Our Queen: Beyoncé
BEYONCÉ. If I could end this article with just this name, it would be easily recognizable to anyone with an interest in pop culture. Her impact on the music industry & inspiration to generations old and new is impossible to fully comprehend.
Throughout the course of her career, she has continuously innovated her sound and image, defying all expectations of a performer. With all that immense success, one would assume that she would become consumed by it and in turn become more arrogant and ungrateful; she has yet to prove that theory correct by constantly expressing her endless gratitude and displaying a positive personality. She is an all-around superb performer with her stunning ability to perform intense choreography whilst singing simultaneously without breaking a single sweat. Along with her encompassing influence on pop culture, she has also voiced her political and social views. Her song titled “***Flawless” on her 2014 self-titled album “BEYONCE” includes an excerpt from world-renowned feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi and conveys a message of female empowerment through positive body image. Most recently, the music video for the single “Formation” contained powerful messages against police brutality and advocates for the Black Power phenomenon, which had the full intent on encouraging and motivating the black generations in a societal climate that seems hellbent on preventing them from reaching their full potential. Her visual albums being dropped as surprises and still achieving incredible success from critics to every-day fans is another example of the massive influence Beyoncé has established over the music industry.
Her latest album release “Lemonade” can be described as an intimate illustration that is as soul-bearing and artful as Beyoncé herself. The plethora of sounds that can be heard range from the soulful smooth melodies of “Pray You Catch Me” to the up-tempo rock beats of “Don’t Hurt Yourself”. The most crucial issues interpreted in this record stem from the pain and despair exuding from its lyrics. In her track “Sorry”, Beyoncé speaks about her lover’s affair and the anger that it caused her, sparking rumors in the press and social media about her hip-hop artist/husband Jay-z and his alleged infidelities. What I believe tends to be overlooked is the message of forgiveness that also accompanies “Lemonade”. We may never gain an insight on the depth of Beyoncé’s marriage; all the subliminal messaging we can grasp is the hope and joy that she sings about, specifically in the track “All Night”. The lyrics “With every tear came redemption, and my torturer became my remedy” symbolizes her journey of working through her emotional difficulties and becoming a wiser, stronger person despite them. The entire album is the ultimate presentation of her path of self-knowledge and self-love while combating the emotional and physical obstacles that may arise. I am forever impressed by the musical mastery Beyoncé contributes to the entertainment world and will continue to welcome more of her work with open arms and an open mind.
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Recording artist Beyonce performs onstage during The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)