If you missed the CMAs, there’s one performance worth watching, and it’s Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks’ rendition of “Daddy Lessons,” off Beyonce’s album ‘Lemonade.’ The crossover cut off Queen Bey’s record has been covered by the Dixie Chicks in concert, so it’s a fitting on-stage collaboration. They also threw in a piece of the Chicks’ “Long Time Gone,” which gives a subtle nod to the trio’s tumultuous history with the country music establishment, who rejected them after their much-maligned critique of President George W. Bush.
The killer pop-culture moment was; however, met with alarming criticism, as “fans” of the 50th annual Country Music Awards pointed out that Beyonce’s support of Black Lives Matter, along with her “cop-hatred” and “dislike for white people” should disqualify her from the stage. If that’s not enough, there is of course the residual animosity for the Dixie Chicks, and their “anti-America” stance. According to TMZ, instead of standing firm against these racist, twitter trolls, the CMA’s began to systematically delete pictures of the performance. They have since changed their stance once again, presumably in reaction to TMZ’s post.
It goes without saying that we need to live in a country that tolerates multiple points of view without spitting vile hatred at one another and resorting to violence. Need I also point out that one can be anti-unnecessary killings AND support cops at the same time. It’s also worth noting that if Twitter wants to grow, they need a policy against hate-speech. And before I get comments about the First Amendment, I’d like to preemptively say that I’m a lawyer, and trust me when I tell you that deleting racist comments DOES.NOT.VIOLATE. the First Amendment. I’d explain it, but it will waste your time and mine. And nobody wants that.
There’s no doubt that Beyonce is a powerful performer with something to say, and Lemonade is no exception. But while others are picking through the lyrics for evidence of Jay Z’s infidelity and the source of “Becky with the good hair,” I’d like to burst the bubble of this collective narrative in favor of a more realistic explanation. Becky doesn’t exist, and this is an elaborate ploy from two marketing masters to use marital drama as the catalyst for record sales. As for the rollout, it was strategic. It launched on HBOGo for 24 hours, followed by exclusive streaming on Jay Z’s Tidal, and then a general release via iTunes and Amazon.com. And the stellar sales indicate her “windowing” method worked in her favor. So did Jay cheat, and was that infamous elevator incident the glaring evidence, only to be relayed later via a musical platform? And would Jay place this on Tidal, knowing he’d receive backlash from the Beyhive? This power couple generated buzz in the most blatant of ways, and though I’ll drink their Lemonade because it tastes good, I think I know where it came from.
It would be wildly unfair to compare Coldplay to Beyonce and Bruno Mars. First, Chris Martin is in an actual band and writes his own music (that’s a hit at Beyonce, not Mars, since Mars does in fact co-write his songs). Second, his songs have longstanding impact, and the guy doesn’t dance. Why? Because he doesn’t need to. Anyone who has attended a Coldplay concert is well aware of Martin’s live-performance skills, and in fact — I became a fan only AFTER seeing them live for the first time via my friend’s extra ticket. Having said all that, it’s the Super Bowl, and if you can’t dance, you better call upon people who can. Stay in your lane, and go to others for the glitter. And who better to bring it than Beyonce? Only Queen Bey can use the Super Bowl as a venue to debut a new song, executing insane choreography, great costumes, and dominating more than just the stage itself. Bruno Mars also deserves accolades, but even the Uptown Funkmaster himself couldn’t hold his own in the Beyonce dance-off, using his turn to simply tilt his head and flutter across the stage with his arms behind his back. Seriously Bruno, you couldn’t push yourself just a tad harder with the choreography? It might not be Chris Martin’s lane, but it’s certainly yours. But Bruno also brought it, and just about anyone would look lesser next to our eternal Single Lady. Watch below to see one of the best halftime shows I’ve seen in some time, and then enjoy some very funny tweets at Chris Martin’s expense. It might be mean spirited, but something tells me Martin can take a good joke.
Hasn’t Kelly Clarkson learned her lesson about bad-mouthing heavy hitters in the industry? To promote her new album, ‘Stronger’, Clarkson revisited the Ryan Tedder controversy and once again accused him of giving her and Beyonce the same song. The two songs in question are Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ and Clarkson’s ‘Already Gone.’ Clarkson learned of the similarity after watching YouTube mashups and she later pointed the finger at Tedder in the press. Tedder was rightfully pissed that Clarkson smeared his song-writing reputation.
In an effort to give Clarkson the benefit of the doubt, I played both songs for my musician friend, Steve Aho, who said that, although they sound similar, “it’s a very common chord progression” that “isn’t even identical.” Since I’ve done my musical research, I can now safely say that Kelly Clarkson is irresponsible and classless. You do not bad-mouth a musician because some douchey people made YouTube mashups of your song. Perhaps she should write her own material so she needn’t worry about this nonsense. Oh wait — she did — and it didn’t work.
Beyonce sure gets accused of plagiarism a lot. The latest exercise of finger-pointing involves Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who accused Beyonce of ripping off her ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and ‘Achterland’ choreography for Beyonce’s ‘Countdown’ video. I’ve watched the comparisons, and it’s alarmingly similar. When addressing the controversy, the famed choreographer said:
I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing. What’s rude about it is that they don’t even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it’s a famous work. When I saw the actual video, I was struck by the resemblance of Beyonce’s clip not only with the movements from Rosas danst Rosas but also with the costumes, the set and even the shots from the film by Thierry De Mey. There are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.
I’d give Beyonce the benefit of the doubt, but this is a consistent accusation. Her performance at the 2010 Billboard Music Awards, for example, was a blatant rip-off of a Lorella Cuccarini performance. She avoided responsibility by saying she discovered Cuccarini from YouTube and she was “inspired.” And lets not forget that her very famous ‘Single Ladies’ choreography was “inspired” by Bob Fosse’s ‘Mexican Breakfast‘ routine. There’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. Watch the clip below to see the similarity.
You know what I do to feel sexy? I lather myself up with an entire bottle of oil, sprinkle some glitter all over my body, and then I run the shower with my glossy mouth open and say, “make love to me,” even when I’m alone. Doesn’t everyone do that? Apparently, I’m not alone — Beyonce does it too! Who would have thought she’d have it in her to top that pants-less ‘Single Ladies’ video. Her new video, ‘1 + 1’, is so ridiculously over-the-top, I found myself laughing very hard. She must be a genius though — because I couldn’t tear myself away. Did I mention there’s a ridiculous high note at the end of each sentence? You’ll have to see this to believe it. Be sure to get your oil ready — this is contagious.
“There is room on this earth for many queens . . . I have an authentic, God-given talent, drive, and longevity that will always separate me from everyone else. I’ve been fortunate to accomplish things that the younger generation of queens dream of accomplishing. I have no desire for anyone else’s throne. I am very comfortable in the throne I’ve been building for the past 15 years.” Beyonce’s best attempt at humility
My mother used to say that copying is the greatest form of flattery. Then I’d tell my mother she’s ridiculous. I’m not one of those people who enjoys when others copy my work. In fact, you probably don’t want to be on the other end of that accusation. It isn’t pretty. So when Beyonce was accused of copying Lorella Cuccarini’s 2010 performance during the Billboard Music Awards, she insisted that she was merely inspired by it, and didn’t directly copy it. Hey, at least she admitted to having seen the performance. Most artists would dismiss it as a strange coincidence. Lorella’s performance is so original, it’s only fair to say that Beyonce liked the idea and took it on as her own. So does it matter? If I were Lorella, it would infuriate me, especially since no credit was given to her idea during the performance. She only admitted to the similarity after the copy-cat accusations surfaced. Watch below and judge for yourself. Continue reading “Beyonce v. Lorella Cuccarini — Inspiration or Ripping Off?”
If you watch Glee, then you know about Heather Morris. She was hired by Ryan Murphy to teach the cast the choreography for Beyonce’s Single Ladies video, and Murphy was so impressed by her, he hired her as a series regular for the show. If you watch closely during Glee’s dance routines, you’ll notice how Heather Morris outshines the rest of the cast, which was certainly most clear during the Britney tribute week. In the video below, Heather Morris rocks out to some different songs, and her body is hypnotizing. I realize the hypocrisy of this post, given that I often insult the Glee kids for inappropriately sexualizing their images. I’ve made an exception for Heather Morris though. When you’re that good, general rules don’t apply.
The first time I played this song I laughed so hard I got a cramp in my side. I cannot believe that this cut made it to the actual movie soundtrack. Yes I understand that it will likely be played at Marcus and Stanford’s wedding, and the gays love Liza, but I draw the line at ‘Single Ladies.’ Plus, well . . . listen for yourself. I’ll refrain from getting too mean on this one.