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The 10 Best (And Worst) Moments From The Blackest VMAs I’ve Ever Seen

The realization occurred during Rihanna’s extended dancehall set.

As I watched her emerge from a sea of dozens of niggas from Flatbush grinding and winding and puppy-tailing on the VMA stage, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d ever seen that many Black people on the VMAs at the same time. (No.) Which then made me ask if at that point — an hour into the night — there’d been any White performers. (Just Ariana Grande. Who earned honorary Black sympathy points by dating Big Sean, so she doesn’t even really count. Thank you for your service, Ariana. May your wings forever be well-cooked and properly seasoned.)

Which then led me to conclude that I was watching the Blackest VMAs ever. Not the best — as the only actual memorable performances on stage were Beyonce’s set and Rihanna’s cheekbone jumping between her lips and Drake’s lips and taking the bullet. But as someone who’s watched enough VMAs to consider himself a VMA watching veteran (which is the most depressing thing I consider myself to be), I can’t recall a Blacker time. The hosts were Black, the co-hosts were Black, the presenters were (mostly) Black, the performers were (mostly) Black, the winners were (mostly) Black, and even Kanye was (mostly) Black last night.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the night MTV stole BET’s steez.

1. If you’re not a fan of Key & Peele, I imagine last night was a 180-minute-long confirmation of why you find their absurd and at times too esoteric humor to be grating. If you are a fan of Key & Peele (as I am) I imagine last night was the equivalent of convincing your friends to accompany you to a restaurant they’re not particularly fond of.

Trust me!” you say. “The food is gonna be great this time!” So they come with you, already skeptical, and eat the food…and hate it. “Well” you say in response to their collective irritable bowels “it’s an acquired taste.”

That said, even as a fan, I have to admit they had more misses than hits last night.

2. I’ve come to believe that the only reason I have a baby is that when she’s mature and advanced enough to communicate complex thoughts, she finds a way to help me understand why Future is a thing. And I’m saying this as someone who actually doesn’t actively dislike his music. I think it’s generally okay, and I really liked “Same Damn Time” for nearly three weeks in 2012. I just feel the same way about him that I feel about cucumbers. They’re fine in salads and on vegetable trays and shit. But if cucumber cafes suddenly became a thing — popping up in spades in every gentrified neighborhood — I would go into the nearest cucumber cafe, stand on a table and scream “WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE HERE?!? CUCUMBERS ARE NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE A THING!!! THEY DON’T EVEN TASTE LIKE ANYTHING!!! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAN THE CUCUMBER THING TO ME BECAUSE I JUST DON’T GET IT AND IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!”

3. That said, as an admirer of performative petty, I appreciate the cameraman who zoomed in on Desiigner while Future was performing. That was top-notch, Grade-A petty. If Future is a cucumber, Desiigner is a water chestnut.

4. Jay Pharoah’s Kevin Hart is his Mona Lisa, his masterpiece. It’s so good that he should attempt to convince Hollywood to save a few million with the next Kevin Hart movie and just start casting him doing a Kevin Hart impression instead of Kevin Hart.

5. Alicia Keys seems to be firmly ensconced in and committed to this “bless her heart” phase of her career, and it’s sweet. Her heart is blessed. She is nestled in try-hard; burrowed in earnestness; snuggled up in a blanket of African Arts Festival tent residue. And, last night, she invented a new genre: spoken word classic rock. Good for her!

6. Listening to Kanye West speak on stage in 2016 is like waiting in a two-hour-long line for a broken roller coaster. The anticipation of what he might say far surpasses the interestingness of what he actually says. Which, for him, is unfortunate. Because his music is still very good. As is (some of) the things he has to say when it’s not “Kanye is saying things now” time. But the residue of the fatigue of his increasingly transparent attempts at provocation — which is now actually, kinda just boring — has a way of permeating how the music is processed and assessed.

7. I’m glad White America knows who Teyana Taylor is now. Welcome to the party. And I just hope her insane performance and her literally unbelievable body — it was like watching a live-action Elastagirl — doesn’t distract them from the fact that Iman Shumpert and the Cleveland Cavaliers fought back from a 3-to-1 series deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

8. Beyonce…Beyonce just Beyonced. There’s nothing else to say. Beyonce just Beyonced the fuck out of that stage. And Beyonced the fuck out of the backstage by having the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Oscar Grant as her guests.

(Of course, the obvious question here is “What about Sandra Bland’s people?” But, well, um, let’s just move on.)

laurie

Yes, Laurie Hernandez, we all felt the same way when watching her perform.

9. So, we’ve already established that scheduling Britney Spears’s much-hyped comeback performance right after Beyonce was cruel and unusual punishment. This was ultimately the VMA’s equivalent of waterboarding. Even Britney herself seemed shellshocked at MTV positioning her to be the Sam’s Club Splenda to Beyonce’s Lemonade.

But what’s the alternative? You can’t really open or close the show with her now in 2016, so she was always going to be stuck in the middle somewhere. So why not schedule her directly after Beyonce — a time you know most people will be watching? I guess that question doesn’t have a very satisfying answer either. Maybe next year, when, I don’t know, Pink or someone wants to make a big comeback splash, they should just send her to voicemail. And then pick up at the last moment like “Oh, I didn’t know you were calling. Did you want to be on the show?” And then Pink says “Yes!” And they’re like “We only have one slot left. After Beyonce. Are you cool with that?” And then Pink, already deep in “left like 16 voicemails already” fatigue, just says yes and accepts it.

10. Of course, the entire night was ultimately a prolonged culmination to Rihanna’s acceptance of the Video Vanguard Award. Which ultimately served as a contrived meet-cute to get Drake and Rihanna on stage together. Let’s talk about that!

Remember on The Wire, right before Michael killed Snoop, when she said (paraphrasing) “You never could have been one of us” — her way of saying that Michael just had too much of a conscience to be like Snoop, Chris, and Marlo? Well, I feel the same way about Drake and “being a fuckboy.” He makes fuckboy anthems — shit, he makes entire fuckboy albumstries to do fuckboy things, dates fuckboy magnets, and even apparently became BFFs with Future, who’s basically Fuckboy Emeritus. But I just don’t think he has it in him to be that type of guy. He just seems to like women too much to be one. And not “likes women” in a “likes having sex with women” sense. (Although I assume he enjoys that too.) But actually likes their company, companionship, and friendship.

Of course, this is not a bad thing at all. It’s actually, for lack of a better term, refreshing. And, with his H&M tux draped on his Dominican Uncle torso last night, his very obvious affection for Rihanna was palpable and endearing. Which is why her curve last night — and yes, she totally gave him the “we’re better as friends” cheek turn when he attempted to kiss her — was so cringe-worthy to watch. It was like throwing someone an alley oop…and then watching them just watch the ball drift out of bounds while they made no effort to get it.

Let’s watch again, from a different angle!

Now, to be fair, Rihanna’s reaction could have been less “awww, bless your little Canadian heart ” and more her being pissed that Drake was making her moment about himself. During his speech, I’m sure she was thinking what many of us were thinking while watching it: “This nigga better not propose.”

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Mary Burrell

    You are correct Key&Peele are definitely an acquired taste. I don’t think they are funny at all.

    • Illumina

      Yeah my sister loves them. I’m more like, ‘meh’.

      • Mary Burrell

        I just don’t get them just like Kamau Bell that’s another one that i don’t get. Glad it’s not just me.

    • Mochasister

      Me neither, Mary. I don’t like their tone of their comedy. To me they seem to be making fun of Black people are lot of times. Like they’re laughing at Black people and not with Black people. There’s just something different about their humor that doesn’t sit right with me.

      • Val

        I agree. Their humor seems to be for White folks enjoyment at out expense most of the time.

        • Mochasister

          Exactly. Other Black comedians poke fun at us but it’s done in love (most of the time). I don’t know much about Key or Peele and how they grew up but I get the sense that they grew up outside of the African American/Black community. I don’t know what it is but to me there seems to be a disconnect. Maybe they’re more accustomed to being around white people.

          • Deeds

            Well the both of them are bi racial, so its quite possible that they weren’t around the black side of their family as much.

            • Mary Burrell

              You said what I wanted to say. I believe it is because they are biracial. They just seem removed from the black experience. One even has a commercial about how weird he and his new bride are. And it’s a white chick in the commercial. It’s bizarre.

            • Mochasister

              That could explain the disconnect I’m sensing. I’ve met some Black people that seem to have that same disconnect. Usually it’s Black people that seem to spend the majority of their time around whites.

          • Krysee

            I think they are both biracial.. I remember them talking about it once.

        • Mary Burrell

          That’s how i felt about it. I just didn’t get it.

        • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

          Great Point.

          • Val

            Thanks, Truth.

            • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

              You’re Welcome Sister.

      • Mary Burrell

        Exactly. They did some kind of skit about slavery and I was more offended than amused.

    • They USED to be funny.. now? Not so much.

  • MrsRivera

    Jordan peele, funny. Keegan michael Key, not funny.

    • Val

      I always have to g00gle them to see what name goes with who for some reason. Lol

    • That lil creepy one…
      Not funny at all.

  • I didn’t watch but I saw highlights

    1. Bless Rihanna’s lil Barbadian soul for trying to hit THAT high note last night. Reminds me of when Aly Raismans parents were watching her perform at the olympics.

    2. Chile Rihanna curved drake soooo hard last night. Like ninja, didn’t we talk about this -ninja we are not going public. Him: But, Rih Rih, lissen I drank your bath water- lets just do it. ?

    3. And I’d agree Beyonce just Beyonced. Poor lil tink, tink – Britney never stood a chance or a proper “?yeah, yeah, yeahhhhh”?

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Bajan.

      Fix that Barbadian real fast before Todd comes here and loses his ever-flipping mind.

      You all good otherwise.

      • Excuse my southern ignorance smh

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          I’m protecting you!

          • Thanks much appreciated, don’t wanna get murked out here in these eStreets

    • Geechi_Luciano

      reading barbadian made me cringe lol

      • Shat yall…. Correcting

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          It’s love boo, we just got to get you right on here, so that when you go out in the world, you won’t say it out loud and have faces full of shade all around you.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Me sitting here waiting for the Colin Kappernick post like…….

    • Epsilonicus

      Me too

    • QueenRaven23

      I’m waiting too

      • Mochasister

        Add me to the list.

    • Negro Libre

      I’m surprised it’s such a big deal. In elementary school I didn’t stand up to the flag or do the pledge of allegiance, because I was a Jehovah’s Witness.

      • Epsilonicus

        I am at baseball games all the time and folks not standing.

        • Negro Libre

          Sheed, sometimes I’m at events and I need to be reminded to stop talking while the anthem is going on.

          I think we try to hard to creative conversations out of symbolic gestures. It’s not done to lead to anything constructive, but for media for media folks to act like they are talking about serious stuff.

        • Trill Mickelson

          Truthfully, I have never given any thought to what I’m doing during the anthem other than the half a second it takes me to yell “O!” like any good Marylander.

          • Epsilonicus

            ” the half a second it takes me to yell “O!” like any good Marylander.”

            Thats the only important part of the anthem

            • Trill Mickelson

              I’ve seen people say the US needs to get rid of the Star-Spangled Banner (and honestly, I’ve never understood why the anthem isn’t “God Bless America” in the first place), but selfishly I’m just like naw bruh, I need to keep obnoxiously letting people know where I’m from.

              • GenevaGirl

                Nah, the national anthem should be American the Beautiful as it’s non-sectarian. Plus, we’d get to hear Ray Charles again.

            • QueenRaven23

              I love it, especially because I’m down in FL, and we do it anyway.

              • Epsilonicus

                I do it everywhere I go. I’m from Baltimore. Fight me lol

          • L8Comer

            I guess I suck at being a Marylander cuz I have no idea about this “O!” part :/

            • Trill Mickelson

              You may or may not be aware that we have a beloved baseball team in Baltimore named the Orioles — or just O’s, if you’re into the whole brevity thing. We yell “O!” at the “O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave” part. It’s not just at O’s games — you will hear it wherever the national anthem is played. I remember at my HS graduation they told us not to do it. We did anyway though.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Orioles#.22O.21.22

              • L8Comer

                Thanksss for this. Aside from the shade “you may or may not be aware…”? Lol, it was informative. Been to a few Orioles games, musta just forgot about this part… N I don’t remember singing the anthem in school at all

                • Trill Mickelson

                  Lol, I didn’t want to make any assumptions about what you do or don’t know. Maybe you’re a transplant. Maybe you don’t know anything about baseball. Maybe you forgot the Orioles existed because they were basically unwatchable for a solid 15-20 years. Yo no se, amigo.

                  • L8Comer

                    Lol not a transplant just never a real fan of the sport. I liked games when I was a kid tho.

              • Andrea

                Heh, UMD commencement the voice professor they got to sing jumped during the O, it was great.

        • One thing I don’t like about Arkansas is no MLB. My NYC self misses those nights at the ball game with your friends and beer and food.

          https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/being-black-and-blue/

          • Aly

            Travelers games are pretty fun! The teams may not be as good, but you can still get the whole ballpark experience.

            • I should probably check them out before the season ends then!

              • Aly

                The tickets are inexpensive, too.

          • Trill Mickelson

            I decided a few years ago that I absolutely refuse to live in a city that doesn’t have a MLB team. Maybe it was when I moved from one that did to one that didn’t.

            • I’ll need to convince my wife. She’s never been into the spectacle of professional sports.

              But me and my friends will show out for some Giants and Yankees.

      • We live in very politicized times. It’s the only reason why it’s getting such attention.

        https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/being-black-and-blue/

        • You see how they tried to throw in the “It’s an insult to the military.” to stir it up right.

          • Negro Libre

            Yeah, I was like, “This is Vietnam again.”

            American politics is completely anathema to thinking, thus why real political debates don’t occur anymore.

            • If I weren’t suffering from my approximation of writer’s block I was thinking about doing something dealing with Kap, debates, and living in the age of affirmation.

          • Stephen Smith probably said it best- the soldiers died not so that citizens can do what soldier demand, but so they can do what the Constitution allows.

    • Much ado about nothing. If this meme can get passed around the Net

      https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/enhanced/webdr01/2012/11/15/12/enhanced-buzz-1610-1352999991-16.jpg?no-auto

      and get boosted then what Kap didn’t shouldn’t ruffle any feathers.

      • BrownBearBear

        Homeboy probably didn’t last too long after that.

        • His name was August Landmesser. Story has it he was defiant because his boo was Jewish which got him kicked out of the Party. She was said to have been killed in a camp and he was drafted and died somewhere in the Balkans.

          • BrownBearBear

            Thanks for the history tip! I’m already in those wikipedia streets now. Mr. BrownBear is German and my background is poli sci so I nerd out about those things.

          • Man, that just breaks my heart.

      • will_the_thrill

        Can I get an amen

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      I stopped singing the National Anthem and doing the Pledge of Alligence when I was in the 8th grade.

      So this whole scandal is proof America is mad insecure…the minute one overzealous Dwight sees you not doing it, they gotta get all pressed like you just called their mother ugly, their kid stupid, and their spouse a side b i t c h.

      I mean they are a side b i t c h, but that’s not the point.

      • Junegirl627

        but their mother IS ugly, their kid IS stupid, and their spouse IS a side b i t c h……
        jussayin ;)

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          See, agreements all across the board

      • Trill Mickelson

        I never cared one way or another about the national anthem, but the idea of having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance has always been disturbing to me. I think we stopped doing it by high school though.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          I think it should be banned period. It’s not right.

          • PhlyyPhree

            I think it has been in some places. I’m pretty sure we stopped doing it around the 5th grade. Or maybe that’s when I stopped doing it because contrarian as s 5th grade me was a slight a sshole. Go figure.

        • QueenRaven23

          I just yell “O” during the anthem…cause ya know!

        • They are doing it again.

        • Yay Radley

          Yeah, the Spawn was woke at a young age, prompting a hateful little note home where her teacher questioned the wisdom of me teaching a seven year old the word “jingoism.”

          • Trill Mickelson

            I also learned the word “jingoism” from a teacher when I was in elementary school, and it’s probably become one of my most frequently used words in the past year or so.

          • Anabbullard3

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            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !ic155t:
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          • Anabbullard4

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            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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    • Medium Meech

      I wish I had a blog so I could write this one. But nah, Champ want’s to write this one but there is one hurdle he can’t get past, Mr. Kappernick is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

      • Ess Tee

        Ooooo. I wonder if there will be a minor existential crisis involved, writing something praiseworthy about a Kappa who found his inner Muhammad Ali?

        • Medium Meech

          I like Champ, I don’t want him to have a Dave Chappelle moment and just quit writing and go to Africa for a while. Or convert to Islam and start selling Final Calls at Greyhound rest stops.

      • Shaaaaaaaaaade!

        • Medium Meech

          No shade! Champ has firmly established where he stands on this issue. We all know that every time he starts to type this post from a pro Kap perspective the words “Collin Kappernick’s slow transformation into Osama Bin Laden began…” appear on the page and he doesn”t know how they got there. Along with “Kyrie Irving would NEVER…”

          • ooooooooooooooooh

            • Medium Meech

              Et Tu Andie? Out here instigating with NconT. I thought you were my girl.

              • I was just agreeing. I don’t think Kyrie would ever show such courage! Which must be really awkard & shid.

    • Brandon Allen

      Damon’s gonna explode in a ball of cognitive dissonance if he has to give a Kappa praise.

  • [Insert Creative Name Here]

    1) Key and Peele were definitely not funny last night. But I do think they are funny in general.
    2) I have a strong aversion to water chestnuts. They serve no real purpose. So the comparison to Desiigner makes sense.
    3) Rihanna actually sang in her last performance. She sounded pretty darn good. I was impressed.
    4) The Final Five are adorable!

  • I was wondering who those guys were and why anybody thought it necessary to insert them at the commercial breaks or after performances. They weren’t funny. At all.

    Beyonce was great, but let’s talk about the wonderousness that is Blue Ivy “I’m not here for these peasants” Carter. My feelings for her oscillate between “awwwwwww look at this little precious bundle of fried alligator in a tutu and timbs” to “somebody prolly need to beat that lil girl a s s one good time cus she looks like she got one rank a s s attitude.” Every time the camera caught her on the red carpet, her face was like “WHY AM I HERE AND NOT AT THE ICE CREAM SOCIAL?!”

    Teyana BEEN sexy den a mug. WHERE Y’ALL BEEN

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Teyana BEEN sexy den a mug. WHERE Y’ALL BEEN

      I’m Sigma_Since93 and I approve this message

    • Aly

      I would probably have an attitude, too, if people were taking picture after picture of me and yelling. Also, she’s four.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Yea all that red carpet action comes with a tinge of trauma, especially for a child.

        • Illumina

          “Yea all that red carpet action comes with a tinge of trauma, especially for a child.”

          Maybe, but her parents keep bringing her to the red carpet, so I guess it not that big of an issue.

        • Aly

          Yup.

      • She seems to be very irritated by all the press, which, like you said is understandable, especially at 4. The part that had me on the floor was her giving Bey the “wtf you doing” hand multiple times at one point, like Ma either slow down or take me tf home. That little girl is goals.

    • TheCollinB

      Mom boobs were on a trillion in that video. Shumpert clearly won.

      • Epsilonicus

        She has a good plastic surgeon. #BlessedHands

        • TheCollinB

          Who? Those are natural.

          • Epsilonicus

            Nope. There was a part where she had the indent that fake ones have. I am not complaining. They look damb good to me.

            • Aly

              Too much jiggle to be fake.

              • Epsilonicus

                These new ones though get similar jiggle. I watch too much Botched

                • Negro Libre

                  Surgeons are stepping their game up…

                  • Epsilonicus

                    They got to now that there are shows exposing the flaws

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Welp this is about to turn into an interesting debate.

                • Aly

                  I still say real. Either way, she looks great.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Definitely looks great

            • PhlyyPhree

              I don’t Care!!!
              If they’re fake that makes me feel even better. I’m gonna add those on the list of these I need my future sugar daddy to buy for me.

              • Epsilonicus

                I’m not anti-surgery. I’m anti-bad surgery. But Teyana work kids amazing.

                • PhlyyPhree

                  Now this is a stance I can get behind.

            • Manny

              She had those since super sweet 16

          • Kas

            Fake don’t bounce like that.

        • Jewel Terrell

          She is natural. You could tell when she was dancing. That is a natural body.

      • tgtaggie

        She always had a bad body. Having a kid just made it look even badder lol

    • HouseOfBonnets

      Told y’all BIC is me on a daily basis without the fame and Bey:

      • Conrad Bess

        I see this pic and can’t help but think of Bernie Mac and his milk and cookies skit. This is the look his 2 year old niece gave him when he told her git her a-s upstairs talkin’ bout milk n’ cookies…

      • She look like she smelled somebody unwashed a s s

    • Helga G.Pataki

      I love that little Blue Ivy, she knows her role in this world and is not here for the fcuk sheit.

      • I want to be her when I grow up

    • mssporadic

      BIC has Solange’s and Jay-Z personality; that’s a he ll of a combo.

      Why in every pic with Bey, BIC looks like she’s trying to leave but her mama stops her?

      • She always looks like somebody just ate her last red starburst and they gotta die for it TUH DAY

    • PhlyyPhree

      I’ve BEEEEN telling folks bout Teyana (her body that is. Music still somewhere between “Meh” and “I Guess” a little too often for me)
      I been on that workout plan since 06. Of course, I been eating chicken since then too so…eh. I figure I should be there in another 5 years or so.

      • Val

        She needs a good producer because she can actually sing. Really well, I might add.

        • PhlyyPhree

          I don’t doubt it.
          I like her voice and some of her singles are really good. But between some of the lyrics and production….Eh. I really don’t want her only platinum single to be “Google Me” but I’m losing hope here.

      • chiggen done messed up many a fitness plan, mine included. we gon be aight!!! *no kendrick

  • Eva_baby

    Having only been initially introduced to both Desiigner (who I thought was actually someone named Panda) and Future t the BET awards, I was reminded again at the MTV awards that they are not, in fact, the same person.

    I actually had to change the channel when Britney was announced. Putting her after Beyonce who is really at the peak of her powers was just wrong. And no way in heck could Britney deliver. All it did was to invite comparisons. I simply could not watch.

    I am so annoyed by K&P. They are truly very funny men whose own show is sharp and intelligent. But man, what they did there was bad. I was suffering second hand embarrassment for them.

  • TheCollinB

    Rih had a durag on with the cape out with an extra order of cape.
    Bey is Bey and it can’t be argued but I’m tellin you that Rih put the pressure on that girl. Rih got too much sauwce. It’s effortless when she’s on stage. It’s just a part of who she is. Bey had no choice but to literally start shakin her half naked a s s to stay in the lead. Bey is dope….but she don’t have the sauce like Rih.

    • Illumina

      “Bey is Bey and it can’t be argued but I’m tellin you that Rih put the pressure on that girl.”

      I actually agree with you on this. I don’t think it was just Rih, but a whole slew of pop princesses starting nipping at her heels about five, six years. To her credit, Bey responded and to her music and artistry to another level.

    • RhetoricalReverie

      Was it you who said Rihanna’s concert was great?

      • TheCollinB

        Twas I

      • HouseOfBonnets

        I went in April, It made me a bigger RIrI fan.

    • A.P. Millz-CT

      But, Rhi can’t even dance.. Lmao

      • TheCollinB

        It’s not about being able to dance technically. It’s just there. Beyonce is a “5,6,7,8” no bs dancer. Rih ain’t. But when you watch Rih perform and she’s on her sh*t she is mesmerizing. It’s just an “it” factor she’s always had. Bey built hers up. Not to say it isn’t natural, but it wasn’t always there.

        • Negro Libre

          I don’t know if anyone’s ever done a study on this but I wonder how much accent and adjusting it affects your behavior or personality. Rihanna tends to perform better when she’s doing Caribbean songs, and doesn’t worry so much about being understood. I’ve found I’m way funnier, even to white folks when I’m speaking with a Nigerian accent, and I’m not preoccupied with being coherent.

          • TheCollinB

            You’re hitting the nail on the head now

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            She’s a Bajan woman doing pop songs for a living. It’s clear she’s better when she’s sticking to her roots.

            Even when she speaks, when she’s not dumbing down the accent, she sounds happy almost.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          I’ll give you this. Beyonce & Rihanna are the only two female pop artists out today putting out what I refer to as “milestone music”, where every time they drop an album, S H I T GETS SHUT DOWN.

          Nobody else has that kind of pull right now. So of course Bey really does have to turn the flames on when it comes to Ri, which is why she stole the whole damn show when it was clearly supposed to be about Ri.

          But one last thing. Beyonce makes statements with her music, Ri makes everybody say “fuck it” with her music. Two different ends of the spectrum.

          • Epsilonicus

            The Bey & Rih comparison reminds me of MJ & Prince comparison.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Because IT IS the MJ & Prince comparison.

              Beyonce is MJ. Rihanna is Prince.

              Beyonce is the all around feel good phenomenal performer who has been in the game since she was a kid and,makes statements so legendary with her music, that even though the music might not be that great, the feeling she puts behind it makes it stand taller.

              Rihanna is Prince, the s e x pot, over the top, no fucks to give, do whatever I want to do, throw shade bombs every 5 seconds legend who just won’t concede to what stereotypes everybody keeps trying to form around her.

              • Nah, Prince was a MUSICIAN with personality. Rih is a personality who makes some music.

                • Epsilonicus

                  Its not the artists we are comparing, it is the actual comparison we are examining.

                  • I get you … I just don’t think the analogy fits.

                    To me, Rihanna is more like Madonna than either MJ or Prince — she’s amazing, and it’s mostly about her energy and her look moreso than her musical artistry.

                    One gal’s opinion!

                    • MizzayTee

                      This is truth! To even utter Rihanna and Prince in in the same sentence is absurd to me. Just sayin’…

                • Leggy

                  And this is IT!! Rihanna is a STAR through and through but not because of her music or performances just because she’s a bad bi tch.

                  • Medium Meech

                    I think you two may be underestimating “presence” as a skill or attribute for any artist that performs.

                    • mssporadic

                      That would explain why the Kardashians are famous.

                    • I don’t mean to do that. Presence is necessary and beautiful and Rihanna’s got a couple truckloads of it. But her musical artistry is not at the level of MJ or Prince or even Bey, I don’t think anyway.

                    • Medium Meech

                      I don’t think it’s fair to any of the parties involved to make a direct comparison of them as artists. But in terms of the comparison as a simple analogy, Rih has the presence. Michael put on a great show and so did prince, but Prince had the Charisma.

                    • Leggy

                      But the said presence is never on stage with her. I’ve seen her live.beyonce has wayyy better stage presence than her. She looks more comfortable off stage in fashion shows than she does on stage. I spent her entire concert cringing at the notes she tried to hit.

              • Ra

                Rihanna is Prince? ROTFL
                Thanks for the laugh.

                Plus, Beyonce is the one & only Beyonce. People tickle me talking about she’s no Michael Jackson-Prince-Tina Turner-Diana Ross and so on…They’re not Beyonce either now are they?

        • Kas

          We going to need you ladies to take out word for it.

      • Leggy

        Or sing.

    • Leggy

      Huh? What sauce? I’ve literally seen Rihanna in concert. She literally rarely sings!! Come on. We’re really comparing beyonce’s stage presence with Rihanna’s? ???

      • TheCollinB

        Not at all, Bey clearly has a better show. and I’m not talking talent either. Rih just has a magnetism I don’t think Bey has.

        • Aly

          I agree with this, and I’m actually a bigger Beyonce fan.

        • Leggy

          Maybe just as people but as performers? I absolutely disagree. Her first three performances last night were cringe worthy. And afterwards everyone talked about her drake thing not about the fact that she performed four times. Says a lot.

        • Illumina

          “Rih just has a magnetism I don’t think Bey has.”

          Yeah. I think there is something about Bey that will never seen as truly authentic (I’m not sure if that is the word I’m looking for, but I’ll go with it). Bey’s been called robotic, and it’s looks like the past few years she’s been working to shed that description.

          I mean, don’t get me wrong, I believe Rih’s persona is just an inauthetic as Bey’s. But Rih’s persona is more relatable than Bey’s and she plays it well.

          • Guest

            I don’t feel Rih’s persona is inauthentic, but you never know. We only see what these artist want us to see. But I do agree with you on Bey being seen as more robotic. But I don’t think that’s fair either. I think she just has a shier personality overall and is very guarded.

            • tgtaggie

              I don’t think Riri is inauthentic. She’s the queen of idgaf. Which is a very endearing quality.

            • Illumina

              Honestly, who knows?

              I’m very much a cynic and rarely take things at face value.

              Most singers aren’t just selling you their music nowadays; they are selling you them as a person. Whether that person is really them or just a role, doesn’t really matter. Just my take.

          • mssporadic

            Yeah, I agree with you. I think it’s relatability.

            Though the Navy stans for her; most people relate to Rih on a peer-to-peer level. I assume it’s related to the Chris Brown incident. Thus the Prince analogy is correct.

            Bey has reached stratospheric levels of celebrity and is not as relatable. Much like MJ after Thriller. Thus when she performs it feels like church; she preaching to the congregation. She’s not seen as one of them, but as someone to aspire to be.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Indeed.

              Bey breeds hope.
              RiRi inspires the nonchalant.

              • Rih showed up with 97 of her squad she prolly hang with…
                Bey showed up with her employees.

              • LoveTrenia

                Ri is my savage spirit animal.

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  I’d pay money to have tattoos that make her facial expressions

          • Ra

            Beyonce’s personality is more authentic & relatable than Rihanna’s, and that’s a big reason why people love her hard. On one hand, she carries this huge star power & talent. Singing or performing is a career that she enjoys and it translates awesomely on stage. On the other hand, she’s an everyday person who values her family foundation [Flaws & all], privacy, owership/autonomy, developping a very strong intrapersonal & interpersonal intelligence [Why do you think people like Michelle Obama, Oprah, industry peers, industry mentors, people you know in real life, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and so on…strongly respect & appreciate Bey? You really think it’s because she’s a dumb robot with zero personality?]

            Rihanna’s personality is inauthentic because she follows the overused blueprint of how “stars” are suppose to be believable. Long before Rihanna, a lot of people believe stars are suppose to be dysfunctional, rude, unprofessional, drunk & druggies. The more dysfunctional, the better because that’s how you know they’re real. How else are you suppose to balance the fame & fortune and bring them down a notch? Then, stars would carry the untouchable perception that Beyonce.

          • Ra

            Beyonce’s personality is more authentic & relatable than Rihanna’s, and that’s a big reason why people love her hard. On one hand, she carries this huge star power & talent. Singing, creating music, or performing is a career that she enjoys, and she showcases it awesomely. On the other hand, she’s an everyday person who values her family foundation, privacy, ownership/autonomy, developping a very strong intrapersonal & interpersonal intelligence. Why do you think people like Michelle Obama, Oprah, industry peers, industry mentors, industry hopefuls, people you know in real life, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and so on…strongly respect & appreciate Bey? You really think it’s because she’s a dumb robot with zero personality?

            Rihanna’s personality is less authentic because she follows the overused blueprint of how “stars” are suppose to be believable. She shops music like shoe-shopping [her words]. Long before Rihanna, a lot of people believe stars are suppose to be dysfunctional, rude, unprofessional, drunk & druggies. The more dysfunctional, the better because that’s how you know they’re real. How else are you suppose to balance the fame & fortune and bring them down a notch? Then, stars would carry the untouchable perception that is Beyonce [Fame, fortune, normal]

        • Guest

          “Rih just has a magnetism I don’t think Bey has.”–I disagree. Both Bey & Rih have magnestism (the “it” factor star creators talk about), it’s just Rih’s and Bey have different magnestism. Bey’s is older, more artistic, delves into more serious issues, more developed as a performer and artist, and is very comfortable (some say too comfortable) where she is. Rih’s being younger, is more of risk taker –fashion wise and music wise, her sound is more eclectic, youthful and versatile. I get comparing them because they are out at the same time is inevitable, but they are two completely different artist fulfilling different spaces. They both earn their respective spaces in the music industry and they both own it.

        • miss t-lee

          I don’t know why folks keep trying to compare them.
          Vastly too different artists.

          • mssporadic

            Because they are the 2 biggest pop stars (not including Swift). Rihanna’s been around for ~11 years and Bey has been solo for ~14 yrs. That’s a long time in the current musical climate.

            • miss t-lee

              Yes, but it’s still apples and oranges.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      I’m a fan of both, I let them co-exist together, plus I can admit that they both have strengths/ weaknesses that complement the other

    • Medium Meech

      Hmmm. Beyonce is the better performer. She’s also the better singer. She’s also the better technical dancer and flat out has more natural rhythm. I’d even say she’s naturally more attractive. But the “sauwce”? I’ll just say it, Rih has $ex appeal and personality. As attractive and talented as beyonce is, she’s doesn’t have that whip appeal. She’s dry.

    • Lillie Emily

      I think they just have different forms of sexiness. Beyonce’s sexiness is much more reserved. She can be modest when she wants and throw it back just to give you a little taste. Rihanna’s sexiness is much more provocative and much more in your face.

    • Mochasister

      Plus, Bey is getting older in a world that idolizes youth.

      • Illumina

        It’s be interesting see where Bey goes in the next six years.

        Wikipedia has her at 34 right now. Pop music isn’t kind to older pop stars, so I’m curious to see how she’ll be doing at 40, i.e. will she still be at the top of the world.

        • Mochasister

          I don’t think she’ll be at the top. Personally I think she started “sexing” up her image because of competition from younger women like Rihanna. Beyonce got a second wind so to speak but time waits for no one. I think she’ll devote herself more to acting (snickers) or maybe a whole new venture. Not trying to be mean but 34 already seems a bit old to be a pop princess. Bey’s been around since she was a child. She’s had a very successful run. Hopefully she’ll accept her change in status and aging more gracefully than Madonna has!

          • Illumina

            No acting, please. Unless it’s a musical. She’s seems to do okay in those.

            As far as pop music, 34 is getting up there in age. But Madonna put out her most acclaimed album, “Ray of Light” at 40 so it’s possible for Bey to still be at the top of the chart.

            I actually see her into a Madonna/Tina Turner (as poppparatzee mentioned) career. Still putting out new music, but perhaps without the expectation of No.1. She can still tour (have you seen the ticket prices for Madonna’s shows, yikes) which is where you make your money anyway.

            Obviously, she’ll be fine. I’m just curious to see which road she takes.

            • Mochasister

              Yeah, I have to agree with you on the “acting.”

        • She’s going to have to pull off some Tina Turneresque type of stage show.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    Calls for in defense of Key and Peele Thread:

    https://youtu.be/JEzE3L-NKL4?list=PL83DDC2327BEB616D

    • Glo
      • Jewel Terrell

        This is one of the most hilarious skits I have ever seen. I love Key and Peele.

      • QueenRaven23

        One of their best skits.

      • mssporadic

        I love this!!!!!!!!!!

      • ALM247

        Jackmerius got me and Eeeeeee…..LMBO!!!!

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      We know they are funny.

      But I never once seen anyone be funny at the VMAs. Ever. And Chris Rock did it like 3 times.

      • Glo

        THIS IS SO TRUE. Which is weird because I can’t see why people would have to censor themselves for the VMAs, of all shows.

      • Epsilonicus

        “But I never once seen anyone be funny at the VMAs. Ever. And Chris Rock did it like 3 times.”

        Never thought of this but so dang true

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          I’ve specifically stopped watching award shows a long time ago once Chris Rock talked about how many of his jokes MTV murked every time he was going to perform.

          So that means the whole show is never meant to be funny, it’s meant to be safe.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        Exactly…..kinda hard to use this as a first impression.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          It doesn’t even matter if people don’t like them. When they check the track record of any awards show, asking comedians to host them has always been disastrous.

          I mean they can’t even do their own jokes because the MTV writing staff butchers everything they can think of, and then the pacing of an awards show doesn’t allow for anything but randomness to be funny.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            Co signing all of this

    • Eva_baby

      I am partial to the Gay Wedding Advice skit. I mean, come on, that gay wedding this family imagine sounds kinda fun. SKittles!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtgY1q0J_TQ

    • ALM247

      LOL….So accurate, though…..they need to stop letting people tell those 8 minute background stories.

  • RewindingtonMaximus
    • Junegirl627

      wow

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        i need to see this rant now

        • Junegirl627

          what rant hun?

          • RhetoricalReverie

            I think he means Kanye’s

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Kanye’s rant

            • Junegirl627

              wasn’t a rant it was a speech-ish-messiness

    • Brandon Allen

      Don’t take away my role models! I’m an artist merchant too.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Bruh he’s like THIS CLOSE to being Vincent Van Gogh and cutting off his ear in the name of art.

        • Brandon Allen

          That Fade video has earned him at least 10 more years of eccentricity in my book.

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