Beyonce is insanely successful. Millions of people love her. And just as many seem to be insanely bothered by Beyonce’s success. They claim that she’s overrated, that she makes bad music, or simply that she is Illuminati. To these people I say: You’re just mad because she’s generally better at life than you. Do better.
Personally I adore Mrs. Carter. Her work ethic, commitment to showmanship, and just overall skill as an entertainer is unparalleled. But “no” they say. “Her music is shallow”, they say. Yes, Beyonce’s catalogue is more about fun and girly things and neck rolling than it is about social change. AND THAT IS FINE. I am here for it!! I do not need or want Beyonce to start depressing me with some shit about world hunger. DO NOT WANT! What I need is for Beyonce to put on a show. We haven’t had anyone so willing to give us a SHOW every time since MJ, Madonna, and Janet took over the MTV. What I need from Beyonce is to get the party started, and she never lets me down. I love her for that. But all the pop-star pyrotechnics and costumes and armies of dancers doesn’t mean that her brand of entertainment is without value. I have learned these 10 things from Beyonce’s lyrics:
- How to Catch a Liar. On Say My Name, Beyonce picks up on the fact that her beau is acting strangely on the phone. He’s giving her short, one-word answers and the like. Not to be made a fool, Beyonce makes just a small request – that her man state her name when they are on the phone. And not in a sexy way, either. If he truly is with his boys, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? Ha! Listening at 15, I found this genius. Clever girl! Without this enlightening lyric, I may have inadvertently missed such clues, been afraid to confront a brotha, and ended up some side chick. Beyonce basically let me know what I needed to know so that I could make sure I don’t become Joseline Hernandez. Good looking out, Bey! SWV and MoKenStef spent the 90s encouraging side-chick behavior so I am glad that we had Destiny’s Child come and course-correct on this one.
- How to Show Appreciation. Cater To You is the ultimate primer in how to love a black man. Who doesn’t want to scream “BLACK LOVE!!” when she croons “Sing you a song/turn the game on/I’ll brush your hair/help you put your du-rag on“. The best thing about this whole scenario is that Beyonce’s man has both cufflinks and a du-rag. Kinda like Barack Obama. Obama’s waves tell me there is a du-rag somewhere up in the White House. Beyonce encourages us to aspire to have men like Barack Obama! And build them up by saying things like “Baby I see you working hard/Wanna let you know I’m proud/Wanna let you know that I admire what you do“. Yessss, Beyonce! You better build up your black man! But her appreciative antics aren’t all a romantic scene from a John Singleton film. No, Beyonce takes it all the way to the bedroom. In Dance For You, she rewards her man’s “patience” and “loyalty” with a sexy dance. She promises to “keep it how it is” so that he never has to say “how it used to be”. TEACH THE CHILDREN, BEY! Keep that love fresh! She commences to dancing, swirling, and “backing this thing back/pop pippin this thing back/drop drop drop dropping this thing back.” It is like the Cupid Shuffle of twerking! It’s also probably my favorite part of any Beyonce song ever. Something about the way she says it. My husband will owe a heavy debt to Beyonce, indeed. I have practiced all of these things! “Ladies if you love your man/show him you the flyest/Grind up on it girl/Show him how you ride it.”
- Revenge — Beyonce will not just quit your ass, but she will also make sure you see her looking good later so she can be like “nah nah na boo boo” and remind you of what you are missing. In the magnum opus that is Single Ladies, she puts on as few clothes as possible, pops her hips with the rage and fury only a woman scorned could have, and brings every man in the club under her spell. Her ex is surely regretful seeing all that he has given up. But she reminds him that he is giving too little, too late because if he liked it then he shoulda put a ring on it. That’s how you teach a nigga a lesson! Why didn’t we think of this before?!?! And if he doesn’t learn at that point, then by the time he hears “It sucks to be you right now” on Best Thing I Never Had, he will surely know then. And that is nothing to say of the man she leaves half naked on the front lawn after taking his car, jacket, jewelry, and everything else she brought prior to sending him to the left. When you buy a nigga, replacing him is surely easy. In summary, Beyonce is spiteful and petty toward her no-good exes and it is OK because they deserve it.
- It’s Cool To Have Your Own. “Yup I buy my own/if he deserve it buy his shit too”. When the cool thing to do was to talk about all the expensive gifts your man brought you, Destiny’s Child came with the girl-power and said fuck these niggas we can buy our own shit. Although I generally don’t like how the phrase ‘Independent Woman’ is used in the Black community, I gave Beyonce two snaps when she was like “If you’re gonna brag/make sure it’s your money you flaunt.” Boop! Guess she told you gold-digging heifers! The best thing about the Destiny’s Child version of an Independent Woman is that if you don’t need a man financially, you can say slick shit like “”When it’s all over please get up and leave.” Just like a boy! Yes! Equality! We can be ain’t shit niggas too! Love it!
- A good dose of self-confidence. Beyonce is not about that humble life in her lyrics. She basically says all the things that we fear pretty light skinned girls says to themselves. “I’m killin you wit dem legs/better yet dem thighs/Matter of fact, it’s my smile/maybe my eyes” on Ego. Or how about the list of reasons why dude should love her on Why Don’t You Love Me? “I got beauty/I got class/I got soul/and I got ass”. Really, why doesn’t he love her? That’s a good list! Beyonce is not afraid to admit that she is fine. And the rest of us shouldn’t be either. Even when critics called her fat, she told them they were just not ready for her jelly. Boom! I pretty much do the same thing. Speaking of bootyliciousness…
- New Vocabulary Words. If your man won’t pay your automobills, send his ass to the left and just put on your freakum dress. You will look so bootylicious he won’t be able to help but to put a ring on it. Seriously, I thought automo-bills was pretty damn clever. Fuck ya’ll. Also, remember that a Diva is a female version of a hustler.
- Gender roles — As rich and successful as Mrs. Carter is, she doesn’t want to end up with some schmuck who is mooching off of her success. On Upgrade You, she says “It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal/I’ll still play my part and let you take the lead role”. Beyonce’s version of upgrading a man is actually creating a symbiotic and complimentary partnership where they both end up more successful than they were before. Yay for that! On Countdown, it’s “Give it all to him/meet him at the finish line”. Beyonce shows us that we can support our significant others in their success and be successful in our own right #atthesamedamntime
- Stroke that ego. On Destiny’s Child’s T-Shirt it gets real sexy. Beyonce puts on her phone sex voice for the intro. Then by the end we hear, “You’re so deep. Baby please. Take it easy“. Girl, bye! It probably wasn’t that serious but she made him think it was. Which is ultimately helpful to all involved. Similarly on Baby Boy we hear her moaning, “Hurt me to good baby, oh.”
- Your Body Is Yours – For all the popping and twerking that takes place in Beyonce World, Beyonce maintains very much in charge of her sexuality as opposed to letting it be defined by all the men oogling her. For example, Check Up On It is a song entirely about her shaking her ass. That’s all it’s about! Who does that?!?! Beyonce. She invites gentlemen’s gazes with a warning: “You can look at it/as long as you don’t grab it/if you don’t go grabbin/I might let you have it”. I love this song. “I can tell you wanna taste it/but I’m gone make you chase it. ” I live my life by these rules. In real ass life. LOL.
- Be honest. Beyonce puts her irrational thoughts and insecurities out there so that the choir may say “Amen” and raise a knowing hand in agreement. When I heard “Foolish of me to compete while you cheat with loose women” or “I’ll never forget feeling like I was no good/like I couldn’t do it for you like your mistress could“, I was like “damn, Bey, that’s real shit. I feel like women relate to that, even if I don’t. The first time I heard Is She The Reason in college, a lightbulb went off. ” “I was cool with no commitment — wait — let me take that back it was you so I was with it” . DING DING DING!! But the my favorite is on Ring the Alarm when he yells “she gone profit everything I taught/if I let you go“. That’s some shit I’d think to myself. I spent all this time grooming a nigga for the next chick! Ain’t that a blip. OK, I actually have thought that….. Anyway, she even lets us in on how her parents issues effect her.”I know how my mama felt getting run over/but this ain’t no cycle here/this one is over“. Boom. End those cycles Bey! You better work that self-awareness!
Did I miss anything? Are you rolling your eyes at me? Let a sista know.
#Beyhive out! Concert tonight!