Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know about the shade that’s being thrown at Beyonce regarding her pregnancy and music. Instead of a giving Beyonce a round of applause, people are slapping her in the face. The same folks who practically begged her to get pregnant have all but turned their backs on her, calling her everything but a child of God. Listen to the media and you’ll be led to believe she’s wearing a prosthetic baby bump... which in itself is just ridiculous (she’s Beyonce, why not just go off the scene for ten months and then say she was away because she was pregnant?). Then it’s she got pregnant and is being covered by the blogs for attention because her album sales are low (which I don’t quite understand how selling 300k records the first week is low. It may be lower than her past sales, but other female singers would kill or die to sell 300 thousand total).
I can imagine Beyonce’s job description sounding a little something like this: “Sing, dance, perform, be happy, travel, be away from your family, deal with ridicule from fans, bloggers, the media and critics without retaliation, without lashing out and disrespecting anyone, always be in the studio—simultaneously on tour—and put out an album people love, yearly.” Of course, “other duties as follows” would be tossed in at the end. That includes interviews, staying fly and made up even while on vacation.
It’s amazing to me how people who can’t even walk an hour in Beyonce’s stilettos have so much to say about how she chooses to live her life. I’m biased. I’ll be the first to say it. The truth is, I JUST became a Beyonce fan. I wasn’t sold on her being a great singer and felt that I knew girls in the hood who could dance much better than her. What changed my perspective were the facts. People downplay 15 successful years in the music business, especially as a singer. The reality is, singers of our generation don’t have the same consistency as legends of the past—Mariah, Patti, Madonna. Beyond that, when is the last time a girl group split up...wait...ANY musical group split up/went solo and was successful afterwards? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Xscape...No. SWV...No. Changing Faces, Total, Envogue; the list goes on. It’s not something that happens. So the fact that Beyonce has been able to go from a girl group of 4 to 3 to an international solo artist...the odds of that happening and her being successful at it are slim to none. Give the girl her props for beating the odds.
She’s done it all while not having any public meltdowns, not being arrested, not killing anyone, NEVER throwing shade on anyone, even though, she could. She said several years ago she wanted to become a mother at 30, she’s doing it. Even though most of her critics are women, she still makes music for them, empowering them. That in itself is deep. She has the money, the time and the resources to really write, sing and perform some killer rebuttal ish, but she doesn’t. You say she’s an attention whore and she’s trying to teach you a lesson on how to run the world. It’s been said time and time again that women need to stick together and uplift one another. Maybe we should start with uplifting Beyonce. After all, all she’s trying to do is pave the way for women to be successful and live and enjoy her life in the process. She happily gave a piece of her life to an audience who wasn’t entitled to it and didn’t deserve it; the least you could do is let the girl shine. Enough with the shade.
Each one teach one. Live and Learn!
1. It takes a team. No matter what you see when it comes to Bey, it’s a production. Choreographers, dancers, makeup artists, producers, down to the person who does her lace fronts; she has a strong team.
2. Gotta love working more than you love vacationing.She took one year off in fifteen years. Talk about work ethic.
3. Keep it fun. Gotta love what you do. Even though what she does is hard work, you always catch her smiling or having a good time.
4. Keep it personal. Beyonce and Jay-Z were dating, unconfirmed, for like eight years. Even now, she seems to understand that if you give’em an inch they’ll think they’re your ruler. Don’t make your personal life, public.
5. The art of performance. Whether it’s in concert or on the Oprah show, Beyonce is going to give you a performance. That’s what separates her from her “competition.” (I use the term very loosely) Anyone can come on stage and sing, a few more can sing and dance, but no one else in her genre gives you a performance; performance being costume, music, dancers, band…a show.
6. Finally, she’s authentically her. It’s not that she is the best singer or dancer ever, it’s that no one else can do what she does. She sings songs that only work for her; no one else can pull her songs off. She has an identity in the music business that is theft-proof.
Whether you’re a fan or not, you can learn a thing or two from Beyonce. She really embodies what it means to have GIRL POWER!
The problem with the music industry—one of them anyway—is that they only cater to 13 year olds. I think the assumption is that only teenagers buy music or go to iTunes. Maybe it’s their impressionability: they’ll believe anything. But I like what Jay Z, Yeezy and Beyonce have done with their albums. They made it about the music.
The lesson: sometimes, you have to conform: give the people what they’re asking for. You have to do this in order to get where you want to be. However, once you arrive, you can do whatever you want to do with it. You can go back to where you started from or really talk about the stuff you want to talk about. It would be great if the music industry wouldn’t corrupt artists from the start. It would be great if artists could make music inclusive of the people in their age range. Lil Wayne is 28; he should be making music for his age, meaning it—the content, sound—should be mature (“How to Love”). If 13-year-olds like it, great, if they don’t…well, it wasn’t really for them anyway. Instead, industry execs will send artists back in the booth and tell them to rewrite their music (dumb it down) or come up with something that sounds different (which usually ends up sounding like everything else that’s already out); however, when the artist flops, they drop them (Ciara).
What I’ve noticed is, no matter how much cookie-cutter music they put out, the “greats” (Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye, Mariah) will get to where they are because they refuse to settle, they refuse to conform to what the industry says is hot. Artistry is about creativity. If you let that go for money, you have nothing. I think many current and up-and-coming artists should read a page out of Jay Z and Kanye’s book. Focus on the music, not the money. The rest will follow. Watch The Throne.