Thursday, 30 January 2014
2014 Grammy's | Beyonce Is A Grown Woman Who Is Drunk In Love-Deal With It!
Beyonce has been receiving a lot of criticism for her Grammy's 2014 performance of Drunk In Love. From her provocative clothing and dance moves being broadcast at 8pm American time, to a controversial line in Jay Z's rap section, my thoughts and more after the break...
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Beyonce's. But then again, who isn't? She's the kind of artist that makes artists re-think their strategies. A true 'triple-threat' in that she's an amazing singer, dancer and performer, and not a jack of all trades and master of none which seems to be more the case these days as people turn their hand to anything and everything in order to be successful. For me personally, she helps a tiny bit to fill the void left in my life after the loss of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. What I got from him was endless inspiration and joy, and true entertainment factor. No one will ever replace him, but in a world where people spend more time being 'personalities' and spend less time truly entertaining us on the stage, I really appreciate what Beyonce does. She puts a bit of effort in dammnit! Dance routines, stage craft, suspense, attenton to detail. She puts it all in and I appreciate that...
The Visual Album
When she dropped Beyonce, The Visual Album at the end of 2013 completely out of the blue, I was pleased. Not only had I been looking forward to some new material from her, but I also sensed that she was under some kind of pressure to produce something to remind people that she's the queen. I guess I felt that because 2013 was full of shock-factor artists dominating the airwaves and internet. I enjoy debating a bit of controversy as much as the next person but if I'm honest, it doesn't truly resonate with me. A great song, and great performance does. I remember that forever. Over the course of a month, the album has grown on me until I love it. But this isn't an album review. This post is to talk about her Grammy's performance of Drunk In Love which seems to have angered a lot of people.
What Annoyed people
The Grammys broadcast went out at 7pm and 8pm across America and was opened by Beyonce wet haired, and dressed in what can only be described as lingerie. She spent a lot of the performance showing us her newly tiny backside (her body is a lot more streamlined) in just a thong with fishnets. Quite daring even for Beyonce-although she has never been shy with her outfits, she's definately upped the ante in terms of being revealing in the videos from this album as she flaunts her bare bum cheeks plenty of times throughout the 17 videos. She then proceeded to twerk, wiggle, and writhe her way through the rest of the song as she sung about being drunk and doing husband and wife stuff...
Midway, a fully dressed Jay Z in contrast with his scantily clad wife, enters the stage and does his rap which has had it's fair share of controversy due to the line 'eat the cake Anna Mae". This is a line from the film 'What's Love Got To Do With It' a biopic about Tina and Ike Turner showing their abusive relationship and then Tina's escape. The line comes from a scene where Ike abusively forces cake into Tina's face, real name Anna Mae. He then beats her friend who tries to stick up for her. Lots of people have complained about this line suggesting that Beyonce and Jay are advocating domestic violence, or at the very least, trivialising it. During the performance, Beyonce smiled and mimed along with the line.
What I think
Regarding, Beyonce's outfit-she made it explicitly clear on her album and also the accompanying behind the scenes video's on her youtube channel that she feels that she is at a time in her life and career where she wants to be able to express her sexual side without having to worry about what people think. As a new mother and wife she is proud of her body and wants to show people that you can work hard after the birth of a baby, get back into shape, and still be a sexual being. Some call it anti -feminist, but you could argue that part of being a feminist, part of being equal socially, economically, and politically to men is having freedom of choice across the board, including with what you wear. Without being judged negatively. The emphasis throughout Beyonce's album has been that the sexual side of her is reserved for her husband-although she is letting us in on it. Personally, I wouldn't wear a thong on stage, as I don't feel my butt cheeks are ever going to be relevant to my music, and even if I was as body confident as Queen Bey, those parts of my body are for me, not the world. But I don't judge Beyonce for it-somehow she always makes it seem ok. I get her reasoning. Would I be happy to let my 2 year old niece watch that performance though? Absolutely not. My little niece Jasmine is only 2 years old, but watches music videos with wide eyes and full concentration, especially mine! She imitates the things she sees me do in my music videos, and also those we let her watch on TV and online and so of course I have become aware of how much of what's aired on television in the daytime is innapropriate for young kids. If Jasmine was sitting in front of the TV during Beyonce's Drunk In Love performance, there's no question, I would change the channel. So although it pains me to admit it, I completely understand why American parents who settled down with their children at 7pm to watch the Grammys were annoyed that they had to deprive their kids of watching an annual celebration of music. At the same time, no one died, and it's not the end of the world.
When it comes to the 'eat the cake Anna Mae' line, this is my feeling. It's pretty obvious that Jay Z and Beyonce don't advocate domestic violence. I mean, who in their right mind would? And even if they did, why would they let the world know? It doesn't make sense does it. So before everyone gets hysterical I would say that we can safely assume that these two worldwide popstars are not that stupid, nor are their huge PR and marketing teams. As a Beyonce fan I would say this-I don't have an explanation for it, it doesn't seem like a good idea to include that line and put it across in the way that they did, but knowing Beyonce, she thinks hard about everything she does. Nothing is ever done flippantly, everything is meticulously planned down to the last detail. In her music, in her performances, and even in her gravity defying stage clothes. So I would wait and see what she has to say about it. I'm sure it's not what everyone thinks. I have faith in Queen Bey as a role model and popstar.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!