All Articles Tagged "beyonce"

This Young Lady Went All Out With A “Formation” Inspired Prom Send-Off

June 25th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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It’s safe to say that prom these days is a lot different than a lot us of remember. Even for myself, my junior (2009) and senior (2010) prom was nothing compared to what we’ve been witnessing via social media.

So, the most recent prom happening to go viral comes from Facebook user Jay Scott, who posted a 3-minute video a of girl who figured she’d just give all sorts of life from the convenience of her front door with as her friends and family waited for her arrival. What made her entrance so special? Well, she took a cue from Queen Bey’s proven book of slaying 101 and orchestrated a dance to “Formation.” But of course she didn’t bust a move to the woke jam, she had two different dancers to handle that.

The performance began with a guy in a black t-shirt, white pants, and a large black brimmed hat similar to the one Beyonce wore in the video, dancing to the beat with a fierceness that Sasha herself would applaud. Once the beat of the second verse drops, the second dancer joins him in a black and white ensemble as well, twirling on haters and all that good stuff. Oh yeah, there’s a smoke machine, too. And before we know it, the prom date finally makes her entrance in a golden-yellow dress, posing for photos while the crowd goes wild.

Honestly, we couldn’t even make this up if we wanted to y’all. To date, the video has since gotten over 75,000 shares and 5 million views. Press play and take a look for yourself.

Writer Explains What Beyoncé’s “Love Drought” Is Really About

June 16th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Genius

Genius

I love written works of art with dual meanings, so when I found out that there’s more to Beyoncé’s “Love Drought” than meets the ear, I was totally here for it.

In an insightful interview with Genius, songwriter Ingrid, who penned the fan favorite, revealed that the track was actually inspired by some of the issues she experienced with Beyoncé’s record label. Apparently Ingrid, who is a part of Bey’s writing camp, had new music she wanted the singer to hear but was informed by the label that Bey wasn’t accepting new music at the time. However, a short time later, Ingrid learned that Bey was in fact listening to new music and had even written a series of notes about the new songs she had been reviewing.

Ingrid admits that the revelation angered her, but it also inspired her to compose the beautiful work of art we now know as “Love Drought” in approximately thirty minutes. Can you say talented?

“The only way that I could really get over it was like, ‘Haha! She’s gonna sing the song I wrote about her label one day,’” Ingrid shared.

Watch Ingrid describe how the magic unfolded below.

Power Players: The Most Powerful Women In Music Today

June 15th, 2016 - By M A
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Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Who run the world? Girls. And that is especially true when it comes to the music industry. From women who have transcended genres to become mainstream icons, to songstresses whose past accomplishments still make them relevant and powerful today, there is no denying the reign of the female musician. In honor of Black Music Month and in partnership with XFINITY, we’re saluting this select sorority of women in music.  Also, with XFINITY X1, you can experience Black music and entertainment like never before with a collection of movies, videos and more, now with the Black Film & TV collection on XFINITY On Demand. X1 will change the way you experience TV.

Beyoncé

There was no way we were kicking off this list with anyone except for Queen Bey, particularly after the release of her epic visual album “Lemonade.” Beyoncé has solidified her standing as not only a creative genius, but a savvy businesswoman as well. She has not only banked on her incredible vocal and artistic abilities to achieve success, but has also made wise moves behind the scenes to truly monetize her brand without alienating legions of devoted fans. Beyoncé has evolved from a power player in the music industry to a cultural tour de force with a political message as well.

She Slays: Beyoncé Raises More Than $82K For Flint Water Crisis

June 14th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Parkwood Entertainment

Source: Parkwood Entertainment

Shortly after her 2016 Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé invited us to get in Formation. Those who purchased tickets to her tour were also given the opportunity to donate to the ongoing Flint Water crisis.

According to The Detroit News, the donations from her fans were gifted yesterday when members of her Parkwood Entertainment company presented the United Way of Genesee County with a check for $82,234. The money is to be used to help the residents who are still dealing with the city’s contaminated water supply.

In addition to the gift for the city, Parkwood also awarded 14 Detroit-area high school students with “college gifts” to help address their educational expenses. These students were also given tickets to her concert, which is set to take place tonight at Ford Field in Detroit. Detroit is the last stop on the first half of the North American leg of the 49-date tour until Beyoncé returns in September.

Beyoncé’s team revealed, in April, that the Ford Field concert would include an event that would “serve as a celebration of the resourcefulness of the people of Flint and Detroit, Michigan.”

Detroit is one of three cities on the Formation World Tour that has a “signature charity event” attached, in addition to Houston and Los Angeles.

Beyoncé’s CFDA Speech Had Mama Tina Crying And Jay Z Beaming With Pride

June 7th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

Last night, Beyoncé, in addition to being on tour, took some time out to collect an award. This particular one, given by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), was for being a Fashion Icon. The singer, accompanied by her husband and daughter, wore a sparkly Givenchy suit, paired with an obnoxiously large hat. Designer Diane von Furstenberg presented her with the award.

But the real highlight of the night, aside from Blue Ivy waving a disapproving finger at the paparazzi, was Beyoncé’s acceptance speech. In it she slyly called out the narrow-mindedness and *cough* racism *cough* of the fashion industry, celebrated the ingenuity generations of her family used to help their children achieve their dreams and tasked the industry to showcase diverse body types.

“As long as I can remember, fashion has always been a part of my life. Its affect on me actually started before I was born. Most of you guys don’t know this but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money. They could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition. So my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made the uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift down to my mother and taught her how to sew.

When we were starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels, they didn’t really want to dress four Black, country, curvy girls. And we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But, like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams. My mother and my uncle Johnny, God bless his soul, designed all of our first costumes and made each piece by hand, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail. But when I wore these clothes on stage, I felt like Khaleesi I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name.

And my mother, who is so fabulous and beautiful and is here tonight— I love you— my mother, my grandmother and my uncle were always with me so I could not fail. My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress and the list goes on and on and on. And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity, expression and strength. It transcends style and is a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my uncle, my grandma, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having a presence is far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me to never take no for an answer. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard and live life on my own terms.

I want to say thank you to every designer that works tirelessly to make people feel like they can write their own story. Y’all are fairy godmothers and magicians and sculptors, sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power that you have or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection.

Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes so far beyond what the eyes can see. And you have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower and to show people how to embrace their complications and see the flaws and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award. I’ll never forget this night. And God bless y’all. Thank you.

You can listen to Beyoncé’s full speech in the video below.

Beyoncé Was Here For Her Fans Rocking Their Afros At Her Concert

June 4th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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I like my baby hair, with baby hair and Afros,” Beyoncé confidently sang on “Formation.” And apparently, she likes the members of the #beyhive to rock their larger-than-life, naturally textured tresses too.

Well, two Formation World Tour concert-goers, Blogger Ribicca Mamuye and Hamdi Mohamed, found out. The duo attended Beyoncé’s concert at CenturyLink Field in Seattle earlier this month. And during Queen Bey’s performance, she spotted the two and gave them the ultimate cosign with a thumbs-up for their fabulous afros, as she pointed to her hair.

Luckily, Mamuye’s boyfriend, who came along for the show, captured the moment. “I was singing and doing the dance moves to ‘Daddy Lessons’ and that’s when she swung her head and sang and pointed right at me,” Mohamed told Buzzfeed. She went on to explain that the endorsement from Queen Bey herself was “important” because “as young women of colour, the work Beyoncé has done is really inspiring.”

Photo Credit: Ribicca Mamuye

Photo Credit: Ribicca Mamuye

Apparently, Mamuye’s friend Mohamed had to talk her into letting her hair out at the show. “Girl, you gotta pull your hair out, Beyoncé about to notice us.” Mamuye was reluctant to do so because she received complaints that her Afro was in the way. “My hair is big, so I tied up my hair to stop bothering the people behind me,” she added.

Eventually Mamuye joined her friend and let her hair out of her hair tie and relished in the moment. “I got more than … my money’s worth,” she said. “She acknowledged I was in formation — that’s all that mattered.”

Shouldn’t Black Artists Include Africa On Their World Tours?

June 2nd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

If you hadn’t noticed, Africa is hot right now. As the birthplace of humankind, we can argue that it always was. But these days, with African fashion being pushed to the forefront of runways and its ever-present influence in our music, and the [slight] push for Black folk, across the diaspora, to know and understand our roots, Africa is getting just a mere fraction of the acknowledgement and praise it deserves. Again, cradle of civilization.

But it’s a slow build.

And Joel Ryan, a Ghanaian-UK writer, and founder of SpiceUKOnline brought that undeniable fact to the light in his think piece that simply asked a question.

Why don’t more African American artists include Africa in their world tours? In fact, the official title of the piece was “Unapologetically Black But Won’t Tour in Africa…Hmmm”

Joel Ryan writes,

“Love all these American and even British artists using African influences in hair, clothes, music and more. It is so inspiring and makes me so proud to be black, so proud to be African and it really is changing the game. But when was the last time they went? And no, I don’t mean when was the last time they gave money or the last time they went to Uganda to take pictures. I mean when was the last time they went to perform and really showcase their talent which Africa has so heavily influenced? Celebrities and artists who go on “world” tours only seem to go to western countries even when their musical production, choreography, lyrics and costume are heavily influenced by African countries.”

While Ryan said South Africa is a lovely country, one tour date there is simply not enough when there are 53 other countries.

He continued:

“I can’t get my head around it. I can imagine artists sitting there in a board meeting discussing dates and places and I don’t get how a whole continent can get missed out. A WHOLE CONTINENT. If you like your cornrow (Kim K Boxer-Braids), African print, afros and your negro nose, there are plenty of them in Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and many other countries.”

I initially stumbled across the piece on Clutch, and thought, from the title, it was a very valid question. But the author of the piece seemed to believe otherwise. Not only did she, (I’m assuming), believe that there were Black artists who had traveled to the continent recently. (To be fair, Chris Brown broke records in Morocco. And in Ryan’s defense, he included a picture of Brown’s concert in his piece as an argument for touring in Africa.) She mentioned that instead of questioning the artists, Ryan should direct his confusion and inquiry at the entertainment companies like Live Nation, who are the ones who choose the locations and finance these artists’ events.

It’s a valid point. But I also wonder how many artists, Black artists specifically, are even mentioning Africa when they sit down to choose locations for their “World Tour.” And if they do suggest it, which excuses from Live Nation do the artists accept that prevent them from ultimately going? Because at this point in the game, there isn’t enough data and there haven’t been enough examples of big-named artists performing in Africa for any of those excuses to be valid. We can’t really say what the turnout would be. But Ryan says when Church Crusades in Africa can draw upwards of 30,000 people, there’s no reason an artist who the people love wouldn’t be able to do the same.

To be honest, I think the lack of Black artists touring in African countries might have quite a bit to do with Live Nation executives and their beliefs and views about Africa. We live in America and we know how the whole entire continent, is painted, by the media, with the broad brush of being completely poverty-stricken. And with some of the greatest resources, natural and man-made, in the world, that’s just not true.

The Clutch writer also took issue with the fact that South Africa was discounted in this discussion. But I think that is also a valid point as well. With European rule still prominent and prevalent in the country until the early ’90’s, the country still enjoys a level of privilege not extended to other African nations. Not to mention that most of the Black people of the Diaspora have roots in West Africa. Out of respect, there should be a couple of stops on that coast for our cousins.

What do you think about Ryan’s piece? Does he raise a good point?

Mini Formation: Would You Host A Beyonce Party For Your Daughter?

May 31st, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Instagram: KingKeraun

Instagram: KingKeraun

There is no doubt that Beyonce has inspired not only hard core BeyHive fans but many people around the globe with her voice, lyrics, dance moves, entrepreneurial ventures, and philanthropic initiatives.

But now she is inspiring little girls to have awesome girl power birthday parties. According to Instagram star @Kingkeraun, his three-year old daughter named Raegan didn’t want to settle for a typical party. Houston based photographer @bphotography713 shot the photo and the toddler had a Beyoncé-themed soiree.

 

The official name for the party was “Slay with Rae” and Raegan and her toddler crew were dressed in “Formation”-style black and gold leggings, tank tops, and tutus. They had manis and pedis from a mobile spa and posed for adorable pics.

The caption for the shot read: “Raegans formation 3rd birthday party #RaeYonce ️️ picture by @bphotography713 of my daughter and her cousins , For her 3rd birthday we decided to give her a party called ” slay with Rae : a formation party since she love Beyoncé ! where her and her cousins get their nails and toes done by a mobile spa and then dress up like Beyoncé and hit the runway!”

Here are the steps to having a Beyonce party “Formation” Girl Power Party…

Step 1-Attire

The main outfit colors from Beyonce’s Formation tour seem to be black, red, and white with accents of gold. Have the girls dress in any of these colors but add gold accents. You can add a gold tutu, gold bracelets, headbands, or gold glitter tights.

Step 2-Pampering

Have a pampering session. You can have a mobile pampering service come in and cater to the little ones. A less expensive option is for the moms to do the mani/pedi session. Just gather the girls favorite polish colors, plastic tubs for soaking hands and feet with warm soapy water, and nail files and you are set to go.

Step 3-Games

Play girl empowerment games. You could have leopard print index cards with positive words on the back and the girls can name a woman they know that fits that word. They can also talk about what they want to be when they grow up and the adult leading the party can talk to them about why girls and women can achieve anything they put their mind to.

Step 4-Snacks

Having healthy yummy snacks is another great option for an empowerment party. It teaches the girls that the keys to success are not just in what you say but what you do. And that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and that also helps you achieve your dreams.

Step 5- Photoshoot

What would a Beyonce-inspired party be without memorable photos? The parents and girls can design a background for the photoshoot. On a very large piece of paper that goes from ceiling to floor you could design it with a collage of Beyonce pictures and positive words written in capital letters along with the girls names. And adding glitter and sequins will make it stand out. Have the girls pose together and also take individual shots. After the party’s over, print the pics and mail to each girl for a keepsake.

Jay Z Finally Responds To Lemonade With New Rap, And It’s Pretty Underwhelming

May 25th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Credit: Abel Fermin/WENN.com

Credit: Abel Fermin/WENN.com

Lemonade has been out for a month now, and while everyone spent their time trying to find “Becky with the good hair,” Jay Z was out here trying to find the right way to respond to it all. And while no reply probably would have been the best way to go, there was talk of an entire response album, and there have even been rumors about a possible joint album with Beyoncé. But Jay decided to say a little something in the new remix for Fat Joe, Remy Ma and French Montana’s hit song, “All The Way Up.” To be honest, it was kind of underwhelming. But then again, the whole remix was pretty flat for me.

In his verse, the rapper said, “You know you made it when the fact your marriage made it is worth millions/Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is/Survival of the littest/Ni–as who really up versus ni–as up in your business.”

There was also a line near the end of his verse where Jay Z mentioned Prince and the late icon’s partnership with his streaming company, Tidal.

“Prince left his masters where they safe and sound/We never gonna let the elevator take him down.”

That is, of course, a reference to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and the “Are we going to let the elevator bring us down?” line. But it could also be in reference to the 2014 elevator incident between Jay and Solange Knowles. You never know. Either way, clever wordplay there.

You can check out the song exclusively on Tidal, and images of the reunited and it feels so good couple out on a dinner date in NYC last night below.

Beyonce and Jay Z

Splash News

Beyonce and Jay Z

Splash News

Beyonce and Jay Z

Splash News

Thoughts on his verse?

Was This Designer Wrong For Having White Models Walk To “Formation” At Australia Fashion Week?

May 21st, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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@BellaHadid closes the @MishaCollection show 🔥 #IMGStars #MBFWA #IMGModelsAustralia

A video posted by IMGmodels (@imgmodels) on

At this point, the ongoing conversation regarding the lack of diversity in the fashion world has unfortunately become pretty much commonplace. And the discussion just hit yet another fever pitch when the finale of Australian fashion brand Misha’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia show went viral.

So, what could be so cringe-worthy, you ask? The uproar came when IMG modeling agency posted a video of the shows finale, in which the 100% white model lineup, fronted by Bella Hadid, strutted down the runway to Beyonce’s “Formation” — not a single black or brown soul in sight. Of course with “Formation” being such a heralded song that narrated the undeniable magic a black woman possesses, people didn’t take too kindly to the fact that the song’s message wasn’t relayed in the color of models. But instead of doing a hostile-like takeover and commenting on IMG’s Instagram account with an overwhelming amount of bee and lemon emojis, an out-pour of serious concern followed.

“This song is an ode to powerful black women around the world, so where are the black women??” asked one user.

“This is like playing ‘Fight the Power’ at a Donald Trump rally,” someone added.

“No one would care if it were some other Beyonce song. But a song that is specifically celebrating black culture and features was a shady and strange choice. A song that is proudly celebrating afros, broad noses, Creole and Black Southern heritage… with all white models? That is bogus,” another chimed in.

“Disgusted. I’m not black but I know ‘Formation’ is a black anthem celebrating Southern American black culture. It’s not for non-black people to use and certainly not in a walk featuring no black models at all,” rounded out the comments.

While all the comments hit the nail on the head, an incident as such isn’t too far fetched. According to the Fashion Spot, the models who walked the fall 2016 runways(including New York, London, Milan, and Paris) were 75.25% white — a minor improvement from the previous season, when they were 77.6% white.

Personally, I, too, was disgusted by the footage. I won’t say that “Formation” is a song reserved for blacks only, but put some respect on our name! The song itself is fiery, upbeat, and surely will make anyone feel the spirit and begin to move, but the fact that not one single model of color owned the catwalk was sickening. Was Naomi booked? What about Joan Smalls? Jourdan Dunn? Alek Wek? Chanel Iman? Jessica White? Leomie Anderson? Liya Kebede? Sessilee Lopez? Selita Ebanks? Ajak Deng? Ubah Hassan? Georgie Badiel? Arlenis Sosa? I could literally continue but you get the point. If they paid Ms. Hadid $400,000 just move her two feet to “Formation,” why not hire one of the aforementioned?

This topic surely goes beyond “Formation,” with the lack of diversity at its core, but the longstanding problem of sensitivity from designers has yet to be handled.

What are your thoughts on this situation?