Oh Beyoncé

No1 seeing you

Beehive fan, regular fan or just a plain ole’ music lover, one thing Beyoncé will always lead in and be the best at are live shows. She knows how to bring a show to life, and definitely the best live performer today. Momentum, hype, and all the build-up to one main event Beyoncé; as with the rest of her fans can say, they left fulfilled. Being a Coachella fan, there was no getting past the ‘Watch Live videos.’ The introduction of Ms headliner herself, whose face you couldn’t see not until after one girl beat the drum, fiercely looked into the camera and indirectly told viewers to get ready for a showdown. Rather, fans were not ready for what was about to go down. As the dancers and marching band members fade away we see the Queen Bee, in an Egyptian inspired outfit headpiece included and she indeed, looked like a Queen.

beyonce_en_el_festival_de_coachella_vestida_de_balmain

Her entrance began with her solo debut; Crazy In Love. With all the pomp & pageantry, her segment felt like a concert in itself. The horns and bass instruments playing in the background, her message at intervals and message overall in terms of the hierarchy of Black women was touching. As with an atmosphere of excellence and history being made (Beyonce is the first black woman to headline Coachella), an array of Black culture and pride, as alumni from HBCUs stood center stage. It’s fair to assume that the theme of the show was not unintentional and anything in-between was well thought out. She might just have an appreciation for such institutions, but one thing you can’t take from her, is she uses her platform to do more than just sing. No-one is alienated, she sings and there’s power, she performs and she’s effective. You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to be moved when she’s on stage. The 10/15 minute segments I watched were okay, but it didn’t do enough justice. After seeing her full Coachella performance (lasting up to hours), the excitement I felt missing from music was back.

There are few performers who have the ability to hold your attention, Beyoncé is definitely one of them. Look away or leave the room, you just might miss something.

Dancers

Her transitions into each song, the musical production, dancers and marching band were all concerts in itself. From Crazy in Love, to paying homage (down south) with Juvenile’s ‘Back That Azz Up’ followed by the anthem ‘Freedom,’ she then took us to church with ‘Lift Every Voice’ by Melinda Doolittle. The Caribbean influences came through with Dawn Penn’s ‘No No No‘, also representing Africa with ‘Zombie’ by Fela Kuti. She slayed ‘Formation’ followed by ‘Sorry,’ but her entire show was unapologetic.

Coachella has been on my to do list as one of those annual events to attend, and I’m kicking myself I didn’t get to see her but boy did she leave an impression. Being a 90s baby means a lot of things; one being a slightly musical snob, so I’m not trying to hear yet another artist being forced on me, you know. There’s the music scene then, vs music now…Totally unmatched. I’ll bop my head and dance to a good beat, but artists wise, a few actually penetrate. It’s that deep. Destiny’s Child is where it all began for Queen B, and my real engagement with R&B albums-from a female group, yes. Mrs Carter is thee best live performer today. It was nice to go back in the archives and watch some of her performances as if I needed reminding! She is from that beloved era after all…;) #Beychella #Coachella the rest is Formation.

Eminem’s freestyling: “The Storm”

Being a music lover and since it got my attention, I decided to add my take on Eminem’s Cypher: from the BET Hip Hop Awards. 

All to familiar with his voice, the opening line was reminiscent of his Slim Shady era. What followed however, reinforces why hip hop will always have a place in our socio/political world. Were parts of it comical? Absolutely. The humour (being the irony) was the Fantastic 4 reference, which then set the tone. I didn’t see this article coming, but his freestyle took me back to a post on Facebook. It was my thoughts, on Donald Trump’s win. My focus went back to the video, and my eagerness to write after hearing the 2nd verse, was more pressing than watching it to the end.

Check out “The Storm” below:

His passion, views on  Trump, and how he sees the current state of America, had an impact to say the least. The pauses to a point, mirrored my shock on election day. I’m not American, but visit the states and feel connected somehow. Irrespective of where you’re from, you heard, saw, or read something about the: US election.

I looked back at my slight vent from a year ago and laughed a little, but then I thought no. Still, it was needed at the time, and its ok. What I do know is whether we like it or not, politics affect our daily lives. Then there’s Pop culture which impacts the youth, enough to shape, move, or be opiniated as  ‘popular culture,’ addresses politics. Colin Kaepernick, is just one example.

Whilst on one hand I didn’t expect this from Eminem, in the other hand I did, in the sense that I’m not shocked. He was going to “go off” at some point, or express his opinion artistically through an album. Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, could be a few to name who’d paraphrase this (considering body of work), and in light of recent events. Public Enemy were pioneers when it came to speaking up, so there’s a long history of this.

Eminem chose to shed light on racial biases, racism, the presidency & more. It’s what he said but the way he said it. The imagery, the silence. He’s challenging a system. Whether his passion, or colour is perhaps a talking point, it should be by no means negative rather:

What did his freestyle do?

Humanity, was what I took from it. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s  shoes. Whether you “can’t” relate, are you human?

That was the message I got.

Kudos to Marshall