you :) Sorry it took so long; I ironically was on vacation in Beyonce’s hometown of Houston, which I refer to as the BeyHive promise-land :) Beyonce’s HBO documentary, “Life is But a Dream,” is relatable to anyone who is at a crossroad in their life and having to make uneasy choices. On her journey to trusting herself and listening to her inner voice, Beyonce` takes us through the process of deciding what to do with her art and personal life, restructuring her complicated relationship with her father, keeping her marriage strong and recovering from a miscarriage. As fan Angelena (@PoeticMoment) tweeted, “It was about more than her; but about faith and purpose;” and it truly was. Unsure of what direction to take in my own life as it pertains to my career aspirations, I felt so inspired by the film and my respect for Beyonce` as an artist and individual deepened. I figured that if someone who’s expected to have so much confidence and few questions about their life path could manage to feel discombobulated and get through it, maybe what seems unconquerable in my life really isn’t. The documentary serves almost as a how-to guide to finding resolve, peace and bravery in the face of fear or uncertainty. I know that sounds like a big statement, but if one listens closely, they can pull that from it. In a nutshell, the lessons to me were:
“I believe everything in our life, every person in our life…every relationship…everything is there for a reason and when you really pay attention, there’s certain little clues we get; it’s so crystal clear what the next step is. It’s like a puzzle; everything is in it right place and as we grow, we take the next step, the dots get connected and eventually we become what we’re supposed to be.”
This quote in particular struck a chord because just a few weeks ago, I was asking a dear friend of mine, who’s a theology student, how he undoubtedly knows what route God wants him to take. In the past, I felt that God guided me with my instincts, but currently, I don’t have any strong senses in any direction. My friend suggested I start a journal and be sure to write down even small details and search for a pattern. Speaking of God, if you’ve followed Beyonce’s career, you know that spirituality and faith has always been an integral facet of her life. I am still so in awe of how connected she is to her God and senses him everywhere. Even though I grew up in a conservative Christian household, I’ve always struggled to consistently sense the presence of God in an overwhelming way, but enough about me.
“I don’t know why I’m so fortunate and so blessed… my mom always told me that my grandmother was in the church lighting candles and praying for her and I am a result of my grandmother’s prayers. My mother prays for me all the time and I pray for my daughter all the time. God is real and God lives inside of me and inside of all of us and it doesn’t matter where I am, I know that and I feel it…it’s a tingling. It’s love. I feel it when I look at my child and I feel it when I look at my husband. It’s God.”
“I felt like God was giving me the chance to assist in a miracle…My baby was born out of a conflict in my life and that struggle had to be settled. If I hadn’t have gone through the pain, if I hadn’t had gone down the path, I’d probably be touring right now or shooting videos or editing a TV special. There’s no drum-roll or trumpet that goes off when you make the biggest decisions in your life. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you’ve made them.”
On the entertainment side of things, I just loved all of Beyonce’s commentary on her own music and the state of the industry. It’s really a double-edged sword as a pop-artist; commerciality gives you access to the world, but it often ends up being a stifling agent that defeats your purpose for wanting to reach a wider audience. “I felt like I had been so commercially successful; it wasn’t enough. There’s something really stressful about having to keep up with that. There’s something really crippling; you can’t express yourself. I don’t want to have to sing about the same thing for 10 more years. I want to be able to sing about how much I hate myself that day if that’s how I feel” (Check out my perspective on Beyonce’s discography here).
“People don’t make albums anymore…they just try to sell a bunch of little, quick singles; then they burn out and they put out a new one…people don’t even listen to a body of work anymore.”
Now that she has the household name, I’m beyond glad to see her at a place where she plans to make it more about quality versus quantity (which is why “4” and “Dangerously in Love” are my favorite albums). There are more than enough successful examples of artists who matched quality and quantity, but industry heads act like you have to choose. Oh, by the way, there’s a clip where she’s relived to get the approval of record label executives after an album preview meeting. I wanted to vomit. It makes me sick that some artists give their time, talent, heart and soul into a creation, only to have a small panel of people (who may or may not match the fan demographic) decide if it’s “good enough” for the masses. Who knows what musical gems never made it to a store shelf.
Bey with Joe Thiesmann
YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! The pre-superbowl NFL press conference featuring Beyonce` aired today on the NFL Network and the megastar lead off by addressing the lip-synching hoopla that surrounded her inauguration performance on January 21st, singing the U.S. National Anthem ACAPELLA and finishing by playfully saying "Any questions?" When asked by reporters what exactly happened, Beyonce` explained that she sung on top of a pre-recorded track as a precaution because she didn't have an opportunity to rehearse with the Marine Corps. Band and wanted the historic moment to be perfect. When questioned if she will lip-synch at the Superbowl on Sunday as many other halftime performers have, she reiterated that she always sings live and will definitely do so for the show. She was coy about whether or not her Destiny's Child sisters will join her onstage or if she will be on tour soon, but gave notice that fans need to be on the lookout. She also completed a very cute and funny post-conference interview; you can see both in full below. Ever focused on her craft and full of composed, positive energy, Beyonce` usually doesn't respond to negativity or rumors, but I was glad to see her shut mouths and nip it all in the bud- especially since she did it in such a classy way. I LOVE MY BEY! After hearing about how it made Beyonce` emotionally upset to be accused of "faking" her pregnancy following a heart-breaking miscarriage, I have been infuriated as a fan. Like the rest of the BeyHive, I hate for Beyonce` to experience any sadness or hurt. This is why I have ALWAYS kept her and other artists in my prayers. Life is hard on it's own without the scrutiny and vices that loom over the entertainment industry.
HBO promo poster
Some fans were concerned that Beyonce's upcoming HBO documentary "Life is But a Dream" would be a flat regurgitation of previous behind-the-scenes short films by the star, but the new trailer released today by Yahoo! News is very promising as Beyonce` discusses the artistic traps of being a commercial artist and concealing a pregnancy while promoting her 2011 album, "4." Her comments about her struggle to sustain artistry while having big sales confirm my long-held theories and thoughts about the design of her discography (See "The Discography Analyzed"). In short, her two middle albums ("B'Day" & "I Am...Sasha Fierce") served to expand her audience and make her an ever-marketable figure, but it has subsequently bit her in her fantastic butt, as those albums generated a fan-base that will expect her to continue to make the same type of music. Back on the subject of the documentary, this trailer makes me even more eager for the premiere on February 16th :) You can check out the trailer below.
DC's new release cover
Seriously, this time, it's not a rumor! Beyonce` posted on her Facebook fan-page earlier today: "I am so proud to announce the first original Destiny's Child music in eight years!" One of the biggest-selling girl groups of all time returns with "Love Songs," a collection of previously released romantic tracks with a NEW song, “Nuclear," produced by Pharrell. I AM SO FREAKIN' EXCITED! No, it's not a new full-length album, but after almost 10 years, I'll take anything fresh! I'm so elated to know that the girls got back in the studio together. Anyone who knows me or follows this portion of the site knows that I adore and have great respect Destiny's Child and what they represented. I hope that this is only the beginning of reunion work. Who knows, maybe we'll see Kelly Rowland & Michelle Williams appear on stage with the Queen Bey at the Superbowl! "Love Songs" will be available on January 29th; you can pre-order it now here: http://smarturl.it/dc_lovesongs_amzn
Bey's racy February 2013 cover
BeyHive, we all get a little riled up when people suggest that Beyonce` isn’t a “real” artist or that there isn’t much of a difference between her and your average pop-tart. We only know better because we watch everything she does and listen to every bit of music. Despite how unfair or upsetting other’s criticisms are, we can’t blame them sometimes as they’re on the outside-looking-in and can only go off of what they see or hear. Beyonce` dons the February cover of GQ wearing a bikini piece and a tiny shirt with the bottom of her breasts peeking out. This is the type of cover that other female artists usually do, not Beyonce`. When I make the argument that Beyonce` isn’t as risqué or suggestive as some other artists, I mention that I’ve never seen even a sliver of Beyonce’s private parts; can’t use that as a talking point now. Bey has done a lot to differentiate herself musically, personally and with her image. She is often applauded for her regality and considered a healthy role model for women. A cover like this gives the impression to the unknowing that’s she just another scantily-clad singer whose career is dependent or based on sex appeal. I’m not saying it’s all over now because of this one magazine cover; I’m saying this cover is counteractive to a more positive perception. Not to mention, it gives more fuel to those who argue Bey’s status as a symbol of female empowerment and claim she objectifies herself. Do you think the cover is too sexy or revealing?
Seriously Beyonce`, WTH?!?
Most people figure out pretty quickly that I LOVE Beyonce`. She is my queen diva of choice. But every now and then, she does something that irritates or perplexes me. Here, I tell what's been buggin me about the Bee lately (with reviews and love for the Queen Bee in between).