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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

#LEMONADE #BringBackOurBeyonce #ShamelessExploitation #PiersMorgan





Last night I read through Piers Morgan's article on the New unImproved Beyoncé. And while I sometimes want to bite his head off, (especially when he's attacking bae, Kim Kardashian), I couldn't help but think he had some rather valid points this time around. 

These are some excerpts of the Daily Mail article;

I never like it when entertainers go all political.
The cynic in me believes it’s rarely done for genuine reasons but for strictly commercial ones.

Which brings me to Beyoncé and her new ‘visual-album’, Lemonade

Now, I bow to no man nor woman when it comes to my admiration for this lady... She’s a global brand, one of the best in the business, and has generally steered studiously clear of saying or doing anything too contentious which might polarise that audience – preferring to entertain for the sake of entertaining.
But just lately, Beyonce’s been adding a far more serious, deeply political and race-fuelled tone to her work.

In February of this year, she dropped the song “Formation” which contained references to the activist movement Black Lives Matter.
A video accompanying it included Beyoncé strewn across a sinking police car in a withering throwback to police mistreatment of the black community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Other scenes showed a wall bearing the graffiti “Stop Shooting Us” and a young black boy dancing in a hoodie in front of a line of policemen.

It was seen, understandably, as an attack on U.S. police.
The next day, Beyoncé sang Formation during the half-time Superbowl show and stepped up the police-hating theme with a tribute to the militant activist group, Black Panthers.
Her back-up dancers had Panthers-style afro hairstyles and black berets, formed an X on the pitch and punched the air in the style of the famous black power salute.
Beyoncé herself wore black leather and a bandolier of bullets.
To say this was a provocative statement is putting it mildly.
The Black Panthers, set up as a group who would protect black Americans from police brutality, became infamous for their own brutality, especially against police, and widespread criminal and murderous membership within their ranks.

Now, just two months later, she has released her full album Lemonade.

Many of the instant headlines attached to it focus on her apparent calling out of husband Jay-Z as a love cheat.
But I was far more drawn to the politically-charged content in much of the rest of it.
There’s a clip of Malcolm X, the radical and controversial black separatist who opposed Dr Martin Luther King’s creed of non-violence, saying: ‘The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.’

Another shows two grieving mothers appearing on camera. The first is Lesley McSpadden, filmed crying as she holds a photo of her late son Mike Brown who was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 – an incident which sparked huge protests.
The second is Sybrina Fulton, whose 17-year-old son Trayvon Martin was killed in Florida by a local vigilante George Zimmerman in a case that sparked national outrage in 2012.

I have huge personal sympathy for both women and there is no doubt that African-Americans have been treated appallingly by certain rogue elements within the country’s police forces.
But I felt very uneasy watching these women being used in this way to sell an album. It smacks of shameless exploitation.

The new Beyoncé wants to be seen as a black woman political activist first and foremost, entertainer and musician second.
I still think she’s a wonderful singer and performer, and some of the music on Lemonade is fantastic.
But I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyoncé. The less inflammatory, agitating one.
The one who didn’t use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse. The one who didn’t play the race card so deliberately and to my mind, unnecessarily.
The one who wanted to be judged on her stupendous talent not her skin color, and wanted us all to do the same. 


***

I think it's great to use one's platform to influence and create positive change. But really, I do not like this new Beyoncé much as an entertainer. Her lyrics suddenly became crude (from the Drunk In Love era), her songs are no longer entertaining and I'm still trying to figure out calling out your cheating husband so publicly if you're still going to stay with him anyways. Like, what's the point in that?

But it's King Bey so it's ok, right? 

Still it's good that she's talking about things that really matter, seeing as racism and police brutality seems to be getting worse by the day, and no I don't believe she's using these issues to boost album sales. But while Bey remains an entertainer, I would love for some of her music to retain that same wholesome goodness it used to have. 
And yes, Beyoncé as you're fighting for black lives, can you please for once call your Beyhive to order? Their bullying is sometimes worse than racism sef *rme*. 


Well these are my thoughts, what's yours? Are you loving the new Beyoncé or nah?

5 comments:

  1. Abeg! Its allowed! How sure is Pierse that those mothers were used for the sole purpose of selling albums? Maybe Beyonce truly feels compassion and is moved to pass a message through her songs.

    She sings shallow songs about love, we dance to them then make comments after that she is not so deep. Now she has decided to be deep and pass a real message and we are still not satisfied. Geez. We need to give these celebrities a break. Style must change, message must change. Every album is a reflection of the state of mind of the artist.

    @Thelma: She called her husband a cheat, does that mean she gotta leave him?? No!

    Its difficult to join entertainment and conscious message in a song. Well..unless its rap music.

    Peace.

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  2. I'm not a fan of Beyonce hence I am indifferent to her songs. Nonetheless, I must agree with your some of your opinions on the matter, specifically the one expressed in this statement: 'I think it's great to use one's platform to influence and create positive change.'

    Beyonce is an influential person and using her music (which brought her fame) to advocate positive change is a good and welcomed development. My reservations against Piers Morgan's article is that he wants a politically correct Beyonce. Being politically correct is what has gotten America's 2016 presidential election into the morass it seems to have been embroiled in with the character of the Republican Presidential aspirant in the person of Mr. Trump. People want action - the right kind of action, and Beyonce lending her voice and music to an important cause such as fairness in the American judicial system with respect to Blacks is the least she can do.

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  3. When u watch "Straight Outta Campton", you wldnt see her music against police brutality and discrimination as trying to boost album sales (in her defense,she didn't have to wait till it happened to her before she spoke out)
    The problem here is because it's Beyonce (and prolly cos it's a woman). We are so used to her old style that this new side to her songs sound off-ish! Tupac,Ice Cube,Kanye West,MLK,Rosa Parks,Harriet Tubman etc are people who spoke out against racial discrimination or police brutality in their own unique way.
    I respect and admire Beyonce for lending her voice to obvious vices plaguing their society. (it beats the lame celebrities we have in Nig who don't speak out against all the nonsense happening in the whole country. Their voice is only useful for shows,concerts,private parties,endorsement deals and election periods)

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  4. I'm not a fan so I could care less what she does or doesn't do or sing about. However, like Sasha pointed out, many other artists have lent thier voices to the troubling issues in the US in the past, why didnt she lend her voice then? Why now? Trayvon Martin was murdered over two years ago, why is she just speaking on it?

    My point is, the timing and the fact that there have been many of such cases over the years that she could lend her voice to which she didn't, why now?

    It just makes it seem like shes doing it for the publicity and album sales this time and thats just insensitive. I found this article on Facebook last night and it further demystifies this whole "Lemonade/Beyonce" stuff. You should read it http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/beyonce-is-destroying-your-daughter-not-empowering-her/?utm_source=facebook

    ReplyDelete
  5. She has a platform, she has a voice and she is doing something about an issue that is fast getting out of hand.
    We do not know what information she may have had or her reasons for taking action now and not in the past.

    Fact is what she is doing isn't new. Others before her have done same. I certainly do not think her agenda is any different from lending a voice to the oppressed.

    Beyond her music, she is touching lives practically for the less privileged . Building houses for the poor in any part of the world is not a small feat. We all differ in the way we do or perceive issues.

    Sometimes someone has to speak up even of they walk alone.I Recall the issue of Oscar so white not too long ago. A number of people felt Jada Pinkette was being self centered because her Bae, Will Smith was not nominated for a role (Concussion) hence her rant.

    For me, the way I saw it was that her singular action brought about change , just because she dared to speak up . We may never know her real motive, however, what is key here is that she did speak and her voice effected change no matter how little.

    As we grow older in life, our priorities begin to change, value is placed more on things that matter and are of lasting benefit to others, and long after you are gone you would have still left a lasting legacy.

    On the issue of her cheating husband, her life, her choice, but in her shoes, I would probably do the same.
    If Jay cannot be discrete with his indiscretions, then he should zip up. I think she has handled the issue of her marriage so well and the media is hell bent on poke nosing.

    Anyway the cheating drama is the album sale strategy in this case. After all said and done, they probably will make another baby and still be effing rich.

    ReplyDelete

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