What a weekend for the culture…
The weekend of Friday, April 22 – Sunday, April 24, 2016 began with the release of footage from New Orleans rapper and CEO Birdman’s visit to the NYC studio of The Breakfast Club to submit his entry for 2016 Word of the Year: “Respek“.
And within hours, we had moved from the hard-to-believe to the truly unbelievable with the news of Prince’s transition.
And barely 24 hours after that, on Saturday April 23rd, Beyoncé demonstrated one more time just how many levels there are in this game of life.
By current standards, I probably qualify as a Beyoncé observer at best. The level of admiration, love, and respect accorded to the Queen by her fans is only rivaled by a handful of professional athletes, movie stars, and Apple.
However, we are nearly the same age, so Beyoncé has a strong imprint on the soundtrack of my adult life. It may be hard for the youngest members of the BeyHive to imagine, but back in ’95-’96 when we all started this journey with the then Miss Knowles, she was like one of the teams in this year’s NBA Western Conference playoffs…she was really good, but so were a bunch of other singers.
So I enter conversations about Beyoncé first and foremost with respect. For her gift. For her work ethic. For her mastery of the American media. For her contribution to the culture. For whatever it is that allows Black women from all walks of life to connect to each other collectively and to themselves individually through her presence and performance.
I respect Beyoncé the way most clear-headed sports fans respect Kobe or Peyton. At some point, you have to acknowledge when you bare witness to sustained excellence. Personal fan loyalties and individual personality preferences do not trump the physical manifestation of the Preparation + Opportunity = Success formula.
So it has been both amusing and confusing to watch other people roll up to the Lemonade festivities uninvited in the music and pop culture equivalent to #AllLivesMatter. Many writers, scholars, and fans have risen to the challenge of providing analysis and context about Lemonade at all levels of sophistication.
So I will stick to the silly – the people who love trolling our culture.
LemonSeeds – A Twitter Album Review as Science Report
Out of formation, with love…
– Day G.
Host, Class of Hope & Change