BEYONCÉ SAVES THE 2016 VMA’s 

Just because Beyonce served all types of slay at the 2016 VMA’s and she probably snatched your edges bald and set your favs career on fire all while winning eight out of eleven nominations, I felt like I should dedicate one post to her.

So Beyonce arrived the white carpet with her entourage (the lemonade cast) and her dress was fresh off the runway. Now this dress was excellent an embellished greyish blue sequined dress but I wasn’t here for the neck piece from the front but looking at it from the back?! I was just like “you better snatch those wigs BEY!!” she took her black power statement to another level just like what she did at the BET awards red carpet. This time she came along with mothers of police brutality victims Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Oscar Grant. Blue Ivy was definitely no exception to the entourage and baby girl has become the little diva, some people say she was even dressed better than her mother (what do you think? Leave a comment down below).

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THE PERFORMANCE

So Serena Williams came up and I was already in a mess of emotions because I didn’t know what to expect at all but I knew It was going to be nothing but greatness. At this point you already know I was a mess, my hands were shaking and I was trying to take notes but once she came on the screen and I heard “I tried to make a home out of you, but doors lead to trap doors” I gave up. Beyonce stood on that stage looking like she just dropped from heaven in that white couture fur cape which was the over garment to her white lace gown with her wide brim white fedora hat.

 

The spoken word continues as the words are displayed over her chest and simultaneously on the screen behind her. She opened her mouth “you can taste the dishonesty its all over your breath” for the first time she sang “pray you catch me” live and it was beautiful. She was clear, her vocals were perfect as usual and in that moment I was wondering what I had been watching before she came on. She continues singing and her back-up dancers are now brought into light. They begin to fall one by one into a pool of red light signifying them being shot (this represents the black men and women who have been fatal victims of police brutality). She remains the last one standing on stage, moving forward a man wearing a black hoodie walks up behind her (representing Trayvon Martin) in an attempt to prevent her from being shot before the stage fades to black.

The spoken word begins yet again as she transitions from Pray You Catch Me to Hold Up (Denial). Obviously the good sis is no longer in her white cape, she adorns herself in a black lace leotard which easily made its way to one of the best costumes of the night. While singing her vocals are clean and clear almost exactly how it sounds on the track. Immediately after the first verse she skips to the bridge which leads us to an amazing yet fleeting countdown dance break (almost lost my mind at this point). In true diva fashion she ended that segment by smashing one of MTV’s cameras.

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Next up we have my fave spoken word from the album“so what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed? Here lies the body of the love of my life who’s heart I broke without a gun to my hand”. She makes her way to her backup dancers who are awaiting her. The part where she says “ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks” was even more intense with her dancers throwing up literal dust in the air. Sorry begins and Y’all know this song is a mad bop! I was just vibing with the Queen and having the time of my life in my sitting room. You know the good sis came to slay us with visuals and choreography.

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Don’t Hurt Yourself is next and you know mami had to have her fur on. You know she went all out for this song, cussing and giving us that Sasha fierce spice. After the first few lines theres a little twerk dance break which was just GOLD. She moves to centre stage completely owning it while making every other performance of the night look like a joke. She is then literally a fire breathing dragon surrounded by a ring of fire. Formation comes on and you know I don’t have to talk too much, her vocals were on point, she started with a different arrangement added some new choreography, she pooched the fuck out of that and murdered that performance.

Beyonce won 8 awards that night (including video of the year & best female video) making her the most awarded artist in VMA history. I think at this point it’s safe to say that Beyonce is yet to meet a stage that she cannot conquer and to the people who say that Beyonce always does the same thing I suggest you take trip down memory lane and digest all of her 6 different Eras. Beyonce is the embodiment of greatness and has set the bar for performances around the world, she finds a way to out do herself every time she graces a stage and the 2016 VMA’s can attest to that.

Thank You all for reading as always, forgive me for the late post (internet issues). Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below below. Always remember to share, like and please follow my blog if you like to be up-to-date.

Also the official video for for Sorry and Hold up are available now at BeyonceVevo just click here to watch and get your life.

Photo Credit: Elle magazine, MTV.com, iamdidara.wordpress.com and getty images.

 

 

LEMONADE: THE VISUAL ALBUM

I failed to mention that my lemonade post would be in two parts; one for the audio album and the other for the visual. Well now you know, so suck it up lol! So while the audio album dropped with 12 songs on Jay-z’s music streaming service; Tidal, the visual album or should I say movie for the album premiered on HBO, it was an hour long special.

Without the visual I had some appreciation for the album, but after the visual? Boy did I know my life was complete. The movie has 11 chapters, showcasing the best and worst of the queen herself with various intermissions of spoken word by Beyonce written by Somali-British writer Warsan Shire. The movie gives a whole new perspective to interpreting the music and seeing into the minds of the geniuses behind this visual masterpiece. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect but 10 minutes in, it was hard to believe that this was the same woman dancing around her apartment in the 7/11 music video. It’s like a whole new vengeful Beyonce emerged the moment it began.

INTUITION

This is the very first of 11 chapters, it starts with the song pray you catch me. Showing scenes of what looks like a plantation, an abandoned landmark and Beyonce on her knees singing the soulful in what looks like a theatre (or at least the stage). Right in the middle of the song, Beyonce starts to speak. She speaks on how her female intuition makes her have a hunch, coupled with sneaky behaviour by her husband that she was being cheated on. For the setting I completely have to agree with her when she says “the past and the present merge to meet us here”. It’s a mix of modern settings and women convicted and united not just sitting in a plantation but owning it.

DENIAL

This chapter begins and we are greeted by a scene with Beyonce in what seems to be an ocean. From there we transition to a room filled with water. While this is going on Beyonce recants the events that take place while she refuses to believe that she was being cheated on. It was surreal because the raw emotion in the words and the visual made me feel like I was reliving moments I had never experienced. Her ability to convey such a deeply agonizing message in such a short span of time is profoundly unbelievable. What I think is peculiar about the next scene (which is the video for HOLD UP), Beyonce channels the Yoruba water goddess OSUN. Osun has been said to have an unpredictable temper and Beyonce clearly shows this “temper” when she goes around with a baseball bat busting windows, smashing everything and leaving destruction in her wake.vlcsnap-error059

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ANGER

This chapter is kind of my favourite chapter of them all. So it begins after HOLD UP while Beyonce speaks “is this what you truly want? I can wear her skin over mine, her hair over mine, her hands as gloves, her teeth as confetti, her scalp a cap, her sternum my bedazzled cane” from this point the visuals began to give off a very dark aura. She speaks on after suggestive words, she talks about abuse and she asks “why can’t you see me? Everyone else can”. The song DONT HURT YOURSLEF begins to play and we are welcomed by a very cocky Beyonce who sings the first verse with a fiery persona. The song cuts to a speech by Malcolm X telling a story about the trials of black womanhood. Bey compares herself to a dragon breathing fire, a befitting comparison to the attitude around this chapter. She ends the song throwing her ring at the camera.

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APATHY

Beginning with the words “so what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me?” this chapter holds a certain element that captured my attention. The song playing in the background sounded like one of those songs you would hear from a music box in a horror movie and I loved it! Following the intense spoken word, the song SORRY starts playing with a cameo from the ever flawless, Serena Williams. Very much like the message from the song, Beyonce is surrounded by beautiful women who are having fun and not thinking about their problems, a clear depiction of the joy in true friendship. When the song becomes more subtle her body movements become very robotic and that was quite interesting.

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EMPTINESS

Gosh!!! Another very intense scene. This part was quite intriguing because it takes the darkness of the anger chapter and amplifies it. What she talks about before 6 INCH IS how men and women involved would say things that they don’t really mean when they were together. We are taken to a dark red hallway with a light at the end and taps into the darkness of the moon and what happens under its protection to heighten the moment. 6 INCH reminds me of partition but here’s the twist it’s her long lost evil twin sister.

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ACCOUNTABILITY

This features the song titled DADDY LESSONS. This chapter speaks on how little girls want to be like their mothers and there is a cameo from the youngest person nominated for an Oscar Miz Quvenzhané Wallis  . B also talks about how women are so flexible and are changed, made to morph (so to say) to suit the wants of men in their life. The song begins and Beyonce is adorned with a beautiful dress which seems to be made from the ever popular Ankara material. It features visuals of various places and people in Texas and also a video of a young Beyonce and her father.  From hood niggas, to church goers at a funeral service this video had a very country feel.

REFORMATION

Beyonce lays down on a field where she had performed earlier this year (super bowl halftime).she speaks about how infidelity hinders people from experiencing true love. LOVE DROUGHT begins and Beyonce in line with other women are walking through the shallow waters of a beach dressed in white which I think symbolizes them purging themselves of all the anger and frustration and beginning the journey to forgiveness. Reformation marks the beginning of the second half of the album which talks about rebuilding a stronger relationship from the ruins of the past.

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FORGIVENESS

“If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious”. This chapter shows that even after being cheated on, reconciliation is still very very possible. Nina Simone’s silk & soul plays in the background as Beyonce speaks on the wonders of childbirth. Beyonce bares it all for this song as she seats in front of a piano, plays the chords and sings SANDCASTLES. Husband Jay-Z makes an appearance in this video and we can see the remorse, affection and love between the two as they intimately touch each other.

RESURRECTION

Greeted by a mass of beautiful black women, this chapter begins with a voice over of a woman saying “I’ve never seen so many back women” and she asks “how are we supposed to lead our children to the future” can you guess the answer? We have appearances by Amandla Stenberg, Beyonce’s prodigies Chloe X Halle, twin sister Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. FORWARD begins to play and a series of visuals begin. We have mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton; Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr; and Michael Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden holding pictures of their murdered sons. They among others hold pictures of the ones they have lost to police brutality and other crimes against the black race.

HOPE

This chapter has cameos of the above listed with the addition of actress and fashion icon Zendaya and model Winnie Harlow. Women are seated watching Beyonce sing the first verse of FREEDOM which has such a powerful meaning. The beauty of this all can be seen in the very many black women in this scene who have been criticized in one way or another about their blackness (including precious Blue Ivy Carter). They show that they are beautiful not in spite of their blackness, but in their blackness. They praise the black heritage by choosing to wear their hair in the natural kinky way which has been look down by not only the whit community but some of our very own. Before this chapter ends they stand all together in a united front.

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WINNIE HARLOW 
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REDEMPTION

Beyonce all but mentions that what she talks about in the start of this chapter refers to why the album is titled “LEMONADE”. Cut to a scene at Hattie White’s 90th birthday, Jay-z’s grandmother says “I had my ups and downs but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons but I made lemonade”. Beyonce talks about healing and coming back united as ever when she says “then my torturer became my remedy”. ALL NIGHT begins marking the end of the album. A video of Bey and J getting their “IV” tattoos among videos of other couples who clearly in love backed by the lyrics of all night just conveys the main message that we are all meant to take home from this album. This chapter is my best because it tells us that there is always hope and there are no lost causes, no matter how dark it may be there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

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From left to right; Chloe Bailey, Ibeyi Twins, Beyonce, Amandla Stenberg, Halle Bailey, Zendaya Coleman.
This visual album really did set a higher standard for pop-story telling in the highest scale possible. As I said earlier, the music had significant meaning on its own but the visual adds even more depth to the music. The album is so much more than Beyonce speaking out on her husbands’ infidelity. She uses her personal struggle to tell the story of many a black woman who has silently died on the inside because they saw their relationships burn to ash right before their eyes. From begging to be caught eavesdropping and reading text messages to proclaiming healing and redemption, no part of this visual lacked significant meaning. The decision to use spoken word to string the songs together and make them build up into one another was a stroke of pure genius and it is safe to say that we haven’t seen a purer form of self expression than lemonade. Beyonce keeps on outdoing herself in however way possible and that is true talent.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to like, comment, reblog, share and FOLLOW for amazing content. Till next time my beautiful bitches, stay slaying!!!

MARITAL STRIFE? #LEMONADE

Hi guys!!! I’m back again and today I will be reviewing the album I have been looking forward to all year. Yes! You guessed it, LEMONADE bitch! Anyway, without wasting too much of your time I’ll get right into it.

The four octaves singing, 20 times Grammy award winning, vocal powerhouse released yet another surprise album and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have been waiting for QUEEN B to pull the rabbit out of the hat since formation dropped. Honestly when the trailer for the world premiere came out and I found out, I was literally dry heaving because I was so excited!! There were so many speculations that accompanied trailer, I even thought she wanted to start a series or some shi, well I think I was in over my head. The album is a two part album (a visual album and an audio album) and what gets me thinking is how 3 times in the last 3 years, miss or should I say Mrs. Thang has been able to successfully release projects of hers in complete secrecy. I mean in this day and age where privacy and secrecy are arguably the hardest things to come about she has managed to keep this album secret from the entire world.

This album is a story full of chapters, a journey in itself. In some ways you could say it is the album I AM…..SASHA FIRECES elder sister because it was constructed in such way that there are two halves of the album. One half having a centralised theme and the next half having its own theme, very much like the singers third album. You would think that somewhere along the line you would get lost but that is not the case. Instead the album gradually leads you to its end as events unfold and you are taken on an emotional roller coaster.

TRACKLIST

  1. PRAY YOU CATCH ME
  2. HOLD UP
  3. DON’T HURT YOURSELF (feat. Jack White)
  4. SORRY
  5. 6 INCH (feat. The Weeknd)
  6. DADDY LESSONS
  7. LOVE DROUGHT
  8. SANDCASTLES
  9. FORWARD (feat. James Blake)
  10. FREEDOM (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  11. ALL NIGHT
  12. FORMATION (place link)

PRAY YOU CATCH ME

“You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breathe.” Listening to this song, I couldn’t help but think that it was an amazing way to start off the album. The beginning vocals were a bit unsettling at first but when they fully blossomed into something that would give the faint hearted an ear orgasm (like myself) I totally fell into a trans. The production of this is stellar from start to finish. I want to believe that in this song she sings about a relationship with a dishonest partner, knowing full well that he/she was being dishonest. I’m officially addicted to this song anyway and I also love the fact that we started off on a light mood because I didn’t know what to expect from the rest of the album.

HOLD UP

YONCE was definitely serving me island realness with this song huntyyyy! I mean it’s so different from my usual Beyonce and quite frankly I’m in love with it. The drums in this song were something else and her vocals were flawless as usual. There was this one part where I got a snippet of the drum sequence from countdown in her 4th album and it fit perfectly. I think for this song she sings to a cheating partner and she tells him that the other hoes he’s messing around with don’t love him as much as she does. She also makes it very clear what she would do if she laid her hands on his side-bitch. I just realised that it kind of had the same theme as say my name from the 1999 Destiny’s Child album Writings On The Wall, do you think so as well? Let me know in the comment section.

DON’T HURT YOURSELF (FT. JACK WHITE)

“Who the fuck do you think I is? You aint married to no average bitch boy.” From the first beat on this song you can tell how aggressive it is going to be. She really expressed some anger in this song and she really went full on rock queen on this record. What really made it stand out for me were jack whites rock vocal tricks and the fact that there is something beautiful in the discord of the song. The lyrics of this song really made the internet (twitter) run wild on the release of lemonade. Production wise, we can tell that B and her producers must have had some fun with this one. In this song she really tells this partner of hers that she is not to be trifled with, that she isn’t just an average person. This one part got me all riled up though; “this is your final warning, you know I give you life. If you try that shit again, you gon’ lose your wife”.

SORRY

I honestly wasn’t a big fan of this song until my 4th or 5th time listening to the album, and after watching the mini-movie. This song is so different from my usual Beyonce and I definitely love it. Here she sings on forgetting about the man who did her wrong and constantly distracts her from her grind and making her coin. Also the song publicly gives us a description of this mysterious side bitch where she says “you better call Becky with the good hair”. This Becky with the hair is allegedly Rachael Roy

6 INCH (ft. THE WEEKND)

OMG!! First of all can we just acknowledge the pitch that this song started on? This song in itself is such a sexy song that I can totally see being played in a club of specific taste (if you know what I mean). There are so many different ways to interpret this absolutely intoxicating song. It speaks of a chronic heart breaking seductress who as she murders everybody (figuratively speaking) also works hard at whatever she does without relenting. I think this song describes not only B but many other women. Not in the sense that all women are heart breakers but it describes women who are hard working in any and everything they do with no remorse what so ever.

DADDY LESSONS

CMA’s better get ready cus the Queen is coming and she’s here to snatch all your edges! This being Beyonce’s first country song, she delivered everything. The guitar and horns in this song give it a story and a historical background like no other, while she sings about her dad, lessons learned, problems solved and even those quite unsolved. She bares it all letting us know how it was growing up with her father, the ups and downs of having her father. I definitely expected something different with this song but I was definitely pleased with what I found. It was a nice way to close the first half of the album.

LOVE DROUGHT

This song is one of my favourite songs of the album. Not just because it gets me in my feelings or the amazing production behind the amazing vocals, but the fact that B reminds us all that underneath everything she remains a human being like every one of us and that she has feelings. Obviously life isn’t rosy for everyone, even Beyonce. This song starting off the second half of the album symbolises the beginning of the road to forgiveness.

SANDCATSLES

Okay everyone! It’s time to get your tissues, this is not a drill!! If you thought you would cry listening to heaven from the self titled album or 1+1 from 4, then you are officially not emotionally ready for this song. Thinking back to all 5 of her albums I don’t think there is a ballad as gut-wrenching as this record. The piano was the perfect instrument for this song and her vocals, gurrrlllll!!!!! I was almost in tears. This song just simply tells us of the difficulty of forgiveness and not keeping to the rash decisions we make in times of immense grief. She sounded so vulnerable in this song and it gives it this authenticity that is hard to find.

FORWARD (FT. JAMES BLAKE)

I honestly thought I was still listening to sandcastles the first time. When I realised that this was a separate song I had one question; why is this song not three times longer? It’s so short and maybe, just maybe that’s what makes the song sound so magical. Both James Blake and Beyonce might have as well been holding the keys to the flood gates in my eyes. Even though it was so brief it still has this effect that I can’t explain.

FREEDOM (FT. KENDRICK LAMAR)

Electrifying is the first word that comes to mind when describing this song. It’s another political piece and it’s completely genius. While addressing her personal problems, B also addresses the lingering problem in our society today which is the oppression of the black people. She sings of being free from metaphorical chains and bondage while making it very clear that it is impossible to stop the movement because winners don’t quite. Kendrick being in this song was appropriate because he is one of the artistes at the forefront of the black lives matter movement and I have to say he added more attitude to this song and that was the cherry on the cake. The speech given by Jay-z’s grandmother Hattie on her 90th birthday explains the demographic behind this album.

ALL NIGHT

The last piece of the puzzle, the end of the story, the last chapter to the emotional journey that is LEMONADE. It’s so uplifting that this album ended on a somewhat happy note. This song completes this masterpiece showing that true love conquers all. She remembers the good times and uses them as a life line to pull her out of the negativity of dealing with the infidelity of a partner, carefully ushering her into the light and solace that true love holds to be discovered

FORMATION

Gurrrrllll! I have discussed this song and video at length. Click here to read it all.

 

In a nut-shell, this album is Beyonce’s most emotional album and it is also her most sonically adventurous one of them all. I’m just happy that I’ve been able to witness a pop artiste like Beyonce totally evolve and grow into her own and become a legend of our time. None of her songs from other albums can outmatch the emotional rawness that this album brings forth. She was at her most vulnerable and most profane at different points in this album which makes it more unique than the rest of them. Obviously this album will not seat well with some people but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an absolute work of art and should be praised for the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Anyway that’s all for now, let me know what you think about this album and let me know your fave songs in the comment section below.

Thank you guys for reading and for your support, sometimes I question why I’m still doing this and you guys always keep me coming back. Till next time my beautiful bitches, stay slaying!!!