All Articles Tagged "jay z"
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.
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.
Thoughts on his verse?
If you’ve been wondering how Jay Z’s managed to stay quiet in the midst of Internet slander and women and men all over the world essentially calling him the dumbest and most ungrateful man alive for cheating on Beyonce, here’s a clue: rumor has it he’s saving his response for the studio.
This morning, US Weekly published a report from an insider close to the couple who claims “Jay is working on an album telling his side of things.” Say it ain’t so. No really, someone in Jay Z’s camp please, say it ain’t so.
Last Monday, I wrote a piece about Lemonade, the first offering from Beyonce that actually caused me to look at her as a human being rather than a robotic symbol of perfection so concerned with her image and her reign as Queen Bey she lost her voice when it came to issues that mattered, unless it was for material gain. Lemonade literally fed my soul in the most unexpected way because, contrary to many memes and mainstream reviews of the body of work, overcoming infidelity in a marriage was the least important message to digest. Lemonade was about the spirit of Black women, our sisterhood, our resilience, our legacy of turning the most sour of circumstances into something beautiful to be experienced by those we love. It’s for that reason that I don’t need a recorded response from Jay Z to her album, no matter how much it may satisfy my curiosity.
In last week’s episode of Did Y’all See? I admitted that I really didn’t care whether Lemonade was based in truth or not. Enough women have experienced the heartbreak of cheating that to place herself in the shoes of those women and offer up songs of pain, solidarity, and hope that women from all walks of life could identify with, Beyonce did a great service, in my mind. If Lemonade is factual, Beyonce’s work is extremely courageous and vulnerable. If it’s fiction, I still consider the album and its accompanying visuals an overwhelmingly selfless work of art. If Jay Z releases an album spilling tea all over Bey’s Lemonade, I’ll be right back where I started 11 days before teetering on the fence between Beyhive member and music appreciator: There’s little these disillusioned individuals won’t do for the sake of having their names roll off the tongue of every man, woman, and child, and collecting the type of million dollar checks that come with that level of notoriety.
As interesting as it would be to hear what Jay Z has to say about stepping out on Bey, and as supportive as I am of real conversations about infidelity that don’t reduce men’s decision to cheat in monogamous arrangements as a consequence of biology, an album of this sort would do nothing more than cheapen Lemonade. If Jay Z were to deliver his own sweet tasting, I’d have no choice but to question Beyonce’s album — not the factual accuracy of it, but the motive behind it — as many naysayers have been doing since its release April 23. Instead of believing, as I do now, that Beyonce bared her soul and exposed the wounds of her mother at the hands of her father and former manager for the sake of reminding women not to quit on themselves and that we all have “stuff,” I’d have no choice but to view Lemonade as an opportunistic gimmick. And as much as that would have me in my feelings, I’d feel far worse for the mothers of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin whose real tales of strife were woven into Mr. and Mrs. Carter’s plan from the jump and exploited, as Piers Morgan has charged, for capital gain. In short, all the respect I gained for Bey last Saturday would be lost and likely never regained because in many Black women’s minds, Lemonade is far more than a he said/she said marital battle, and if Beyonce and Jay Z see adultery as nothing more than a behavior to harness in lyrics for their misuse, then, as one coworker simply pointed out, “I need folks to be deeper than that.”
Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind one song from Jay Z owning his mistakes and walking us through the process of reconciliation from his side, but anything more than that at this point is not only too soon, but inappropriate. Beyonce, through her lyrics, album visuals, and the poetry of Warsan Shire spoke a word for Black women and Black girls everywhere. Jay Z is a man who considers his mere presence a charity; I don’t need an inauthentic donation from him to overshadow all Lemonade stands for for women like me.
So like I always hope when TMZ reports the death of an entertainer before anyone else, I’m going to wish upon a star that US Weekly and their insider got this news wrong and Jay isn’t even considering, let alone currently working, on an album as brazen as what I consider his retort would be. But then again, when you’re talking about a man with a God complex, a project like this is very likely.
We all loved Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” But what we didn’t love, or expect, was an Instagram post from designer Rachel Roy that looked like this:
Strong attacks from the BeyHive followed, including attacks on Roy’s teenage daughter, Ava, which came about after the designer made her IG private. But aside from crowning her “Becky with the good hair,” based on the Lemonade track “Sorry,” and knowing about her clothing, what do we really know about Rachel Roy? Probably not a lot. So here are 10 interesting things:
Rachel Roy Is Not Rachael Ray
I’m sure you heard that quite a few very confused BeyHive members swarmed the page of chef Rachael Ray, accusing her of being “Becky with the good hair,” and pretty much attacking her character. Despite many people commenting on the fact that they were coming after the wrong Rachel, people have continued to leave crazy remarks on the chef’s page as recently as five hours ago. One woman even said, “I’m perfectly aware of that fact but this chick had it comin for a million other reasons anyway.”
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, coupled-up women everywhere are wondering what they’re going to get this weekend. If you haven’t dropped your hints just yet, check out these romantic gifts from celebrity men and get inspired. These husbands, boyfriends (some are now exes) went all out to surprise their significant others with just what they wanted for Valentine’s Day. Or better yet, something fabulous that they never expected.
An $8 million dollar necklace may not be in your boo’s budget. But a girl can dream, right?
Check out the fabulous gifts these guys provided for their ladies and get in the Valentine’s Day spirit. And yes, there is such a thing, thank you very much.
Plane Tickets To Anywhere In The World
Right on time for a Valentine’s Day trip around the world, Russell Wilson, who was crowned MVP at the Pro Bowl recently, was given plane tickets to anywhere he wants to go. He said he’s taking Ciara with him, and they will go wherever she chooses!
Back in October, after the Tidal concert, I wrote a piece about why I was still not completely sold on the music, streaming service yet. I mentioned the fact that up until this point, the brand seemed to be relying on star power rather than actual product. And the concert, which was supposed to be huge, with incredible celebrity talent left quite a few people disappointed.
The one highlight from the concert was that the money was going to be going to charity. In October, the name or type of charity hadn’t been announced yet. Which caused alarm for some people. “Why won’t he name the charity?” “This just means that money is going right back into his pocket.”
But this week we learned that wasn’t the case at all. According to The Grio, Jay Z and the people at Tidal donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups including the Dream Defenders, the Black Youth Project.
Some of the funds will also be allocate to organizations created by family members of police brutality victims like the Oscar Grant Foundation and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. All of the funding came from that concert.
I have to admit, it’s quite impressive.
So much so, that when I heard the news I immediately thought about signing up for the service. I’m still conflicted about whether or not I need a music streaming service at all. I just canceled Apple Music after that free trial. But I’m convinced that if I had to choose one, it would be Tidal for the simple fact that their most recent moves seem to prove that they really are for the people and are hearing their concerns.
Many of us have known this about Jay Z and Beyoncé for some time now though. We remember them showing up to the Trayvon Martin rally. Writer dream hampton talked about how the Carters “wired tens of thousands” of dollars to bail Black Lives Matter protestors out of jail after they’d been arrested.
And then we can’t ignore the in your face Blackness of Beyoncé’s “Formation” video, her trip to Haiti to assist with their children’s hospital. And that’s not to mention the very practical way Beyoncé is planning to give back to Flint, Michigan by starting a children’s fund to help the children affected by the lead-contaminated water.
I’ve certainly had my criticisms of the brand before. But money talks and I like they that are publicly putting it in places that are important to me and many others in the Black community.
Does the recent donation to Black Lives Matter change your opinion about Tidal? Does it make you want to buy the service?
How long is too long to wait for him to put a ring on it? How about seven years? Maybe 10 years? What about 15? We wonder if these stars had a number in mind before they joined the list of celebrities who waited the longest to get engaged. Some aren’t even interested in getting to married after many years together. Could you do it?
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis
Can putting off marriage be a sign that something is off? Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were together for quite a long time. We’re talking between 1998 and 2012. And despite that, and the two children they brought into the world during that time, the good-looking pair never married. Maybe Paradis never wanted to be Depp’s Mrs.?
But when Johnny Depp met Amber Heard, it didn’t take long for them to fall in love, and for him to put a ring on it, which shocked a lot of people. While he didn’t propose to Paradis during their time together, he proposed to Heard in 2014 and the couple were married in 2015.
Even though photos have made it seem like Rita Ora and Jay Z were pretty tight, the 24-year-old singer is not happy at Roc Nation, Jay Z’s music management company and record label.
Today, Ora filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a declaratory judgment that the recording agreement she signed in 2008, at 18-years-old, violates California law and is therefore unenforceable.
What has given Miss Ora this sudden change of heart?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’s suddenly felt “orphaned” by the company since Jay Z has been preoccupied by his new sports management business and other endeavors.
Documents submitted in the case say:
“When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” states the complaint. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”
Those other endeavors include references to Tidal. The lawsuit paints Roc Nation as a “diminished record label” with “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.”
Ora’s attorneys also claim that she has been funding most of her recent television appearances, recording costs and video projects.
The suit is complicated by the fact that in 2013, Roc Nation switched their distribution from Sony to Universal. Rita has been reportedly left behind at Sony.
Her complaint states that “Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction.”
Ora hopes to use California Labor Code §2855 or the “Seven Year Rule” to get out of the contact. The Seven Year rule states that an artist “cannot be subject to a contract to perform personal services beyond seven years from the beginning of the deal.”The seven year rule has been controversial in the music industry when artists wait years before making a record.
Lastly, her complaint claims “Rita’s relationship with Roc Nation is irrevocably damaged. Fortunately for Rita, the California legislature had the foresight to protect its artists from the sorts of vicissitudes she’s experienced with Roc Nation.”
Well, this is particularly risky.
There are some pretty strong adjectives in this complaint. So much so that Roc Nation and its executives just might take offense to some of these allegations. Even if Roc Nation does decide to release her from her contract, this verbiage might inspire someone to make it very hard for her to work in the music business moving forward.
What do you think about the lawsuit? Did Rita and her attorneys go about this the right way?
Alicia Keys & Jay Z To Serve As Keynote Speakers For Harvard’s African American Student Union Conference
It has been six years since concrete jungle natives Alicia Keys and Jay Z teamed up to rep their hometown with “Empire State of Mind,” but the duo have big plans up their sleeve for the new year.
Both Keys and Z have been named as keynote speakers for Harvard Universities H. Naylor Fitzhugh Conference, which is being launched by the business school’s African American Student Union. The two will share wise words of wisdom they’ve gained throughout their life and career with students at the event, alongside American Express CEO Kennth Chenault, and managing director of Bain Capital, Deval Patrick.
The annual conference, which is titled “Transcend: Redefining Expectations,” will take place from Feb. 5 – 7, 2016 and focus on owning and operating Black businesses, impactful networking events, TED talks and panel discussions.
“We aim to celebrate African-American achievements, inspire many new milestones, and provide a forum for attendees to take on issues facing our community such as: What is the African-American business community’s response to social injustice? Where do African-Americans fit in to the ever expanding definition of diversity?” the AASU website reads.
Congratulations to both Alicia Keys and Jay Z for making an impact on the culture and continuing to spread their wisdom on various platforms.
The Carter’s do not play when it comes to their family costumes for Halloween. While the trio were artists last year (Beyonce was Frida Kahlo, Blue dressed up as Picasso Baby and Jay donned his best Jean-Michel Basquiat gear), this year they spent Halloween as characters from Eddie Murphy’s 1988 classic, Coming to America.
No need to hit Netflix for who they were, the exact costumes are as follows: Jay Z is Prince Akeem of Zamunda, Beyoncé is Queen Aoleon of Zamunda, and Blue Ivy is Imani Izzi, the woman who will never become Princess of Zamunda, no matter how long she jumps on one foot and barks like a dog. But please, go check out this classic flick and you’ll see how perfectly they nailed the regal characters.
Beyonce’s colourful costume was a gorgeous two-piece from a brand called Demestiks from New York City. Selected by stylist Ty Hunter, it was complimented by a headwrap and ornate beaded necklace. She paired the look with a skunk-printed fur, chunky earrings and black and white fringed sandals and carried a large golden goblet filled with rose petals (just like the one in the movie). She later removed her fur and larger head wrap, revealing a smaller, yellow leopard-printed one.
Meanwhile, her hip-hop mogul hubby’s costume was also on point in a tuxedo complete with a leopard-skin stole. He even nailed Akeem’s long braid, bedazzled wedge cap, and we hear he used Akeem’s accent while joking with photographers.
But the star of their movie tribute was definitely Blue Ivy. As seen in a family pic Bey posted on Instagram on Sunday, their daughter wore a gold patterned dress and high ponytail, resembling Imani Izzi, Akeem’s submissive bride and “queen-to-be,” played by Vanessa Bell Calloway.
After watching the Halloween parade as a family, word is that the couple went out for some adult time at a party at the 1 OAK nightclub.
Last weekend, Bey also dressed up for a party, wearing an X-Men outfit to fellow R&B star Ciara’s costume-themed birthday bash.