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?