Pop Culture

Beyoncé and I Both Woke Up Flawless

Beyoncé: Hittin' the heisman on these hoes since 1997

Beyoncé: Hittin’ the heisman on these hoes since 1998

Let’s be clear: Beyoncé releases an album, I buy an album. I’m far from a “YAAASSSSSSSSS B*TCH YASSSSSSS” member of the Beyhive, but sometimes I think Ludacris wrote the hook for “Stand Up” with Queen Bey (I will be using Queen Bey for the rest of this writing because I’m tired of the special character tap-dance I have to do in order to achieve the accent aigu her mother felt the need to put at the end of her name) in mind since well, when she moves, we move…just like that.

Well, most of us anyway. Truth be told, I was about to rest soundly and humbly in my abode that fateful December evening (last Thursday evening) when it seemed like all of the people who would usually post misguided selfies on my Instagram feed began posting the pictures of an album for sale by Queen Bey. This made no sense to me since we’d received nary a video, single or peep about a new album. But lo and behold, there it was.

Which, in a strange way,  totally made up for the craptastic and lazy ass end to Scandal’s third season halfway mark. It’s almost like Shonda Rhimes knew and was like, “f*ck it, we’ll just toss this hot garbage onto their televisions because an hour later they’ll get a Queen Bey album and forget all about us.” Which worked. Because iTunes.

Much has been said about this album already. It’s raunchy. She’s either setting back feminism 100 years or pushing it forward. I honestly have no idea. In fact, the Internet has ruined my understanding of feminism to the point where I really have no clue what its all about. Or womanism for that matter (because that’s a thing too right?) All because of the million or so articles written about Queen Bey and feminism (or lack thereof…or something). I mean, I want equality and all that jazz too. I just like people. Can anybody explain that?

The most significant piece of this album was how she did it. I know we all want to think of her as a genius, but I read online somewhere that this was done because the label didn’t support the album to the point of promoting it because of how it might impact her image. And it is definitely an album that’s taken her sexuality and freedom to a whole new level. She’s a woman who owns it and that’s on display and a good thing. Listening to it, I can see how labels that have her boxed into a lane might be concerned about what the reception she might be. But they forgot that whole…

…when she moves, we move. Just like that.

There was a time back in the mid-2000s where I used to joke that Andre 3000 could have dropped an album full of dogs barking and dudes would still have found merit in it like, “you ain’t never heard dogs bar like they just did for 3 Stacks.” Well Bey has been there for eons at this point. F*ck a navy, Bey’s fans are somewhat insane and off-balance. So she drops an album and Internet might break (from what I gather, iTunes actually did crash for a bit). I feel like if she dropped an album of her own recording of the Brenda Lee “Sweet Nothin’s sample of “uh huh honey” made famous by Kanye’s “Bound 2″ she’d sell a milli.

Of course, Bey is not without her detractors. For every fan is a person who still doesn’t get the hype. She can sing but she can’t touch Fantasia or Jennifer Hudson or Mariah. She dances like Keri Hilson after three years of dance lessons from Darrin Henson and Devyne Stephens (who still to date is reigning king of the most hilarious hard-core/dancin-arse-ninja video ever for “Uh Huh” from way back in the day. I mean my man walks out the door with the thug walk then hits a ballet step. You can’t make this stuff up.). But at this point, to hate on Queen Bey is more for yourself than others. I saw a joke online that said something to the effect of “Y’all act like dropping an album that nobody knows about is new. Keri Hilson does it all the time”, which…ouch, but in today’s day and age the fact that she managed to pull this off is a bigger story than the album which is good, and I happily enjoy still having access to “Bow Down” though its linked by a very wonderful spoken word piece portion of a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie (who I’d never heard of before but am glad to be aware of now) that doesn’t match the song so well, but that’s alright.

There’s a song called “Drunk In Love” that features a Jay verse that makes me think he didn’t know of the album’s existence either til early Thursday afternoon when she told him to put a verse on it. But that’s okay…because Jay-Z. Every woman in America with this album seems to love this song which makes me realize how many women really aspire to drunken sex with their men. I suppose since Bey already covered single ladies, she decided to grace us with a drunk chick anthem which humorously mentions the word “surfboard”. The song “Swag Surfin’” didn’t even mention a surfboard. That Beyoncé (broke my pledge) is always ahead of the game. Such a cute song.

If I had a quarter for every time I received a text message that said, “boy I’m drankin”, well…quarters. There’s even the cute song featuring Blue Ivy entitled “Blue”. Awwww.

I know its not a popular opinion amongst ninjas who are supposed to be music people and/or just know better, but I truly appreciate Beyoncé. Not only does she snatch wigs without folks even knowing it, she lets other think they’re winning by not making a peep before snatching their wigs. Bow down indeed. You may be saying to yourself, did Panama just spend 4-6 minutes of my precious time talking about Beyoncé?

Yes, I did. YAAASSSSSS B*TCH.

Queen Bey made me get out of my bed, walk down my stairs to my really cold bottom level, pick up my computer, carry it back up my stairs, turn it on, and spend $15 of my child’s college fund on an album I didn’t know existed until the Internets lost their collective mind.

It’s the least I could do for Queen Bey.

In the words of Diddy, you can hate me now. You’re welcome.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. YAASSSSSSSSSSSS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • Cheekie Mae

    NO YOU DIDN’T REFERENCE UH HUH THO. LMFAOOOOOOO

    Anyway.

    The funniest tweet I read of that night was some ninja who said something like, “Bey can record 17 tracks of silence and stans would still be like KERI COULD NEVER BE QUIET LIKE THIS YASSSSSSSS!”

    *crying laughing* (RT if you cry evrytim.)

    • Yoles

      i watched that gangsta dancing video and fell all the way the fuck out… all the way… i have fallen and i can’t get up… still

      • panamajackson

        Now imagine seeing that in the late 90s. All up and thru the television…in a dorm room.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      I wonder what Keri Hilson thought of this album release. Maybe she’s thinking of reconsidering the whole “move it to the left/Go have some babies” line. Though according to her Twitter feed, she’s performing in LA for New Year’s. :)

      • Cheekie Mae

        Yo, she may not be Beyonce but she DOES have the glorious Serge Ibaka inside her on the regular. She good. Rawr.

        • miss t-lee

          Exactly. I don’t think she’s bothered. AT ALL.

        • keisha brown

          LISTEN.
          WHEW LAWDDDDDD……
          #hissweatpantsdoe

        • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

          I forgot what Serge Ibaka looked like and one of things that come came up as I was typing his name in Google was “Serge Ibaka bulge”.

          ( ._.)

          • Cheekie Mae

            His bulge is his legacy. Whew. Wow. chile. …. Ohhhh lordy, trouble so hard.

            • miss t-lee

              Dayum right. I might not know much about Ibaka, but i’ll never forget that grey sweatpants pic.

            • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

              (._. )

          • Yoles

            i looked it up… it changed my life

            • WIP

              Oh my…
              no wonder we haven’t heard from her in a while. GD.

            • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

              well it must be pretty impressive if it changed your life.

            • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

              I’m just now seeing this. Does anybody know if Keri’s cervix is intact? She may be in imminent danger. lol.

              • miss t-lee

                I’m sure she’s more than good. Probably on it early and often.
                Music? Nah..I’m good.

              • Yoles

                the va.gina is a magical place…

      • Lawwwdhammercy!!

        Keri Hilson got NO worries! Chick is a talented songwriter, she may be subpar as a performer, but she’s doing her own thang! That’s my boo, since forever!

    • Rachmo

      NOT THE POP TART STORY REFERENCE! BAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Cheekie Mae

        I actually say “RT if you cry evrytim” in real life because the sheer bliss that story gave me. Reading that was definitely one of my alltime cry-laugh moments.

  • keisha brown

    LMFAO.
    this post rocked.

    i too am not a bey stan, but if you can’t respect her not only dropping an album, SANS leak but SEVENTEEN VIDEOS – then i don’t know what to tell you.

    oh and..dudes are winning off some of these songs…(or the ladies if you into that.)

    what i love is that she is finally hitting her stride as a woman. it’s been said that women peak in their 30′s (sexually) and we come to a point of we stop caring what society has told us to think about ourselves. we own being sexual creatures. and she’s doing this with her husband, within the confines of her marriage, so people can’t call her a harlot.

    *goes to replay rocket..wishes i had one to ri–nvr mind.
    bai!

    • minxbrie

      I mean, the NSA should consider hiring her and her team, government secrets would stay on lock forever.

      • panamajackson

        I do think thats probably the most impressive part of the whole thing….how in the hell, in today’s day and age, does anybody manage to NOT have a single leak of a song or anything?

        • minxbrie

          “Superpower” had been leaked a few days before the album drop, but still. I don’t know what kind of contracts they were making people sign or threats they laid out, but the fact that her fan base didn’t have a clue is damn amazing. She basically pulled a Shonda – just quietly slid something in that made everyone go WHAAAATTT?!

          • Sarita Alexander

            Jay said “remember everybody signed to Roc a Fella? EXACTLY. don’t let that happen to you.” nobody wants that, so everybody stayed quiet.

        • minxbrie

          “Superpower” had been leaked a few days before the album drop, but still. I don’t know what kind of contracts they were making people sign or threats they laid out, but the fact that her fan base didn’t have a clue is damn amazing. She basically pulled a Shonda – just quietly slid something in that made everyone go WHAAAATTT?!

        • proper light skinned

          i read that most leaks happen in the week that the product goes to manufacturers to be copied and distributed. so during this week when it’s being copied, people can get it on itunes and she doesn’t have to worry about (as many) illegal downloads.

          i’m waiting for my physical copy from best buy!

    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

      I’m still in my early 20′s and I don’t give AF about society so I can only imagine what my 30′s will be like :-D

    • Amethyst

      “we own being sexual creatures. and she’s doing this with her husband,
      within the confines of her marriage, so people can’t call her a harlot.”

      She’s only 50% owning it though. I think she feels a lot more comfy dancing to and singing these extra raunchy lyrics because she married, and we all know (assume) she’s singing about her hubby, so it’s okay. Don’t think she would have tried it without the ‘cover’ of Jay.

      • keisha brown

        fair enough.
        i dont think we see this side of her if her pops is still managing her though.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’d rather listen to married Beyonce sing about sex than trainwreck Rihanna. When the latter does it, it seems kind of desperate and sad.

    • WIP

      lol, y’all are killing me with Rocket. Maybe I’ll like it the 2nd or 3rd time I listen to it…

      • panamajackson

        Rocket is my sh*t.

        • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

          I told you it would be…I sat up here Friday morning and gave y’all explicit details about what that song and its effects on me.

    • Maris

      Eh. I’m one of those people that only listens to Bey when her song comes up on the radio or in the club so i mostly avoid these discussions…but I GOTTA ask….

      In our year of the good Lord 2013, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and the “Queen” all flounced around in thongs. Why after a full year of slut-shaming is Bey “empowered” and “owning her chexuality”? I don’t get it.

      • keisha brown

        im not really looking at other artists and the year, i’m looking at her progression as a woman.
        and probably really telling on myself. LOL.

        when you are in your twenties (and a late bloomer), you don’t know your own body. you have to have experiences to figure what you like/don’t like etc. heartbreak happens. the panda a. pandas happen. bitterness/jadedness seep in.

        and in that time society changed. the script of what good girls do and dont do has changed. heck, see yesterdays’ post about side pieces.

        then you/i/her get to a point where you just want to be free from the shackles/burdens/expectations that others have placed on you. you want to say to a dude – send me a pic and not care if he judges you. you want to fluck a dude on the 1st date – and not care. you want to be able to express yourself, learn, test your boundaries and not care. you want to openly be that ‘freak’ dudes are always saying they want women to be.

        there is (some) freedom there. even with the sexual consequences always falling on the women. some get there, some do. many don’t know what it looks like.

      • WIP

        I wasn’t impressed by Bey’s a$$ hanging out either; I didn’t get empowerment from that but I guess it just went over my head, LoL. I think Ri and Miley looked a hot mess.

        Lady Gaga been dressing like that; she’s on some other sh**

        • Maris

          My inner theater geek does a jig every time Gaga comes out in some mirrored meat dress adorned with rubber pacifiers and gold-plated fish hook earrings. #JudgeMe

      • Luca

        Yeah this was my question too. I like some of her music, sometimes, but mostly I don’t like or get the rational for a kind of faux-humble attitude, existing right next to the over the top “alter-ego” that gets trotted out on the regular to explain the disparity between her personality and her stage performance. I mean, which is real?

        • http://oneorganizedbusiness.com/ Alaia Williams

          Good question

        • proper light skinned

          both. naturally i’m quiet and kinda shy. but as a high school teacher i have to “perform” to keep my students’ attention. i’m not the same person at work as i am at home where i’m comfortable. same thing with bey, she just sensationalizes it with naming her work persona an alter ego.

      • miss t-lee

        Uh oh…lol

  • http://testorshia.blogspot.com/ Testorshia Turner

    I have yet to buy the album. Not sure I will. It sounds vastly different from what we hear from Bey, which I appreciate. I may just wait til all that “YAS” and “WERK” has eased up before I take a really deep listen to everything.

    Gotta admire that effort. Gotta love that marketing (or lack thereof. Is having your fan base market for you…marketing?).

    • afronica

      ” Is having your fan base market for you…marketing?”

      In the age of social media, this is the *best* marketing. Better than any paid PR.

    • panamajackson

      Absolutely. If you’re an artist of her caliber in terms of reach and appeal, its probably better to let everybody else do the work for you anyway.

  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

    All this album sounds like to me is shame for not getting a winter cuffing buddy.

    • Lawwwdhammercy!!

      winter cuffing buddies are available……maybe you ain’t looking in the right places.

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com/ Testorshia Turner

        Agreed.

      • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

        This late into December? Thought that finished up at the tail end of Autumn.

        • Lawwwdhammercy!!

          of course! It’s never too late to find a cuff buddy. You ain’t looking for a WIFE.

          • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

            Guess I gotta work on my resume then.

            • Yoles

              you and me both!!!

              • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                *sideeye*

                • Yoles

                  what is with all this low key, above board shade i am getting lately?!?! i need to round somebody up!! #realtalk

                  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                    We JUST had a conversation a couple days ago yoles

                    • Yoles

                      he’s a contender i aint got no finalists though!!!

                    • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                      You out here looking for finalists while I’m trying to properly submit applications for possible positions opening.

                    • afronica

                      Yoles is like Google interviewing for full-time employees while others are still trying to get healthcare.gov or Yahoo Mail to work.

            • Sahel

              Dude,all you need to do is chill at the grocery store. Watch the women,those who are alone don’t buy that much stuff. Zero in and strike up a convo that involves Kale,the Saints and the NY Giants

              • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

                i’m snickering at the kale comment.

                • Val

                  He’s right about the kale though. It’s hot right now. Lol

                  • Lawwwdhammercy!!

                    it’s good for constipation issues.

                    • Val

                      Lol. I had no idea.

                  • Sahel

                    Cos am right. I started the trend

                • panamajackson

                  Kale is having the best year ever.

                  • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

                    Better than sidepieces?

                    • panamajackson

                      Not quite as good…but a sidepiece that eats kale is winning out here.

                  • Cheekie Mae

                    I’mma become a rapper and name myself Kale. (pronounced like Wale)

              • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                I’m a Jets fan Sahel. Shout out to Shamira though!

                • Sahel

                  Then talk about what happened during the weekend with the Jets. A sympathy angle always works lol

                  • Val

                    That’s messed up. Lol

                • Shamira

                  -___- imma fight you

        • Val

          It’s not even officially Winter yet. Cuffing season is just getting going.

          • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

            It’s snowed like 4 times in the past 10 days. It’s winter.

            • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

              I haven’t seen any snow :-D

              HAHA!!!!

              • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                Good don’t want you shooting anyone.

                • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                  what??

                  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                    We had this conversation with you and snowball fights.

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      Oh ok, you have to provide me with some context Malik. We talk about a lot of things. I still maintain that those kids at Oregon would’ve gotten all the bullets and mace I had on me though.

        • helga_g

          Never! Now is time to “console” those breaking up around the holidays… you better put on the cape and be great young man.

          • Sahel

            This is PIMP wisdom. Did you grow up close to one

          • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

            I retired my cape though.

        • panamajackson

          Naw bruh…there’s buddies available for the free.99 everywhere.

    • Yoles

      @madlark:disqus you aint never lie… this album is a need “somebody in the bed” album if i ever heard one before

      • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

        got me scheming on my winter boo… -_-

        • Lawwwdhammercy!!

          hold up, is you about to get your scandal on?! ain’t you already permanently boo’d till death do you part?!

          • Yoles

            her winter boo also happens to be her husband but that doesn’t mean she can’t scheme on taking him to pound town ;)

            • Lawwwdhammercy!!

              i ain’t mad at her! gerrit!

            • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

              Yoles got it :) Sometimes you gotta sneak up on him and swerve to remind him just who he’s f*ng with. literally.

              • Yoles

                ooooooooo kayyyyyyyy

                #GetItGurl

                • Lawwwdhammercy!!

                  i know right?!?!!? shiiid, that was a HOT comment.

        • Rachmo

          Girl I went home and *signal drops*

          • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

            *breaks out handy dandy signal booster* We ALL know what time it is. Maybe I need to get back into dating if this album is getting the women all revved up. I might be in like Matt Flynn on the Cowboys defense. :)

          • Sahel

            Finish the story

    • Cheekie Mae

      Tell me about it. This album is just a journey in frustration for those of us without one. But… maybe I can use it for preparation. Until then I’mma just keep listening to… vine.co/v/hPUpXBjmTMu grrrrrrr

      • helga_g

        whhhyyyyyyyyyyy lolololol

      • NomadaNare

        LMAO

  • Lawwwdhammercy!!

    sigh!

  • Ratcher_Connoisseur

    You act like you didn’t want to change your post for friday night when it dropped.

    • Amethyst

      LOL!

    • panamajackson

      Damon was writing last week. I actually may have -had I been writing – took down my post and rewrote another post that only included the word Beyonce.

  • minxbrie

    I think I ended up in moderation land for my stan-ing…Here are the cliff notes:

    -I joined the hive, PRAISE BEYSUS
    -White Feminist ™ can kindly STFU with their noise
    - I am only interested in hearing from other WOC’s such as the Trudz: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/69871028815/beyonce-new-album-itunes-music

    • Lawwwdhammercy!!

      Beyonce is NOT a feminist, having Chimamanda’s voice, or even senteces in an album does not equate to feminism. Ya’ll or whoever has been in support of this madness of calling her feminist, can occupy all the couches, sits and available beds.

      • minxbrie

        You don’t see her as a feminist? Cool. But there is no step-by-step instruction manual on who is and is not a feminist. Chimananda’s TED talk is not the ONLY reason she’s being praised.

        • Lawwwdhammercy!!

          There is no step by step manual, but this chick is soooo NOT a feminist. What she has done is CAPITALIZE off of feminism. Feminism in recent years has been a hot button topic, and what greater time to step in and suddenly adopt feminist ideal$! Mmmmmh….

          • minxbrie

            I can side with you there, but who hasn’t? The average woman gets sneered at for declaring herself a feminist, but the second a celebrity does it, it’s genius. But Beyonce didn’t NEED feminism to capitalize, if anything she’s just ostracized parts of her audience. And I can criticize B for a quite a few things, but this will not be one.

            • Lawwwdhammercy!!

              girrrrrl, nobody is saying that she needed feminism to make bank. uh uh, Beyonce, has been making bank since before Methuselah’s conception and eventual birth and will continue to do so. Bow down bishe$! She hasn’t ostracized parts of her audience. Her audience EATS up whatever she serves. If she calls herself Dr.PHD/MBA/Esq Beyonce, her audience will buy it, and why the phakk not?!?!

              • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

                Umm, Mami? (crosses fingers and hopes she guessed right)

                • Lawwwdhammercy!!

                  sup girl!

                • Sahel

                  Am enjoying this post. I want to know what maketh a feminist.

                  • Around the Way Girl

                    In that song everyone is referring to (Flawless) Beyonce uses Adichie’s definition of a feminist as a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. I’m feeling that definition; it’s very inclusive. Even a man can be one.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      But to me it misses the other half of the coin which is, actively does things to move towards a more just and equal society. i would think you have to be both, am I correct?

                • Rachmo

                  Good guess!

              • minxbrie

                And I’m not mad at it. She wants to serve feminism* on a plate to people who thought it was a dirty word and can only identify with feminism through things such as s-positivity and revisionism? Cool. There are multiple feminist identities and denying her one because she does it one way rather than another doesn’t help the bigger picture. We use women who won’t even TOUCH the word feminism as feminist icons, so why can’t Beyonce be included? Because she banks on it? So does Lena Dunham, Jessica Valenti, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler…I’d rather her use it and capitalize on it than pull a Gaga, a T-swift or the many other celebrities who only paint it as a man-hating, hairy armpit movement when we know that there are multiple feminist theories; there is no one way to go about it and as shown, not every feminist is going to agree on the same topic.

                *I’m not going to touch this as womanism, because that’s a whole other conversation – some think it’s womanism, I rather see what she’s doing as liberal/easy mainstream feminism.

                • Lawwwdhammercy!!

                  good LAWD! Beyonce IS the second coming!

                  • minxbrie

                    Nah, I’m just here for messing up anyone’s perceptions on who ran and still runs the feminist movement. They erased Black women from the civil right’s movement and POC’s from Stonewall, so MY feminism means I will support anything that screws with the perception that feminism is a white woman’s movement when they are just as complicit in supporting racism while screaming “Intersectionality!” and failing to credit Crenshaw.

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      Here for you!! :-D

                      My feminism means whatever the heck I want it to mean for me. If I want to define feminism as puss-C popping for my man in the back of a limo while he nuts on my dress, then that’s what feminism encompasses for me (keyword = me)

                      I don’t need anyone running up on me telling me how to appropriately support a movement that ultimately is supposed to benefit my vagina having asz.

                    • minxbrie

                      I just believe that the reason feminism has branched off into so many theories and identities is because complexity is needed, so if we start identity-policing everyone we fall right back into these same binaries which have limited us – I mean, I have some choice words about TERF’s and White Feminism ™ so I’m by no means perfect.

                      My feminism will never align perfectly with someone else’s feminism, but I’m sure most of us still have the same values underneath it all and as long as we can keep generating discussion, I’m happy.

                    • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

                      (TERF = Trans Exclusive Radical Feminist for the uninitiated)

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      thanks I needed that

                      (even though you don’t go hard in the paint for me, but it’s cool)

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      VSB is home to many black people who try to police what the black community “should be” and they have an idea of what is acceptable, not acceptable, etc. Quiet as is kept though, their parents, aunties, uncles, and grandparents are the same people they’re trying so hard to dissociate themselves from in order to be seen as this “upper echelon” ninja who is socially well rounded, cultured, and pristine.

                      ETA: I used to think me going to college meant I was doing something. My dad never went to college. He’s so fucking proud of me for going and finishing and trying to go to med school. Fuck med school. My father hasn’t a degree to his name and can engage in lively discourse with many an individual on many a subject. A piece of paper doesn’t make me or break my father. But, everyone around me would have me to believe that my dad is a shiftless mufugga for not being an engineer, or an accountant, or (insert whatever job you find respectable).

                      Some of y’all are so proud of your jobs and $800,000 degrees that you fail to realize you aren’t doing nearly as well as you think you are.

                    • Sahel

                      Interesting angle..

                    • minxbrie

                      Honestly, higher education is not cheap in North America and highly unaccessible. I mean, an undergrad degree is quickly becoming equivalent to a high school diploma, which further marginalizes those who are unable to pursue it or don’t want to. I value education but you don’t need to sit in a classroom to get it.

                      I just happen to really enjoy school and apparently, student debt.

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      Exactly.

                      Folks just so quick to puff out their chests and jump at the chance to mention their accolades. They’ll speak up about how Beyonce is just a jigga boo, shucking and jiving and not promoting change but look up their portfolio. Are they evoking the change they keep claiming they want to see? Are they helping someone ELSE get into their beloved alma mater? Are they contributing to their alma mater’s endowment fund? Are they mentoring some college student who is looking to go into their respective field? Are they giving some college student a job after graduation?

                      Are they going into underserved communities addressing the needs of those within that space? Are they feeding kids who are going to class hungry every day? Are they extending their townhouses and their European cars to kids who come from broken homes and need a temporary guardian?

                      Nah, y’all are up here on VSB Monday-Friday with me discussing thoughts and ideas.

                    • Freebird

                      comment. of. the.year.

                    • John Shannon

                      Then what’s the point of “Higher” Standards and Achievements if Somebody that Hasn’t or Isn’t doing what College-Educated Folks had to endure and complete are As Equal or Better???????????
                      If that’s the case then Men and Women need to REALLY knock off 90% of their Quality List when it comes to being Educated, and would validate that Side Pieces have been Winning in 2013…..
                      Sorry, Afro, but I’m going to Promote MY DEGREE like I’m Kanye and Throw it in the Faces of the Ones who Chose NOT to go to College and thought I was Ain’t Shyte because I Didn’t Strive to “Be and Do Better” to Go sooner…. Fcuk That

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      Ok

                    • Shamira

                      Feminism is about choice. I don’t understand how we can fight for the rights of secks workers and turn around and say that beyonce cant be feminist because she twerks FOR HER HUSBAND. Like…what….

                      If that’s antifeminism then I’ll hand in my membership card RIGHT NAH.

                      It’s sad that WOC have been fighting for the right to be heard in cis white women feminism yet still internally play their own respectability politics.

                    • John Shannon

                      Iono about that- Most if not Many Men would Like/Love that without having to do ANY Worthwhile Effort, and THAT would make it Sexist and Misogynistic if I or any Man said what you just said, AfroPetite………..
                      It’s That Hypocritical BS that gives Feminism- regardless WHO Woman-Wise is leading or speaking for it- the Bad Rep it has

                    • NomadaNare

                      Hurrah!

                    • minxbrie

                      Being a feminist doesn’t suddenly make a person anti-racist, anti-sexist, or not homophobic/transphobic. It’s a work in progress and an understanding that feminism doesn’t mean everything gets figured out at one time. Perceptions change, we learn new things, we try to be more inclusive but the whole point of having differing views and opinions is so we can keep learning – but as I said before, I don’t romp with TERF’s and WF™ because that’s just a mess.

          • Shamira

            I don’t understand why she can’t be a feminist. People keep saying that and it does not compute. I keep thinking that we’re looking at different dictionaries.

            • WIP

              I have looked at various definitions of feminism on count of these discussions; I’m not sure who qualifies and who doesn’t.

          • Rachmo

            What is a feminist in your definition?

      • Cheekie Mae

        But… at its core… ain’t feminism about the freedom to choose? I think when women fought for their rights… whatever was the opposite of that was seen as BAD BAD BAD. And the focus went left. For example, women fighting for their right to work… then sullied the identity of the housewife. But, the thing is… some women WANT to be a housewife… and that’s okay. Because it’s their choice. Which is the whole point. Same with freedom in expressing sexual identity. Being free in expressing that is a POWERFUL counteraction to those who use it to demean us… it doesn’t further demean you if you own it as positive. And in my opinion… Sex-positive ftw.

    • afronica
      • minxbrie

        I read that last night actually! It’s an interesting article. But I don’t know, for some reason, it kinda made me think back to Feminista Jone’s tweets on her theory that Jay and Bey have a BSDM relationship.

  • Cheekie Mae

    No, really… the most entertaining thing about that night is the stans. http://25.media.tumblr.com/4730cc34008037fa4dfacd108b2f525e/tumblr_mxrnl9yn2T1qlzuomo1_250.gif

  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com/ Ricky

    The album is good. Doesn’t need any qualifiers around good either. I’m happy to see so many Black women collectively happy and sharing moments with each other too even if it isn’t all that likely I’ll still be listening to much of this album by January.

  • DC

    Okay. First, I give Beyonce kudos for keeping this album under serious wraps. Second, I am totally loving a few of these songs: Flawless, Jealous, Superpower, Yonce. Third, after attempting to learn the Single Ladies dance, I’ve had a new found respect for her as a performer.

    However, personally, something seems a bit off about her take on feminism and women’s empowerment. I believe in sexual empowerment and all that good stuff, but these days, subtlety is sorely lacking. And in my opinion her exemplification of feminism is done through the patriarchal paradigm.

    It’s kind of crazy how so many people think she’s the second coming. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone that this is what/who people look up to nowadays (and I am in my mid-twenties) Sorry, not bowing down, but I will be rocking to a few of those songs.

    • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

      I haven’t heard it. I’m waiting for it to be somewhere else except in the apple tree.

      I can understand why people think that a woman using her own secksy for her own pleasure/profit/amusement would seem like it is patriarchy, but if you look at it straight on, its not. She is using HER OWN secksy for HER OWN pleasure/profit/amusement. Where is the patri in this archy? It’s imagined. It’s about owning your own body and the power contained in it. Being a powerful woman =/= putting your seckspower under a blanket in the basement. Actually, I consider that patriarchy. To me that would mean saying I cannot be secksy unless it’s for the man whose name I took. I can’t use my seckspower unless I am owned first. If I use it for myself, I’m a heaux. i should be ashamed of myself because I didn’t get owned first.

      Get it?

      • DC

        I am all for sexual empowerment, but to me, it seems as though there is no happy medium these days. Woo-hoo my butt’s hanging out, I’m sexually liberated–so elementary. Shaming women for being sexual beings–no go, in my book.

        Just as I don’t find dudes rapping and singing about how they “love” women and having women shaking their butts in their videos empowering, I don’t find Miley Cyrus, Rihanna etc. to be shining examples of sexual liberation. Do you? What about video dancers?

        We live in a patriarchal society–period. And this new form of sexual liberation feeds right into patriarchy–they’re eating it up. We’re being bred in a society where hypersexualization (men and women) and degradation of women (men) is what will get you a recording contract. Britney Spears was singing Hit Me Baby One More Time at 16, in a school girl uniform, Aaliyah was 15 when Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number came out–is this our new normal? Sadly, it is.

        But hey, guess we should own it. So powerful…

        • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

          So when are you going to tell the Whippersnappers to pipe down and get off your lawn! Seriously, this whole “kids were never this $exual” BS is so brand new, I don’t know how to even deal. If anything, this whole chaste until 25 is the brand new movement. I can go in my house right now and dig up one picture of a likely-underaged grandmother dressed as a flapper (yes, you read that right. My grandparents were old as heck when my dad was born) and another of my other grandmother in the club at the ripe old age of 18.

          People need to get over themselves. Yes, I understand the sexualization of girls and boys before they’re emotionally ready is a Bad Thing, but let’s not pretend it’s somehow new. Stop. Just stop.

          • DC

            It’s definitely more aggressive these days, especially because there are so many media outlets –the impact and influence is ridiculously strong. I don’t think we’re honing sexuality for boys or girls the right way, but again, it’s all subjective and everyone has their own perspective.

            • OSHH

              Pretty much, ITA………….furthermore I been grown for a while now and musically contrived pop raunchiness does not appeal to my sensibilities nor does it speak to my sexy, as much as substantive nuance. The mind is the largest sex organ.

          • DC

            It’s definitely more aggressive these days, especially because there are so many media outlets –the impact and influence is ridiculously strong. I don’t think we’re honing sexuality for boys or girls the right way, but again, it’s all subjective and everyone has their own perspective.

        • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

          Of course it’s powerful. The most powerful thing on earth is the nani. When women truly understand the power of the nani and use it to their benefit, whether it be on a pole or in a video or just shaking it and leaving weak-kneed men in their wake, they are empowered.

          The thing I think you are missing is, it doesn’t matter what men think of it. if a guy thinks he’s getting free jollies looking at somebody’s azz and he thinks that demeans her, that’s in his head. It doesn’t make her less powerful or demeaned. She’s only demeaned if she didn’t fully choose to show her azz. The eyes, thoughts, peens, intentions or last names of men neither give nor take value from women.

          • DC

            Agreed, but a lot of times choices are made within a certain paradigm. If the landscape were different, different choices would be made…and that’s life, I guess.

            Slight side note: Do you find it respectful when Jay calls Bey a *itch? “I got that hot *itch in my home.” He also made some Tina and Ike reference on her new album etc. And there are other lyrics of his that I honestly don’t find respectful of her, but if she likes it, then go right ahead.

    • WIP

      ” Third, after attempting to learn the Single Ladies dance, I’ve had a new found respect for her as a performer.”
      I think the baby girl from YouTube got me beat trying to dance to “End of Time.”

      • DC

        Yessss–I had to shake my head at myself with that one. Put to dancing shame by a three year old.