Beyonce is one of the most recognized people on Earth. For the past 15 years or so she has been singing and dancing for the world’s amusement. Her success has been attributed to her appearance, her relationship with Jay-Z and the exposure she got from working with Destiny’s Child. But the real reason Beyonce is so amazing is talent and hard ass work!
Haters Gon Hate
When I meet someone who expresses feelings of indifference or dislike for Beyonce, regardless of what they say, I pick one of two options to explain their feelings: Beyonce is too popular (you know those folks who hate everything that everyone else likes) or they don’t appreciate hard work. Let’s face it, Beyonce is a pop artist. Half her songs are about how she’s so crazy-drunk in love, she’s having deja vu, but she can still tell that 1 + 1 = 2. And recently, she’s taken to expressing her feelings about herself in true hip hop style (See Flawless Remix).
I don’t like everything Beyonce does, but I recognize the work! I’m not crazy about 65% of her first album, 40% of her second album, 75% of her third album, I love every second of her fourth album and her fifth album is the bible of current pop music, but even when I lack appreciation for a song of hers, the way she drops it low and picks it up slow during live performance makes me forget I hate the damn song. For instance, I have never been a big fan of Ring the Alarm, but when I saw the performance of it during the On The Run Tour, I suddenly knew every word and was singing it like it was a gospel song.
I have a friend who is female and is a feminist. One day I overheard her expressing her disinterest in Beyonce saying, “Girls don’t run the world, men do. That’s the problem. This song is so dumb. And why is she referring to women as girls?” I always say, people will get what they want from a situation. It would seem obvious that the intent of the song is to uplift girls everywhere to a mindset that says, “hey, I can do great things too. I’m strong enough to have children and still have a career. I will rep for the girls that are taking over the world!”. People will either choose to see that or try to find a problem with it. I think if they exact same message came in different packaging, meaning a different person sang the song, over different music, one might be able to see this more clearly. I think people are often distracted by packaging.
I’m not saying we can’t evaluate her choices, because Lord knows I have thoughts. Like, whey are you referencing Tina Turner’s previous, troublesome marriage in your pop song? I thought that was rude. I still think it’s rude. I don’t like it. Also, oh there’s a billion dollars in your elevator? Excuse me. In these hard economic times, the last thing I want to hear about is your surplus of money.
Beyonce starts conversations. Remember the uproar about Beyonce conforming to the same beauty standards she sings about in Pretty Hurts? Yes, it’s great. Discuss it. Or the people who were saying she was not a feminist (as though being a feminist requires you to follow a strict set of guidelines for expressing your beliefs) and the people who came to her defense…. Or the women who felt liberated by her ownership of her body… Whether all this was her intent or not, it’s just what we need, as individuals and as a society.
What You May Not Understand
Beyonce is a black woman and she does the damn thing. This woman went to the VMAs and did another superbowl half time show just for kicks. Cause you know she doesn’t care about MTV anymore. She’s already won at life. It’s nice to see a brown person work hard enough to get to the top and be admired by all. It’s nice to see any person do that, but given our racial climate, it’s especially nice to see a brown woman at the top.
Most of all, I find myself motivated by Beyonce. Seeing her hard work makes me want to work as hard as humanly possible to the best me I can be. To express myself. When I perform at various venues I sometimes think to myself, “Oh, I don’t know if this crowd will like my music.” or “I’m not sure if they’re into queer stuff, this should be interesting.” Then I think to myself, “If Beyonce were sitting on my shoulder right now she’d say ‘If you don’t get your ass on that stage and do the damn thing, Imma do it for you”….. So I do it.