Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
nymusix

The Beyonce Topic

Recommended Posts

Quote

 I don't know how many times I've heard people say she has no personality because of it. Clearly most people want crazy, sex, arrogance, etc. because that's more 'interesting' than someone elegant and healthy (mentally).

I think that's a false dichotomy/strawman. I vaguely remember hearing that Jordin was a pageant girl. I think that's the issue. People want "authenticity" even if that authenticity is a lie. What they don't want is someone practiced and polished who is too self-conscious. Those were some of the criticisms of Beyonce back in the day... that and thinking she was secretly horrible and doing all manner of things to boss around Kelly and Michelle. 

I never found Jordin's voice that great on American Idol and I prefer Ariana and Demi. I don't know about her live performances, but at least on her albums, Demi can manage some fantastic takes. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think Ariana is alright, but there is something really odd about the way she sings (and I'm not referring to her enunciation issues). She always looks like she's having some kind of seizure in her throat when I see her perform. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up having to have surgery in a couple of years, like Adele and several others out there.

Share this post


Link to post

Resurrecting this thread to pose another theory about Auntie-yonce (tm Jon Caramanica).

I think I've figured out what bugs me the most about Beyonce. It's not even so much her, but her fans. I think it really boils down to this:

Beyonce. Is. Basic.

I realized it after reading this article about female artists having a hard time breaking through, so to speak. That, combined with the previous discussion about how Beyonce is one of the only black female artists to have a mainstream career in the past ten years, and combined with burgeoning artists like Tinashe, Kelela, SZA, Kehlani, who have made waves but still haven't broken wide quite yet.

Then, I read this article about Jessie Ware where they said something that was very profound, and it immediately made me think of Beyonce. They said, "Catering to the masses is hardly a crime, but the tendency to go big and basic may prove a chink in Ware’s otherwise flawlessly sleek armour."

To me, "big and basic" describes Bouncy to a T. And it's not really her fault, or even a bad thing, but I think what bugs me are the sycophants. Part of me thinks people think by liking Beyonce that it makes them more fabulous and sexy and fierce or whatever than they are. But I think Beyonce's success is proof that, at the end of the day, we kinda want big and basic.

We want legs, we want the sparkly one-piece, we want the long, tumbling mane of hair flowing effortlessly, we want the fierce poses, we want the vocals that are 1/3 growling, 1/3 rapping, 1/3 high notes, we want the songs about how bad/sexy we are and how our man ain't shit, and we want the pop-locking and ass-clapping choreography. I think some people claim to like quirky and edgy, and when it comes to portrayals of black women in the media, people claim to want diversity, but I think Beyonce is kinda proof that that's more or less BS. You want the larger-than-life superstar who fits all the Hollywood standards of beauty and all the classic ideals of talent.

Share this post


Link to post

I was actually thinking about something similar today when Ave Maria from I Am Sasha Fierce came up in shuffle. That was 2008. Pink Panther was 2006. And I remember that was still a time when people were somewhat skeptical of Beyonce and her artistic credibility. She got called a "black Barbie" and a lot of worse things. She was accused of being fake and manufactured, of not writing her songs but taking songwriting credit... and this was back when nostalgia for Destiny's Child hadn't fully kicked in and this was what it meant to be the Beyonce of the group. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASCZgbJxC8

But I actually think that she's made a pretty sizable shift. In some ways she's just as fake and manufactured. Or "big and basic." But since Sasha Fierce, I think she's made a real play for legitimacy and mostly earned it. She's shown off vocal prowess and played with different genres. She's adopted pop feminism. Her songs have more depth and display more vulnerability. Of course, her music is still a bit problematic. "Formation" has the same weird vibe as Demi Lovato's "Instruction" with the addition of lines like "slay trick or you get eliminated" that make you question whether it's about female empowerment or just Beyonce empowerment. 

So basically, I'm not disagreeing with you but I think that Beyonce has managed to earn enough artistic credibility that she's no longer seen as basic. Lemonade was weird and aggressive and specific enough that for enough people it was edgy and raw and all the words for unique that are coded positive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/22/2018 at 1:28 PM, 27bored said:

Resurrecting this thread to pose another theory about Auntie-yonce

Why does it seem like this thread is always resurrected for this reason? Was she deserving of the racist attacks from racists who didn't like her protesting against police brutality? No. Is she single handedly responsible for pushing out other black artists? The sensible answer is also no, the industry now has barely any room for women, let alone black women. This isn't making theories, this is concern trolling.

On 1/22/2018 at 1:28 PM, 27bored said:

You want the larger-than-life superstar who fits all the Hollywood standards of beauty and all the classic ideals of talent.

Maybe urban dictionary is out of date, but being classically beautiful and classically talented (or fitting those ideals) is soooo not what "basic" means.

Edited by quangtran
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, quangtran said:

Why does it seem like this thread is always resurrected for this reason? Was she deserving of the racist attacks from racists who didn't like her protesting against police brutality? No. Is she single handedly responsible for pushing out other black artists? The sensible answer is also no, the industry now has barely any room for women, let alone black women. This isn't making theories, this is concern trolling.

I don't know how many racist attacks she received after the whole Formation/Super Bowl performance thing -- unless you're correlating specific criticism with racism given Beyonce is a black woman -- but I wasn't bothered by it. Not because I believed she deserved those attacks, mind you, but more on principle. When celebrities wade into socio-political topics, they tend to have a sort of shield from tangible backlash (not hashtags and Twitter eggs clapping back) because they have money. So I'm all for people being big and brave and having to deal with the consequences (i.e., police officers who will have to take overtime to protect you when you bring show to town not wanting to do it). Beyonce decided to weigh in and be "controversial", people reacted. It is what it is.

Do I think she's single-handedly responsible for pushing out other black female artists? Single-handedly? Probably not. But I do think she's been mostly the recipient of it. It's confounded me for years that we just decided to coalesce around Beyonce to the exclusion of not only many other black female artists, but even her contemporaries. And like I said, there's always been this weird Madonna/Whore thing with Beyonce compared to other black females. How many black female artists these days could be considered post-Beyonce? Like, pretty, good singing voice, from a nice home, not interested in fame beyond the stage, old-school diva? I would argue that we've seen post-Rihanna (Kelela, SZA, Kehlani, BiBi Bourelly, FKA Twigs when she's feeling up to it) and post-Nicki Minaj (Cardi B, Rapsody, even Remy, who is older, but is having a resurgence) -- two artists that haven't been around nearly as long as Beyonce -- but post-Beyonce? Eh.

Maybe urban dictionary is out of date, but being classically beautiful and classically talented (or fitting those ideals) is soooo not what "basic" means.

Of course. My point is Beyonce's presentation as a star is basic. Meant for mass market consumption. And pretty generic. There's little if anything challenging or quirky or provocative about Beyonce. 

I could make the same point about white female pop stars, like my girl Pink. In Europe and Australia, Pink is huge. Here? We kinda forget she's still around for the most part. Some of that has to do with her image. Pink's aerobicized physique, cropped hair, tattoos, songs where she swears a lot and sings about self-empowerment, don't really do it for us en masse. Pink doesn't make a bunch of love songs she doesn't mean and she wears pants. That's not going to move the blogs. Same with Lorde.

Speaking of hair: when I made that previous post, I went to YouTube and ironically, my YouTube feed recommended "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston, and the thumbnail was Whitney with long, flowing brown hair. Almost...like...Beyonce's. I'm just saying. And I remember seeing Diana Ross at the AMAs and old clips of her with that long, flowing beauty pageant ass hair.

Beyonce is our Whtiney and Diana, and she's wearing the uniform, complete with the tumbling mane of hair.

Share this post


Link to post

13 minutes ago, 27bored said:

When celebrities wade into socio-political topics, they tend to have a sort of shield from tangible backlash (not hashtags and Twitter eggs clapping back) because they have money.

This complaint about outspoken celebs has always been situational and never applied with any kind of consistency. Second, that the downright false. Beyonce was certainly faced tangible backlash. Same as the Dixie Chicks. Same as the Lorde right now. A legit backlash doesn't require people's lives to be in danger.

Given the cultural zeitgeist, people like Beyonce HAD to have to have a say and others (especially her fans) wanted to know her stance. Taylor Swift took faaaar to long to make a stand, hence she ended up unfairly being accused of being an neo-nazi figurehead by association.

23 minutes ago, 27bored said:

Beyonce decided to weigh in and be "controversial", people reacted. It is what it is.

Being pro-black and being against the shooting deaths of unarmed black people should not be considered "controversial". Saying that "you can see why is ruffled some feathers" uses the lazy "both sides are at fault" argument, when it really just distracts people from wanting to admit that Beyonce was in the right and that her new right-wing enemies she's made were in the wrong.

45 minutes ago, 27bored said:

Do I think she's single-handedly responsible for pushing out other black female artists? Single-handedly? Probably not.

Then why keep brainging up half-hearted topics? I don't think any of these theories are done in good faith.

28 minutes ago, 27bored said:

That's not going to move the blogs. Same with Lorde

But they do. All the women you've mentioned do appear on blogs and magazine covers precisely because they are conventionally attractive.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

Here’s the new song with DJ Khaled ft Future, Jay Z, and Beyonce:

Apparently she’s taking blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots at Drake and Tiffany Haddish. 

I don’t know if that’s as important as the fact that the song is wack. The trap production already sounds dated, this sounds like a throwaway hook from Future, and I don’t need another bragging song by Jay Z OR Beyonce, and definitely not together.

Also, I think Beyonce is due for a We Belong Together-esque return-to-form by now, right? I think she’s gotten enough mileage out of the sung-rap thing she does.

Share this post


Link to post

Beyonce performed at Coachella this past weekend, even though you’d think she’d parted the Red Sea by the reactions. 

Like I said, Beyonce is basic, and we love basic. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/16/2018 at 10:22 PM, 27bored said:

Beyonce performed at Coachella this past weekend, even though you’d think she’d parted the Red Sea by the reactions. 

Like I said, Beyonce is basic, and we love basic. 

Explain what you mean by basic. I know people are acting like Bey gave the I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington, which Coachella clearly was not. But for almost two hours, she sang well, she danced her ass off, she constantly engaged with the audience, she was gorgeous, and her entire production was first rate. I simply couldn’t tear my eyes away from computer screen—except when she left the stage for costume changes. I’m not a member of the Bey hive, BTW. My only complaint is that the song snippets were too short. For example, she sang ONE line of ‘Irreplaceable’ before moving on. But I guess I’d also complain if she left out songs completely. 

And the other telling fact for me was that everyone who came on stage with her: Kelly, Michelle, Solange, and even Jay-Z were all, well, basic. In other words, good, but not great. They never pulled my focus from Beyoncé—she was the one with the energy, the amazing dance moves, the strong (ish) voice, and the eye-catching costumes. 

But can she ditch the onesies, please? I just don’t find them flattering on her. Even the skimpy boyfriend shorts (which I’m generally not a fan of) looked better than the onesie. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Late to commenting on the Coachella performance, but all it did for me is remind me that Beyonce is great FOR HER TIME, but still hasn't done anything to earn her right to sit at the table with MJ.

For a superstar, her choreography is basic at best and their were plenty of times she appeared out of breath. I would've loved to have seen just one routine that doesn't evolve shaking or showing her ass.The fact that a lot of the songs were just snippets kind of bugged too. Her strength is that she has excellent stage presence, I'll give her that.

I do look forward to her seeing what direction her next album goes in, now that they marital drama is squashed and she's aging out of the sex kitten persona.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/20/2018 at 12:22 PM, topanga said:

Explain what you mean by basic. I know people are acting like Bey gave the I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington, which Coachella clearly was not. But for almost two hours, she sang well, she danced her ass off, she constantly engaged with the audience, she was gorgeous, and her entire production was first rate. I simply couldn’t tear my eyes away from computer screen—except when she left the stage for costume changes. I’m not a member of the Bey hive, BTW. My only complaint is that the song snippets were too short. For example, she sang ONE line of ‘Irreplaceable’ before moving on. But I guess I’d also complain if she left out songs completely. 

I just think Beyonce is very by-the-numbers, and all the adulation she gets kind of obfuscates that.

It was an entertaining show, but it did feel like Battle-of-the-Bands-Goes-Beyonce. The premise kind of wore thin after two hours.

Edited by 27bored
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I and majority of the people who watched that performance enjoyed. It was probably one of her blackest performance in front of one of the whitest crowd out there and she slayed it. Regardless of how many people downplay her talent, Beyoncé is the best entertainer of her generation. 

beyonce-judging-you.gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So I've heard Everything Is Love. Ugh...

I'll say this: as an album for the Summer, this mostly works. I'm not a fan of every song (it's only nine of them), but it works for what it's supposed to be. The first single "Apeshit" manages to sound dated and even though Quavo ad-libs on the track and you might think his contribution is muted, it sounds like a Migos record. Still, it's good as turn-up music.

The album also works to tie up the Lemonade/4:44 trilogy. The songs kind of addresses certain portions of Jay and Bey's celebrity narrative, usually in a blythe, seemingly unbothered kind of way. It's nice that they're at least notionally aware of what their detractors say about them.

All that said, this album doesn't make Beyonce look good at all. I mean, I'm actually a little concerned for her and her career going forward. I know they're supposed to be this power couple and the standard for Black Excellence or whatever, but they're not in the same place in their careers by a long shot.

This album and the above video makes Beyonce look very...common. Common in the way Effie said it to Deena in Dreamgirls. Common in the way Rihanna's pretty common. I know Beyonce has built up a reputation over her two-plus decades in the business as polite and ladylike, so to hear her adopt this B-girl, round-the-way-chick mien and start mean-mugging the camera and swearing is kind of a thrill, but this album just makes Beyonce look and sound like another thotty. When she says in "Don't Hurt Yourself" that Jay Z would "watch my fat ass twist, boy ... as I bounce to the next dick, boy" it felt real. She sounded hurt, vindictive, cathartic, and like she was really airing her id as a faithful wife who was betrayed. On "Apeshit" when she talks about "reversing on the dick skrrt", she sounds like somebody's mama who is about to embarrass herself. I remember after her self-titled album came out where she wore this "naked dress" with a side ponytail to the Met Gala. I remember how the entire time she looked...not very comfortable. She looked a little desperate. It's not that she looked bad in it. Beyonce's a beautiful woman with a beautiful figure, but compare her with someone like J. Lo or even Kim Kardashian (who gets some shrapnel on this album) who wear skimpy outfits but sort of maintain a certain presence while doing so and Beyonce just looked a little ridiculous. Add to that the more sexualized tone her music and image took in general and it just made me think there was something else going on.

My suspicions were partially confirmed when she said she tried to be softer and prettier and less awake on Lemonade. I was like maybe that was her way of coping. Getting Jay Z to notice her and how sexy she could be.

But this makes her look desperate in a slightly different way. She looks desperate to keep her husband. I don't know if Beyonce is trying to come off harder to take some of the heat off Jay Z, because a lot of her fans aren't really feeling him for cheating on her, and they're not really checking out this tour because he's a big part of it. I don't know if Jay Z expressed in therapy that he felt she didn't support him enough or that she ruined his image by releasing Lemonade, or what. But Beyonce sounds angry and atonal and mirthless on this album called Everything is Love. Even in that video, she barely smiles once. Why are you mean-mugging so much?

Let me say this -- and I mean no offense by this whatsoever although if you've been watching some of the reactions on Twitter and YouTube you know I'm kinda right -- if Lemonade was for her female fans, this album is mostly for her gay male fan base. The emphasis on rapping, the cussing, the shade at unnamed side chicks and Spotify and The Haters, the raunchy lyrics, the "I'm A Boss/Bow Down/Get On My Level" lyrics, the mawkish lyrics about love -- the queens love that. There's nothing wrong with her keeping her fan base happy and if that's where she is artistically, but it's not especially endearing to everyone else. Bey, you're almost thirty-eight years old with three kids and rumor is you're pregnant with a fourth -- you're not Cardi B. People accept that kind of boss talk from Jay Z because he made a career on it, but even those people kinda want Jay Z to sit down and raise his kids at this point. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Alright! Beyonce's Homecoming documentary. Let's talk about it.

First, the good.
 

Spoiler

The doc was very real in the behind the scenes parts. Especially showing Beyonce after she'd given birth and at dance rehearsal for the first time. The baby weight and not getting the steps right and all that...kudos to her for that. And the progression of her getting her figure back. The fact that she rehearsed with the band for four months, and then had four months of dance rehearsals...was crazy. In a good way.

I like that she doesn't talk crazy to her people. She's professional, a perfectionist, but...she doesn't come out of pocket. She rehearsed on her anniversary. She was very honest about how rehearsing and taking care of her twins with the breast feeding wore on her. Just the chronicling of the hard work was admirable.

The execution of such a production was great. Much props to all the dancers and musicians and crew involved. I liked that she's started to weave narratives with her own songs. I think she did "Sorry" and then did a bit of "Kitty Kat" from B' Day, almost like a freestyle, in the middle. That's a clever move.

Towards the end she included an audio clip of Maya Angelou and I gotta admit, it made me tear up a little. Something about Maya Angelou's voice breaks my heart in a way I can't really describe but just hearing her say when her work is finished, she'll be called home, and she isn't afraid...and to tell the truth, first to yourself, then to the children...ugh. I'm in my feelings now just remembering it. And even Beyonce gave me life when she said she wanted to inspire people to dream big and "if my country ass can do it, you can do it". I literally clapped at that. I had to talk myself out of joining the Beyhive-minati for a few minutes after that. But I'm just saying, I felt that.

Now for the critiques:
 

Spoiler

Barely any of it was sang live. Don't kid yourself because some of it seemed "spontaneous", that was almost all tracking with space for her to improv. You could tell even from rehearsals. She talked a lot about dancing, you saw her rehearsing her dancing, but there was only like a half-second clip of her singing anything BTS. And like, I know it's about the spectacle, but she pre-recorded her vocals and committed to the performance. As a fan of live singing, it was disappointing.

I'm familiar with the HBCU/marching-band culture, and her saying she wanted to go to an HBCU when she was younger and that being part of the inspiration for the show, was cool, but I wasn't impressed by the Beyonce-meets-Drumline concept overall. Again, I understand it from a familiarity standpoint, but even with this concept, and as someone who is a fairweather Beyonce fan, a lot of the show was very predictable. I was sitting there saying "she's about to do Crazy in Love, now she's gonna do Formation, oh here are the twins so she's gonna do Drunk in Love, aaaand now she's about to do Partition". I even paused and said she's gonna end with Halo or Love on Top and she...ended with Love on Top. I was predicting way too much about this show I was seeing for the first time, Instead of trying to "blacken up" Coachella, I'll settle for being actually surprised first.

Which brings me to her guests. Loved seeing Kelly and Solange. Kelly has kept herself up about as well as Beyonce over the years, so she was pulling off the skimpy outfits great. She sounded good when she did sing, and she can keep up (no pun intended since they did "Lose My Breath" with the choreography as good as Beyonce. Kinda makes me sad her solo career hasn't worked out as well as Beyonce's because Kelly has been at this just as long. Solange ran out looking like a polar bear, but her Beyonce did a little dance and fell on each other and it was cute.

Old ass Jay-Z and tired ass Michelle, though. I mean, they just doused the show in wack juice. Michelle still has a hard time projecting her voice and can't dance, and I'm convinced only dudes from the NY tri-state area actually give two fucks about Jay Z.

To make my next point, first allow me post a recent picture of 48 year old Jennifer Lopez:

jennifer-lopez-bending-over.png

Yeah. I fear this is where Beyonce is headed. Beyonce is a beautiful woman with a beautiful figure. She, like J. Lo, has gotten to where she is to a big extent by being hot and working hard. But I've been saying for a few years that it's time for J. Lo to give The Ass a rest, and I mean exactly what you think I mean, and I mean exactly it philosophically as well.

There were a lot of long, lingering shots of Beyonce in skimpy outfits, as well as her dancers. She's always presented a strong, sexy aesthetic -- nothing wrong with that -- but it's getting a little old, kinda like she is (in the showbiz sense). The emphasis placed on her lusciousness throughout the show and that of her dancers just didn't go with her BTS comments about wanting to represent for people who have never seen themselves on that stage and to show people that having curves is okay. It's like, ugh, girl please. You've been clapping your ass and pussy popping to these same songs for decades now. And it's 2019. If you really want to shake shit up, wear some pants. And I'm saying this as a guy. I'd have preferred 3-4 more genuine vocal moments than 3-4 more sets of Beyonce with her ass out. Like J. Lo, it's time to give The Ass a rest. It just is. Although, I will say, even though she had skimpy outfits on the majority of the show, when Jay came out, all of a sudden she had on this big ass shirt, like something you might wear when you're about to go to bed. It was sparkly or whatever, but it was very random. I guess Jay wasn't going to have his wife looking like a hoochie with him on stage. Whatevs.

All in all, it was a good doc. Didn't move the needle for me. I still think Beyonce is very ambitious, very talented, and works very hard, but can be kind of ridiculous and basic sometimes and inspires a lot of ridiculousness and basic-ness in her fans, but c'est la vie.

Edited by 27bored
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not a Beyoncé fan, really -- there are individual songs I like and I've liked most of her movie roles.  I'm also not a hater and I get impatient with people who don't give her credit as a performer because they think she's over-exposed, or believe conspiracy theories, or are all up in her marriage, etc. 

I'm 2/3 of the way through Homecoming, and I am, on the whole, really impressed.  I don't know very many of the songs from her albums (a few phrases here and there, like "Becky with the good hair"), so I'm watching with closed captioning on (yay for those captioners -- hard job!).  Lots of profanity, not my bag.  Lots of sex references, ditto (I'm old -- although I had to laugh at the "when he f--- me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster":  she owns her countryness, LOL.)  Would love for her to put on some pants. 

But, damn.  She works hard.  Those rehearsal moments when she's struggling with the choreo, or disappointed about her weight loss, or overjoyed that she can zip up her old costume, or thrilled when her "forty-eleven children" come to visit the studio -- I legit teared up.  I appreciated the touchstones of black culture being used as moments of beauty and history and fierceness.  The Nina Simone, the Malcolm X, the Audre Lorde quotes.  I loved that there was no explanation -- this was a conversation with black America, and everyone else just gets to listen in, a total reversal of the way we've been eavesdropping on white America's family conversations all our lives.  I am so impressed how she owns every moment, beat, and costume choice. 

I don't think I'm anywhere near buying into the Bey-mythology, but I can't deny she is a force majeure, for sure.  Good for her. 

Edited by Archery
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Archery said:

I don't think I'm anywhere near buying into the Bey-mythology, but I can't deny she is a force majeure, for sure.  Good for her. 

I agree. Beyonce has an It factor that you can't deny. And her work ethic is admirable. I really enjoyed Homecoming. I'd already seen the first night of Coachella on my FB feed, but I enjoyed being able to see parts of the second show--which seemed to be as good as--if not better than--the first night's performance. The behind-the-scenes-footage was enjoyable, too. But can Blue Ivy even sing? All I heard (barely) were the high-pitched squeaks of a little girl. She seems shy like her mom is/was. But also seemed lik e a nice kid who's not a brat. So there's that. 

I still don't understand what people mean when they call Beyonce basic--she has a unique vocal sound, she's a good dancer, and she does things in her concerts that no one else does. Maybe I'm just too old and can't fully grasp what it means to be basic. 

What I will say in criticism is that she tries to be all things to all people, and I can't figure out who Beyonce really is. Especially when she's being raunchy/threatening/sexual in her music, which doesn't feel authentic. It's as if she's trying impress different fan bases with different songs.

I'm not saying that Beyonce is Amish behind closed doors. And I'm sure she curses in every day conversation and likes to get freaky with her man. But I don't believe her songs about fucking people up (except Jay Z) or her songs with graphic depictions of the sex she just had.  Another example: she's all about empowering women and girls, but in certain songs, she'll call women bitches left and right. So which sentiment is real?

In contrast, Madonna loves to make overly sexual music--but she's hyper-sexual in real life. Cardi B is charming and funny in her music but also a little ratchet--but that's who she is. Lady Gaga's songs are original and weird, but that's who she is, too. And yes, Nicki Minaj's act is 90% schtick, but I also believe that she really is sex-positive, a bit of a mean girl, and has a filthy mouth--I don't question those things about her. 

I never get the feeling I'm seeing the real Beyonce on stage or in her videos. Lemonade was probably the closest I've come to understanding a little about her. But she still threw in several what she considered crowd-pleasing "Bitch, I'm the Queen" songs, too. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, topanga said:

I still don't understand what people mean when they call Beyonce basic--she has a unique vocal sound, she's a good dancer, and she does things in her concerts that no one else does. Maybe I'm just too old and can't fully grasp what it means to be basic. 

As far as I'm concerned, in a world where Ariana "I can't enunciate to save my life" Grande has become one of the biggest selling female artists, Selena Gomez is considered a "singer", the notion of Beyonce as "basic" in any way is ridiculous in my opinion. 

Yes, the Beyhive and some in the entertainment world are over the top in their adulation and deifying of her, but the fact is, like you and the other posted noted, she is a damn good singer and all around amazing performer who works her ass off and has been killing the game for almost two decades now. 

I think sometimes people forget that Beyonce is of the generation of the Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc. and when you consider what her trajectory has been compared to all of these people, it's amazing. 

3 hours ago, topanga said:

What I will say in criticism is that she tries to be all things to all people, and I can't figure out who Beyonce really is. Especially when she's being raunchy/threatening/sexual in her music, which doesn't feel authentic. It's as if she's trying impress different fan bases with different songs.

I'm not saying that Beyonce is Amish behind closed doors. And I'm sure she curses in every day conversation and likes to get freaky with her man. But I don't believe her songs about fucking people up (except Jay Z) or her songs with graphic depictions of the sex she just had.  Another example: she's all about empowering women and girls, but in certain songs, she'll call women bitches left and right. So which sentiment is real?

I think she is being real and it's just another facet of her personality. That and she just grew up and became more sexually confident in a way she wasn't in her earlier Destiny's Child days and first solo albums. Not to mention that keep in mind, in those days she was still being managed by her father.

And so much like when Mariah Carey broke free from Tommy Mottala and the outfits suddenly became tighter and shorter and she ushered in the pop singer/hip hop collaborations, Beyonce became a bolder version of herself the older she got and became more in control of her career and image. 

And it's not like Beyonce has had an overnight out of nowhere change. You can look back at her albums, performances, etc. and see how they got increasingly sexual, bolder, outfits skimpier and skimpier, etc. Also, she addressed the different "sides" of her personality with I Am...Sasha Fierce when she first told the world of her stage alter ego, aka Sasha Fierce.

She's said that when she gets on a stage, it's like she becomes a different version of her self - more confident, bolder, more daring, etc. i.e. Sasha Fierce. I do think there is an inherent shyness in Beyonce but I do think she has grown into a very confident and self assured woman as evidenced not in the skimpy and raunchy performances but how she handles her professional life. 

Beyonce manages herself. And one thing I loved about the documentary was when it showed the ways she was so meticulous and clear and direct on what she wanted and how she wanted it. And it's one thing that's often repeated about her in the media per industry gossip. That is, she's a perfectionist and extremely serious about her work and vision. 

Which is probably why we never got a drug and alcohol meltdown a la kids who start young in the business. Beyonce is incredibly focused and professional versus so many of these young celebrities who got caught up in the party lifestyle and all that mess. And all that I believe bleeds into the "badass bitch" persona she portrays on stage which is why I do think it is her, just a maybe more outrageous version of her. 

Now I do agree about the referring to women as bitches and did comment on this a few times when the Beyonce album, particularly in reference to the song Flawless. The song quotes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's words on feminism and on one hand presents itself as an anthem to women to be strong and confident and love themselves but then it's also a statement of how amazing Beyonce is and us "bitches" need to bow down to her.

And it's like yeah, a little contradictory to be demanding women bow down to you as your show of "earning respect", while calling them bitches but then say the song is a feminist anthem. And that's why I don't worship at the altar of Beyonce and think the Beyhive is ridiculous because these are the things where I feel like she means well and it's good that she is trying to support and promote black culture but she has some ways to go regarding other social issues. But hey, no one's perfect. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, topanga said:

I agree. Beyonce has an It factor that you can't deny. And her work ethic is admirable. I really enjoyed Homecoming. I'd already seen the first night of Coachella on my FB feed, but I enjoyed being able to see parts of the second show--which seemed to be as good as--if not better than--the first night's performance. The behind-the-scenes-footage was enjoyable, too. But can Blue Ivy even sing? All I heard (barely) were the high-pitched squeaks of a little girl. She seems shy like her mom is/was. But also seemed lik e a nice kid who's not a brat. So there's that. 

I still don't understand what people mean when they call Beyonce basic--she has a unique vocal sound, she's a good dancer, and she does things in her concerts that no one else does. Maybe I'm just too old and can't fully grasp what it means to be basic. 

What I will say in criticism is that she tries to be all things to all people, and I can't figure out who Beyonce really is. Especially when she's being raunchy/threatening/sexual in her music, which doesn't feel authentic. It's as if she's trying impress different fan bases with different songs.

I'm not saying that Beyonce is Amish behind closed doors. And I'm sure she curses in every day conversation and likes to get freaky with her man. But I don't believe her songs about fucking people up (except Jay Z) or her songs with graphic depictions of the sex she just had.  Another example: she's all about empowering women and girls, but in certain songs, she'll call women bitches left and right. So which sentiment is real?

In contrast, Madonna loves to make overly sexual music--but she's hyper-sexual in real life. Cardi B is charming and funny in her music but also a little ratchet--but that's who she is. Lady Gaga's songs are original and weird, but that's who she is, too. And yes, Nicki Minaj's act is 90% schtick, but I also believe that she really is sex-positive, a bit of a mean girl, and has a filthy mouth--I don't question those things about her. 

I never get the feeling I'm seeing the real Beyonce on stage or in her videos. Lemonade was probably the closest I've come to understanding a little about her. But she still threw in several what she considered crowd-pleasing "Bitch, I'm the Queen" songs, too. 

By basic I’m usually referring to the lack of uniqueness and ordinariness I see in Beyonce that’s typically masked by the spectacle around her. I think Beyonce enjoys doing the pop/R&B thing punctuated by a certain amount of ratchetness to make it seem edgy. Like you mentioned, she’s supposed to be this feminist, empowering women, and then in the next breath calling women bitches and telling them to bow down. I think a right-wing radio host, maybe even Rush Limbaugh if you can believe it, made the same point. I think some of that is Jay-Z’s stank getting on her, but there’s always a little self-worship in her music.

12 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

As far as I'm concerned, in a world where Ariana "I can't enunciate to save my life" Grande has become one of the biggest selling female artists, Selena Gomez is considered a "singer", the notion of Beyonce as "basic" in any way is ridiculous in my opinion. 

Yes, the Beyhive and some in the entertainment world are over the top in their adulation and deifying of her, but the fact is, like you and the other posted noted, she is a damn good singer and all around amazing performer who works her ass off and has been killing the game for almost two decades now. 

I think sometimes people forget that Beyonce is of the generation of the Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc. and when you consider what her trajectory has been compared to all of these people, it's amazing. 

I think she is being real and it's just another facet of her personality. That and she just grew up and became more sexually confident in a way she wasn't in her earlier Destiny's Child days and first solo albums. Not to mention that keep in mind, in those days she was still being managed by her father.

And so much like when Mariah Carey broke free from Tommy Mottala and the outfits suddenly became tighter and shorter and she ushered in the pop singer/hip hop collaborations, Beyonce became a bolder version of herself the older she got and became more in control of her career and image. 

And it's not like Beyonce has had an overnight out of nowhere change. You can look back at her albums, performances, etc. and see how they got increasingly sexual, bolder, outfits skimpier and skimpier, etc. Also, she addressed the different "sides" of her personality with I Am...Sasha Fierce when she first told the world of her stage alter ego, aka Sasha Fierce.

She's said that when she gets on a stage, it's like she becomes a different version of her self - more confident, bolder, more daring, etc. i.e. Sasha Fierce. I do think there is an inherent shyness in Beyonce but I do think she has grown into a very confident and self assured woman as evidenced not in the skimpy and raunchy performances but how she handles her professional life. 

Beyonce manages herself. And one thing I loved about the documentary was when it showed the ways she was so meticulous and clear and direct on what she wanted and how she wanted it. And it's one thing that's often repeated about her in the media per industry gossip. That is, she's a perfectionist and extremely serious about her work and vision. 

Which is probably why we never got a drug and alcohol meltdown a la kids who start young in the business. Beyonce is incredibly focused and professional versus so many of these young celebrities who got caught up in the party lifestyle and all that mess. And all that I believe bleeds into the "badass bitch" persona she portrays on stage which is why I do think it is her, just a maybe more outrageous version of her. 

Now I do agree about the referring to women as bitches and did comment on this a few times when the Beyonce album, particularly in reference to the song Flawless. The song quotes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's words on feminism and on one hand presents itself as an anthem to women to be strong and confident and love themselves but then it's also a statement of how amazing Beyonce is and us "bitches" need to bow down to her.

And it's like yeah, a little contradictory to be demanding women bow down to you as your show of "earning respect", while calling them bitches but then say the song is a feminist anthem. And that's why I don't worship at the altar of Beyonce and think the Beyhive is ridiculous because these are the things where I feel like she means well and it's good that she is trying to support and promote black culture but she has some ways to go regarding other social issues. But hey, no one's perfect. 

I agree with a lot of this, but I think some context is important.

Unlike a lot of her contemporaries, Beyonce has never really taken a break. That’s a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it, but she’s never had to worry about a new crop of talent taking her spot, so to speak. Because she has yet to just go sit down somewhere. 

Also, and I know she struggled with this so I’m not trying to be insensitive at all, but Beyonce had kids later than most of her contemporaries. To give it some context, Beyoncé’s oldest just turned 7. Britney’s oldest will be 14 this year.

Another thing, unlike many of her contemporaries, Beyonce married a rich and famous dude. That...matters in some obvious and not so obvious ways, but one way is that she can afford to bankroll many of her own projects on a large scale in a way most people in the industry couldn’t even if they wanted to. 

And, as weird as it may sound, Beyonce being black is kind of an asset to her in a way it isn’t to most of her white contemporaries. With hip-hop being so dominant in pop music these days, it’s easier for her to include those elements in her music than it would be for a white artist. Ex: Migos wrote Apeshit for her sand Jay-Z and people loved it. Imagine a Britney Spears song written by Migos. Heh, now I wanna hear that!

But even they couldn’t help Katy Perry when they collaborated with her on “Bon Appetit”. So staying relevant is a tad bit easier for her in that regard.

You mentioned Ariana Grande. She does one trap-ish song “7 Rings” and people have been eating her up over it for months. Had Beyonce done that same song, there would be no Twitter maelstrom to weather. People would just turn up. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/22/2019 at 3:48 PM, truthaboutluv said:

I think sometimes people forget that Beyonce is of the generation of the Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc. and when you consider what her trajectory has been compared to all of these people, it's amazing. 

Funny you mention this, because Beyonce basically has the same level of career I assumed Christina Aguilera would have, back when she broke out in 1999.  Out of all the female pop stars who started around the same time, I never would have picked Beyonce to have the most successful adult career.  That's not because she wasn't talented, but because the Destiny's Child Beyonce we knew back then seemed fine, but not particularly artistic or interesting, and certainly not in control of her own career, the way she is, now.  It's been an interesting transformation to watch, that's for sure.

Edited by Fiver
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

4 hours ago, Fiver said:

Funny you mention this, because Beyonce basically has the same level of career I assumed Christina Aguilera would have, back when she broke out in 1999.  Out of all the female pop stars who started around the same time, I never would have picked Beyonce to have the most successful adult career.  That's not because she wasn't talented, but because the Destiny's Child Beyonce we knew back then seemed fine, but not particularly artistic or interesting, and certainly not in control of her own career, the way she is, now.  It's been an interesting transformation to watch, that's for sure.

I completely agree. I think that comes down to, well, Beyonce married a rich and famous dude, but besides that, Christina is like the Haley’s comet of pop music. 

Counting her proper albums, she released one album when I was in middle school, one album when I was in high school, one album when I was in college, and three this decade (four including the Burlesque soundtrack). Only a handful of features, didn’t tour for a decade, and barely knows to work the Internet. 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, 27bored said:

I completely agree. I think that comes down to, well, Beyonce married a rich and famous dude

But Beyonce was well on her way before she married Jay Z. Yes, he rapped on Crazy In Love. Maybe they were dating?? But that song was a hit even without his verse, and her first solo album was a hit from the moment it landed. 

And you could argue that Beyonce gave his visibility a bump. While Jay Z was already famous, and certainly a successful music producer and business man, he was "Black People famous." Or at least Hip-Hop community famous. These days I'm sure that people in Middle America cab tell you who Jay is--if they know who Beyonce is, that is. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/24/2019 at 5:51 AM, 27bored said:

I think that comes down to, well, Beyonce married a rich and famous dude,

Yes, because by all means, let's reduce a woman's success to a man. Let's be clear about something here - Jay Z does not write, produce or manage anything of Beyonce's music. He never has.

She has her own team and her own vision for these things. Like most rappers, when he's been featured on a song, he writes his own rap verse and has some collaboration but that's where it ends. Of all her Billboard Number 1 songs, aside from many of them coming from her Destiny's Child days, Crazy In Love was the only one that featured Jay Z. 

And are people suddenly forgetting that for years Beyonce and Jay Z were very private about their relationship to the point that she wouldn't even admit to dating him? Seriously? So Beyonce only exploded like she did versus many of that generation because she started dating a rich and famous man in his own right and nothing to do with the fact that she worked her ass off and for a period was producing hit after hit after hit song. 

Meanwhile, Britney lost her mind, literally. And no, that's not me making light of mental illness. But the reality was she got involved with the wrong people, the drug use got out of control and it was all downhill. And Christina aside from barely releasing albums, also can't seem to recognize any sound that hasn't sounded dated as hell in the last ten years. That's why they are where they are and Beyonce is where she is. 

On 4/23/2019 at 7:34 AM, 27bored said:

Ex: Migos wrote Apeshit for her sand Jay-Z and people loved it. Imagine a Britney Spears song written by Migos. Heh, now I wanna hear that!

But even they couldn’t help Katy Perry when they collaborated with her on “Bon Appetit”. So staying relevant is a tad bit easier for her in that regard.

Well maybe it's because Bon Appetit just sucked. Because people sure didn't seem to have a problem when she collaborated with Snoop Dogg on California Girls, which went to Number 1, collaborated with Juicy J on Dark Horse, also went to number 1 and with Kanye West on E.T. and that went to number 1. But suddenly her song flops as most of her recent releases have and it's because white artists have it harder to add hip hop to their sound than black artists?

On 4/23/2019 at 7:34 AM, 27bored said:

Unlike a lot of her contemporaries, Beyonce has never really taken a break.

Not true. Just because her name was always out there in some way or the other, doesn't mean she didn't take the requisite periods between albums.

Beyonce took three years between her I Am...Sasha Fierce album and 4. Then it was two years between 4 and Beyonce and three years beween Beyonce and Lemonade.

Yes, she toured and featured on songs but that's what many hard working artists passionate about their careers do. 

On 4/23/2019 at 7:34 AM, 27bored said:

but one way is that she can afford to bankroll many of her own projects on a large scale in a way most people in the industry couldn’t even if they wanted to. 

She can afford to bankroll these projects off the backs of her previous success.

On 4/23/2019 at 7:34 AM, 27bored said:

And, as weird as it may sound, Beyonce being black is kind of an asset to her in a way it isn’t to most of her white contemporaries. With hip-hop being so dominant in pop music these days, it’s easier for her to include those elements in her music than it would be for a white artist.

First of all, just because hip-hop is a popular and dominant sound, it doesn't mean it's one's only path to success. Because many artists' success would belie this. No one is obligated to include those elements as the only way to have success. That's a cop-out.

But that said, are we forgetting all these collaborations many of these contemporaries did do back then that was very successful for them? Justin's first two solo albums were largely produced by Timbaland and Pharrell Williams and the team of N.E.R.D. Christina had Lil Kim and Redman on her Stripped album. And far as I'm aware, no one was questioning those collaborations for them. 

21 hours ago, topanga said:

But Beyonce was well on her way before she married Jay Z. Yes, he rapped on Crazy In Love. Maybe they were dating?? But that song was a hit even without his verse, and her first solo album was a hit from the moment it landed. 

And you could argue that Beyonce gave his visibility a bump. While Jay Z was already famous, and certainly a successful music producer and business man, he was "Black People famous." Or at least Hip-Hop community famous. These days I'm sure that people in Middle America cab tell you who Jay is--if they know who Beyonce is, that is. 

Agreed.

Edited by truthaboutluv
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, topanga said:

But Beyonce was well on her way before she married Jay Z. Yes, he rapped on Crazy In Love. Maybe they were dating?? But that song was a hit even without his verse, and her first solo album was a hit from the moment it landed. 

And you could argue that Beyonce gave his visibility a bump. While Jay Z was already famous, and certainly a successful music producer and business man, he was "Black People famous." Or at least Hip-Hop community famous. These days I'm sure that people in Middle America cab tell you who Jay is--if they know who Beyonce is, that is. 

Oh, absolutely. I’ve alwayd felt that without Beyonce Jay Z would be just a cool rapper from NYC. Most people only care about him because of the visibility he got from being with Beyonce.

And you’re right Beyonce has amassed a lot of wealth on her own. But when you marry, it all goes into a pot, so to speak. And with Jay Z having a lot of wealth, certain things she wants to do are more attainable because of their combined wealth. So she can off-set the regular budget an artist would get for a series of music videos or a tour. If someone like Ariana Grande wanted to put together a performance like Beyoncé did at Coachella, she’d have to hope to get some major backing from sponsors and/or the label. Having access to capital is the key to most artists’ success; it’s even better if it’s your own money.

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/24/2019 at 7:47 AM, truthaboutluv said:

Yes, because by all means, let's reduce a woman's success to a man. Let's be clear about something here - Jay Z does not write, produce or manage anything of Beyonce's music. He never has.She has her own team and her own vision for these things. Like most rappers, when he's been featured on a song, he writes his own rap verse and has some collaboration but that's where it ends. Of all her Billboard Number 1 songs, aside from many of them coming from her Destiny's Child days, Crazy In Love was the only one that featured Jay Z. 

And are people suddenly forgetting that for years Beyonce and Jay Z were very private about their relationship to the point that she wouldn't even admit to dating him? Seriously? So Beyonce only exploded like she did versus many of that generation because she started dating a rich and famous man in his own right and nothing to do with the fact that she worked her ass off and for a period was producing hit after hit after hit song. 

Nobody's reducing her success down to her being with "a man", but let's not kid ourselves. Being married to someone who has a lot of wealth and fame does give you a certain leg up -- again, in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Beyonce would probably even admit that. Even though, when you marry someone, it's not really your money/their money anymore, if Beyonce just used her own money to finance certain projects, she has the security in knowing the rest of her lifestyle isn't going to suffer. That's not the case if it's just a successful woman with a regular guy.

Quote

Meanwhile, Britney lost her mind, literally. And no, that's not me making light of mental illness. But the reality was she got involved with the wrong people, the drug use got out of control and it was all downhill. And Christina aside from barely releasing albums, also can't seem to recognize any sound that hasn't sounded dated as hell in the last ten years. That's why they are where they are and Beyonce is where she is.

All facts.

Quote

Well maybe it's because Bon Appetit just sucked. Because people sure didn't seem to have a problem when she collaborated with Snoop Dogg on California Girls, which went to Number 1, collaborated with Juicy J on Dark Horse, also went to number 1 and with Kanye West on E.T. and that went to number 1. But suddenly her song flops as most of her recent releases have and it's because white artists have it harder to add hip hop to their sound than black artists?

So, you named songs from Katy Perry's period of peak popularity, two of those were from the same album. Those songs came out when pop music was still A Thing and she was able to use rappers as an accent. And yes, those songs are better than Bon Appetit.

The point is, hip-hop is more dominant than it was in 2011-2014 when those songs came out. I agree Bon Appetit kinda sucked, but [small voice]so does Apeshit[/small voice].

Another example is Taylor Swift. She came out rapping and collaborated with Future and I wouldn't say her last era was unsuccessful, but there was definitely a fall off.

Quote

Not true. Just because her name was always out there in some way or the other, doesn't mean she didn't take the requisite periods between albums.

Beyonce took three years between her I Am...Sasha Fierce album and 4. Then it was two years between 4 and Beyonce and three years beween Beyonce and Lemonade.

Yes, she toured and featured on songs but that's what many hard working artists passionate about their careers do.

Three years between albums when you've already released three with your group and three solo is not a break. There were tours, video albums, and big singles attached to those. Three years isn't a break at all unless you're a brand new artist and still cultivating a fan base.

A break is like what Christina did. She put out an album in 2012, then released again in 2018.

 

She can afford to bankroll these projects off the backs of her previous success.

First of all, just because hip-hop is a popular and dominant sound, it doesn't mean it's one's only path to success. Because many artists' success would belie this. No one is obligated to include those elements as the only way to have success. That's a cop-out.

But that said, are we forgetting all these collaborations many of these contemporaries did do back then that was very successful for them? Justin's first two solo albums were largely produced by Timbaland and Pharrell Williams and the team of N.E.R.D. Christina had Lil Kim and Redman on her Stripped album. And far as I'm aware, no one was questioning those collaborations for them.

Again: hip-hop was not the dominant pop sound back then. Timbaland and Pharrell are credible pop music producers; they have produced pop hits for several artists and it wasn't just hip-hop. They were able to alter their sound.

And, as far as Stripped is concerned, if I'm not mistaken, Christina got flack from her label, Scott Storch, and Rockwilder (who produced "Dirrty" and is another hip-hop producer who produced pop hits) for the "urban/hip-hop" direction she went in on Stripped. It was trashed critically when it first came out, and there was even talk that her label rushed out "Beautiful" after Dirrty didn't do that well and the video got banned in a few countries.

 

Again: hip-hop was not the dominant pop sound back then. Timbaland and Pharrell are credible pop music producers; they have produced pop hits for several artists and it wasn't just hip-hop. They were able to alter their sound.

And, as far as Stripped is concerned, if I'm not mistaken, Christina got flack from her label, Scott Storch, and Rockwilder (who produced "Dirrty" and is another hip-hop producer who produced pop hits) for the "urban/hip-hop" direction she went in on Stripped. It was trashed critically when it first came out, and there was even talk that her label rushed out "Beautiful" after Dirrty didn't do that well and the video got banned in a few countries.

Share this post


Link to post

5 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

Christina got flack for the ranchiness of the Dirrty video and her new look for that era. 

IMO she deserved the flack for her look, I thought she looked horrible back then, & Dirrty is one of my favorite songs of hers. As for the raunchiness, that's Christina's patented "look at how sexy I am, LOOK AT ME" routine that I find so, so boring.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size