Two days after Super Bowl 50, the talk of the town has not been about the moderately entertaining, defensively driven football game between the Broncos and Panthers, nor has it been about Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest quarterback of this generation who probably has tossed his last pass.
It’s about Beyonce.
And now, it’s not uncommon for Beyonce to be at the center of national consciousness. Heck, she hasn’t fully left my brain ever since she wore that revealing, half-torn yellow dress in the music video for “Survivor” in 2001 when she was still a member of Destiny’s Child.
But throughout her wildly successful, iconic career, Beyonce typically stays off the radar when she’s not performing. She doesn’t do many interviews. She hasn’t really made any type of public declaration in support of any major cause — unless you count her fervor for jumpin’ jumpin’ at the club — and she’s rarely spotted out with Jay-Z showing public displays of affection, unlike most celebrity couples.
So I think that’s what made what happened on Sunday even more surprising.
On the grandest stage of all, with all of America watching, Beyonce sent a political message. Her performance paid homage to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers as well as Malcolm X while she sang a song she released a day earlier in a music video that alludes to Hurricane Katrina victims, police brutality and Black Lives Matter.
Basically, it was all about black female empowerment. And it’s gotten some white people mad.
And it’s hilarious.
Since the dawn of time, music has been about expression. Artists embrace their identity, their heritage, their upbringings, and yes, their race. That’s what makes it art.
It was OK when Bob Dylan sang his anti-war agenda in the ’60s. It’s OK for Macklemore to chime in on gay marriage. But when Beyonce chooses to sing about a current social issue that is backed by independent data, people choose to attack her rather than confronting the real issue at hand.
How dare she embrace her individuality! Maybe she should take her cue from Ke$ha and stick to singing about how, tik tok, on the clock, the party don’t stop. Woah oh oh OH. That’s much more stimulating.
Just listen to Jessica Williams spit straight fire on Monday night’s episode of the Daily Show. You can’t really make a point much better than she does.
Socially conscious musicians did not start with Beyonce’s halftime performance at Super Bowl 50 last Sunday.
And now that I think about it, I actually think “Tik Tok” — released in 2009 — was a well-timed musical manifesto forewarning people that the clock was ticking on the economy. Ke$ha predicted the global recession! No wonder their is a dollar sign in her name!
I always knew she was more brilliant than we gave her credit for.