Beyonce is Shakespeare
So… some time last week I tweeted:
No… I have not lost my mind.
I was reading random things about her new album and it occurred to me that I am not looking forward to it. Like… No plans to listen… no download plans… Her single, “Run the World (Girls),” is hella wack. I felt a little ashamed that I had fallen off the bandwagon somewhere. I mean… I AM a Beyonce fan. I grew up on Destiny’s Child. (Shoot… if girls today had some kind of Destiny’s Child, they’d be more productive and confident.) I defended Beyonce’s horrible acting in Goldmember. I purchased Dream Girls (even though I haven’t watched it since theaters…) But though I continue to defend her against haters and dick riders alike, I never actually listened to I Am…Sasha Fierce. Ever. I didn’t even try to. I mocked her performance in Obsessed and absolutely refuse to watch her in Cadillac Records. (I do not care what you say. I draw the line at Etta.) How can I really call myself a Beyonce fan now?
In an attempt to find the chasm that claimed my fandom, I embarked on a Beyonce self study. I spent about a week listening to hers and Destiny’s Child’s discographies in chronological order. I already sorta think in song, but I began to think in Knowles. Dumb shit like “diva is a female version of a hustla” began to make sense to me. So on that Thursday as I’m curling my hair and Beyonce calls, “All my single ladies!” knowing that she’s not single and that song was written by a man, it hit me: Beyonce is as close to a Shakespeare as anyone in my brothers’s generation will see.
This isn’t a really deep statement. Eh… it is, but it isn’t. It was my brain’s attempt to put me back into some intellectual space, to contextualize Beyonce in my current life and not my life at 16. But if you think about it… Beyonce is ridiculously prolific and not everything she releases is worthy of high praise but she gets it anyway. Most of her songs aren’t deeply personal. In 100 years, you won’t be able to look at any of her albums as a reflection of her state of mind. Further… A lot of her biggest hits, the songs you reference when you think “Beyonce,” aren’t hers. They’re collaborations or songs she threw her name on. I don’t know about you, but all that makes me think of Shakespeare.
Hopefully y’all don’t still think I’m crazy… I’ll be writing about my Beyonce fandom a little closer to her new album’s release as I gather my thoughts on my emersion… Just… go easy on me between now and then… If I tweet something crazy like “Beyonce did more to shape my feminism than Audre Lorde,” don’t shoot me. For… I’m just an Independent Woman (Part 1) thinking about my Bills, Bills, Bills…