On Saturday night, after half a week of simultaneously mourning the passing of Prince, and the dis-respeck of Birdman aka the human Dragonball, Black Twitter was abuzz; literally buzzing with Bee Emojis. The Bee Emoji is the Bat Signal that notifies the world of the presence of Beyoncé, Queen Sheba Overlord of the #BeyHive, first of her name, Mother of Blue Ivy, and Eternal Snatcher of Edges. This time, she dropped a visual album on HBO called “Lemonade.” In true Bey-Form, this album was a surprise event, debuting on a channel that was about to debut three highly popular season premieres, and it was only available for 24 hours. It’s the music version of Kobe Bryant dropping 60 points in his final NBA game on the same night that the Golden State Warriors broke a 20 year old NBA record for most wins in a season. “Lemonade” is the most Beyoncé thing that can ever happen.
On Sunday night, after most of the stanning was ending, my wife and I sat down and decided to give “Lemonade” a watch. It’s amazing. The visuals, the settings, the costumes, the hairstyles, the dancing, the energy, the music, it all grabs you by the throat and chokeslams you onto a bed of broken glass. There are themes that I’m sure mean certain things that I’ll never fully understand, but are infinitely awesome because of how much thought was put into the concept. It’s so gaudy, so bombastic, and so unapologetically black. There’s a baseball bat breaking car windows, there’s people wearing voodoo makeup, there’s even a twerking Serena Williams. I don’t think you heard me, there’s a Serena Williams twerk session happening! As in the world’s greatest tennis player, with the most impossibly proportioned body, Serena Williams. Twerking!
I’m not going to review the film in detail, because I’m pretty sure that there are over 9000 think-pieces and reviews that already exist for “Lemonade.” After watching it, I came away with a legitimate issue that I never thought I’d have after watching a Bey project…
I think I’m joining the Bey Hive.
Beyoncé has been doing this for a long ass time, but she’s currently at the peak of her career. She’s killing everything. She has a group of Stans that announce their presence with freaking Bee Emojis, fam. Fact is, her marketing team is doing some of the best work that I’ve ever seen. They strategically time these releases, and they work each time. The Beyoncé unannounced album, the pregnancy announcement, “Formation” dropping right before her return to the Superbowl Halftime stage. The amount of media buzz that she generates is crazy.
Beyoncé’s true magic comes from her ability to inspire and empower Black Women while simultaneously bathing in the resulting White Tears. Something that I’ve always admired about Beyoncé’s songs like “Bootylicious,” “Single Ladies,” “Crazy in Love,” and “Formation” is that they’re all high-octane club bangers that double as anthems for #BlackGirlMagic. Beyoncé’s idol status comes from her doing shit like causing power outages during the Superbowl. It comes from her getting her hair caught in a fan, or falling down a flight of stairs, and effortlessly maintaining her performances. It comes from her owning her identity and individuality while being married to everyone’s favorite Top Five Rapper. I truly understand why her fans are so rabid. The Beyhive legitimately worship her. It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever seen. Her fans are willing to mortgage their homes for concert tickets. They’re willing to get their hair done like hers, dress like her, dance like her, speak like her, everything like her. They defend her to death, to the point where they literally swarm the social media of anyone who seems to be an enemy of Bey, whether they are or not. They’re pretty damn scary.As much as I appreciate the last three years of her work, I know that I’ll never be within those ranks. Those Bey-Yotches are just too batshit crazy for my liking. However, I do wonder if I’m a Beyhive Sleeper Bee at times. Normally, “Lemonade” would have been banned in my house, but it was MY SUGGESTION that my wife and I watch it. I damn near downloaded Tidal for it. I’ve only gone to two concerts in my entire life, and one of them was Beyoncé’s. “6 Inch” and “Freedom” are two of my favorite tracks in 2016 right now (at least one of these tracks has Kendrick Lamar on it). I’ve even defended her in comments!!! WHO AM I?!?
Regardless of her incredible run, regardless of my respect for her work, regardless of her omnipotence, I will never be a member of the Beyhive. I know the ultimate truth, and that truth is what prevents me from joining the swarm. As long as I can continue to confidently say that BEYONCÉ WAS NEVER PREGNANT, then I can ju—