Here’s a good starting point:
In the height of year-end-list, Time-naming-the-pope–“Person of the Year” season, Beyoncé released a surprise, self-titled album in the middle of the night, with 14 tracks, 17 videos, and end credits. The scene in my trifold world (real life, Twitter, group text) was one of hysteria between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m. ET. It was simply too much to take in at once, her Netflixian diva roll-out.
When I woke up the next morning, terrifically thrilled it wasn’t all a dream, I started writing about said album. And then I deleted it all, because none of those words had any merit. This isn’t the time to parse out the socioecofeminist ramifications of “Yoncé.” This isn’t the time for reviews. Or critical analysis. It’s barely a time for decipherable words. Not today. Not tomorrow, either.
All that matters right now is being a fan. Above all, this is a celebration. How often do true surprises happen? Hell, if I did a quick Google search I could find out what I’m getting for Christmas in 2015. That’s the world we live in now.
But, because we are blessed, the surprise isn’t even the best part. Each song and video from Beyoncé is an event. And to think, there were people out there who thought she was slipping.
A conversation I heard earlier this week (paraphrased):
“This time last year, Beyoncé was everything. But I don’t know, I feel like she’s lost it a bit. Maybe she just got too big and is officially unrelatable and inaccessible. I don’t know. I THINK, PERHAPS, 2012 BEYONCÉ WAS PEAK BEYONCÉ.”
I heard this at a bar, because I was the one who said it.
I, Yoncbert, doubted you. I failed you, Miss Third Ward. But it was all because I missed you so, and was beginning to feel as if you’d abandoned us. Regardless, I’m sorry. You did not peak last year, and as phenomenal as the work that you just released is, I can only assume it will get better from here.
In honor of your release, instead of disrespectfully trying to sum it up before it’s even begun to sink in, here are all my initial thoughts, after watching your album movie for the first time.
[Note: Everything from here has been written with the assumption you’ve bought the album and watched each video at least 10 times. If that’s not you, go get your life in order and then feel free to return once you’re ready.]
- It’s just so much harder being a woman.
- No one ever looks better among trophies than Beyoncé.
- Why is that albino man being so mean to her?
- Beyoncé has socks that say “Gangsta” and I would like a pair of those socks.
- Because I’m a man, “Pretty Hurts” isn’t really directly targeted at me, but sometimes I suck in my stomach when I wear some of my old T-shirts because they don’t fit as loosely as they used to and it bothers me a lot more than I’d care to admit.
- Also, “Pretty Hurts” is a sequel to TLC’s “Unpretty,” which is a high compliment.
- YOUNG BEYONCÉ JUST SAID “I LOVE YOU, HOUSTON” AT A PODIUM AND THEN BLEW A KISS TO HOUSTON, SHE IS THE CHOSEN ONE, QUEEN OF H-TOWN, ARCHDIOCESE OF TEXAS.
- When did she make these videos? Has Beyoncé ever slept?
- Beyoncé is an art gallery.
- Oh, so Beyoncé is a portmanteau of “Bey” and “Yoncé.” Duh.
- She put Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman, and Joan Smalls in a video with her. And still is in first place. That’s never happened before.
- I forgot Drake could just sing. I like just-singing Aubrey.
- I wonder if they told Kanye about the album. Actually, I’m sure they didn’t, because then he tells Kim and then Kim tells Khloe and then Khloe tells Lamar and then we all know about the leak six months ago.
- Beyoncé went to Coney Island. Did everyone in Coney Island have to sign a “don’t snitch” form? HOW DID THIS STAY A SECRET? ARE THEY STILL ALIVE?
- I hope Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie becomes to Beyoncé what Big Rube was to Outkast.
- There are women in my life who will never stop listening to “Flawless” for the rest of their existences, and I’m excited to watch my life with them unfold.
- The upgrade from “Bow Down” to “Flawless” is like Tity Boi turning into 2 Chainz. Just incredible.
- Beyoncé’s beef with Skeleton Groove is still so real.
- I’m pretty sure, in “Jealous,” that Beyoncé throws that wine glass and half the wine actually gets on her own head, which shows she’s not cut for the Real Housewives franchise.
- I missed Frank’s voice.
- I appreciate Beyoncé for continuing to bring Kelly and Michelle along for all revolutions.
- Not to trivialize “Superpower,” but the sentiment completely changes if you think about it like the fight scene in Anchorman.
- “Heaven” has to be a top-five Beyoncé ballad.
- I think Beyoncé’s going to perform at the World Cup.
- More like “Orange Is the New Beyoncé Is Black Santa Jesus,” am I right, M.K.?
- When “Grown Woman” turns into a Major Lazer video, you think it can’t get better, and then, out of nowhere, Tina Knowles shows up, game over, this album is done.
- I’ve never said “surfboard” like that and neither have you.
- No one dances drunk near an ocean like Beyoncé. NO ONE.
- Jay’s verse on “Drunk in Love” is great because nothing matters because they’re drunk and in love, the end.
- Still not drinking d’Usse, though.
- Also, Jay and Beyoncé have sex.
- Drunk sex.
- d’Usse drunk water sex.
- I need a “Yoncé (Extended Remix)” like “Get Me Bodied” that’s four hours long and trades in the models for Phylicia Rashad and both Aunt Vivs.
- There’s a moment in “Partition” when I couldn’t tell if I was looking at Beyoncé’s backside or a Rorschach test. I still have no idea.
- Beyoncé in a James Harden jersey: Just another huge life miss for Dwight Howard.
- This kid:
- HER KID:
Enjoy this, everyone. Real pop culture moments are rare. Cherish them. And, as always, #ProtectBlueIvy