The Queen of Pop Beyoncé surprised fans all over the world last night when her self-titled album (that no one was expecting) dropped on iTunes… the BeyHive is in overdrive and the internet is possibly broken. You can’t go on iTunes and not see her face (check it if you want, I’ll be here waiting) and why? Because we weren’t ready. And she’s so nonchalant about it. “Suprise” and then she goes back to instagramming pictures of vegan cupcakes… I just… I can’t deal.
I don’t need to tell you that I bought the album, you can probably tell I have.
Currently on The Mrs. Carter Tour, where did she have the time to write, record and create accompanying videos for each and every one of the 14 songs on the album with extras!? 14 songs. 17 videos. £12.99 on iTunes… There was no promo. The closest thing to promotion for this album was the samples of new songs used in advertisments for Pepsi and H&M. Beyoncé was on her hustle, they were basically paying her for them to promote her album (that no one was expecting). And for someone who’s constantly in the public eye surrounded by people who would benefit from leaking information, you’ve got to respect her for her level of secrecy that even the US government is unable to achieve.
The album is star-studded with featuring artists of Drake, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy makes her second feature on a song in the track Blue. We get unexpected appearances from Kelly and Michelle again (Superbowl 2013 flashbacks anyone?) as well as from the lovely mother Tina Knowles in the visual accompiament. Rap artists from Houstan Texas also feature in the videos as the Queen pays homage to her home town.
There is a song on this album for every emotion, role and action of Beyoncé as a black woman. Yes I’m going to say a black woman, lets be honest here feminism often feels like its struggling with intersectionality in almost the same way as the coven and voodoos in American Horror Story: Coven. Like Destiny Child’s Survivor was a message (to either ex-members or the media, depending on which rumour you heard), this entire visual album is a calling out of critics and a rallying cry for general female excellence that Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Katy Perry, Britney, Miley who are constantly praised for their interpreted feminist sometimes problematic actions (especially when it comes to women of colour) can only hope to achieve.
To all those who opposed Beyoncé as a non-feminist please take several seats. Not only are your arguments invalid in every way, shape and form imaginable. Beyoncé’s song Bow Down which caused a stir earlier in the year due to the use of ‘bitches’, has been transformed with a dirty hood beat with all the swagger and bravado of gangsta rap that black female rappers are famed for. Add a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s speech on feminism and why everyone should be a feminist and you now have the womanist anthem ***Flawless. Please tell me how Bey isn’t a feminist? Please, tell me again?
Wife, mother, single lady on a night out, sensual lover, sexual being, emotional soul, hard working artist, the mourner, the believer; there is a song for all of these parts of womanhood that seemingly contradict each other are embraced and interweave depending on situation or emotion. It’s almost as though she’s recognising all the conflicting and unique experiences that all women because we’re multi-faceted 3D people and not the fake, air-brushed 2D caricatures we are force-fed by the media on the daily.
As for me? Well I’m getting all these vibes from the album, my only fault was Jay-Z’s reference to the abusive Ike/Tina relationship. But other than that? It’s like travelling through every scattered thought in my brain Beyoncé has successfully located and ordered. She has successfully turned me into a stan. I don’t care. This whole album is a giant motivator and a confidence booster.
And well, if you’re mad from all the virtual ink Beyoncé is generating?
- Beyonce Drops New Self Titled Album (4umf.com)
- Beyoncé samples Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx message on surprise album (ted.com)
- Beyonce’s Flawless – A Feminist Anthem (ronnettecox.com)