Beyoncé

Oh, YES SHE DID

Oh.

My.

God.

::praise break::catching-the-holy-ghost-o

Y’all.

Oh.

Y’aaaaaaaaaaall.

::praise break::

::pass the offering basket::

I can’t. I can’t even. Like, first can we talk about how last night’s Scandal basically doused itself in kerosene and lit itself on fire while tap-dancing to “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and I don’t have time to talk about it. It doesn’t even rank. Mama Pope is in the wind! Papa Pope read Fitz for toilet crust like the President was a contestant on America’s Next Top DILF! Jake is Command! Cyrus is the Devil! James is CJ Cregg! Harrison is still a cutout from an upscale men’s magazine called Black Men with Limited Plot Function and Nice Taste in Socks! AND I CAN’T EVEN TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT!

I don’t have time!

In the future, we will gather around computer generated simulations of campfires and tell each other when we found out the greatest news of the 20th century. What’s that? It’s the 21st century? Since when? Oh, okay Marty McFly. Anyway.

It was the mic drop heard round the world.Beyonce "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" - Los Angeles

I was convalescing at home, wrapped in a blanket and binge-watching Orphan Black. (I want to talk to you about that, too, and I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME!) My roommate came home and said, “Hey, my friend in the music industry said that he heard Beyoncé’s about to release a secret album on iTunes.”

I instantly started speaking in tongues. “King B! H-town! Oh, girl, the stans been waiting! How you gonna tour on no album? But didn’t she do it? Yes, indeedy! Ring the alarm! Can’t no one touch, Mrs. Carter! “Grown Woman” leaked months ago. Still my jam! ::praise break:: This is the place where her sweat hit me at the B-Day concert! Fuck Keri Hilson! Buzz buzz buzz.”

He was like, “Uh. Okay. Whatever. Um, anyway. Apparently, it’s out. Check iTunes.”

ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF MY REACTIONwoke up like dis

OH YES SHE DID!

surprise bitchNow, I love organizational systems. I’m a process whore. A color-coded spreadsheet is as attractive to me as a Details magazine with Channing Tatum on the cover. And my mind immediately started spinning at the sheer magnitude of this achievement. She managed to construct 14-track album, coordinate a multi-continent, 17-video shoot, with footage in very public places, and get it uploaded on to iTunes (this is the hardest part; I can’t even figure out how to get my 2012 tax return off of H&R Block’s website. Like, what button do I press? No, I don’t remember my password or PIN or if I actually used Turbo Tax. I made 7 and a half dollars last year; can you just print it out and send it to me?). And she did it all in secret! Not a rumor! Not a whiff! And trust me, these Beyoncé fans all think they’re Olivia Pope, marching around in bedazzled white trench coats, wild-eyed because they’ve been locked in the hole of musical deprivation for years, posting crazy messages on B’s Instagram using burner phones. How’d she sneak it by us?

Lemme say this to the haters. If she could pull this off–a project that involved hundreds, if not thousands, of people of varying levels of importance and pay scale, with nary a weave-tamer or wind-machine operator speaking to TMZ or getting a little loose on Goose at Chateau Marmont–don’t you think if she had faked her pregnancy, she would’ve been able to cover it up? The woman could’ve given birth to a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, 6-foot tall, 40-year-old Scandinavian man and made us believe it. This conversation is above your pay grade. So I need you to buy a one-way ticket to Australia, take the T2 Aiport Line to Museum Station, transfer to the L94, get off at the Sydney Opera House, go inside, look at the 5,738 seats therein and TAKE ANY ONE.hi haters

I’m feeling light-headed. Someone bring me my smelling scarves.

For weeks my family has been pestering me about sending them a Christmas list. After this I was like “Psssh, y’all couldn’t even if you tried. Oprah could hand-deliver all of her favorite things to my door and I’d be like ‘Gurl, just leave it in the vestibule. Armelia at the dentist’s office downstairs will sign for it.’ Look, I’m sorry. This Christmas is the Superdome during the second half of last year’s Super Bowl. Lights out.”

Here’s my list:

1) Oh. Yes. She. Did!

2) Socks

If you can’t handle that, then why did you give birth to all of this gay?!

Anyway, y’all, I’m nearing my word limit and my editor’s going to kill me (LOL word limit. LOL editor) so here’s some totally sane, composed thoughts on every track.

PRETTY HURTS

This is my favorite track.

“My aspiration in life is to be happy… Ah-ah-ah.” 3 seconds in and I’m already crying. I love this song. I love this message. I love that she raised Harvey Keitel from the dead to appear in the video. WON’T SHE DO IT? This is like a serious version of Drop Dead Gorgeous, which I had no idea was absolutely what was missing from my life until this exact moment. I can’t even be funny about this song; it’s just so anthemic and classic and perfect. She ends with the query “Are you happy with yourself?” over and over again and I’m just rolling around on my floor ripping my housecoat to shreds.

HAUNTED

This is my favorite track.

The video for this song is split into two. The first is called “Ghost” and it’s just Beyoncé, an oversized shawl and a wind machine and I just lost my damn mind. She’s giving you Erykah Badu-meets-The Chemical Brothers realness and I’m 100% here for it. Choice lyric: “Song not for sale. Prolly won’t make no money off this. Oh well.” Werq. Although, it would have a just a touch more power if the song were not actually for sale. Beyoncé, sometimes your semantics are a bit iffy. Just sayin’, girl.f you pay me

I also love how the sample that intros the song throws the smallest bit of shade at Olivia from Sesame Street for mispronouncing little 7-year-old Beyoncé’s name.

The video for “Haunted” scares the hell out of me and I have to watch it with all the lights on, while wearing my holiest wig. Look, I’m not trying to be incepted by the Illuminati, okay. I also love how she takes one drag of a cigarette and puts it out on the floor. The visual album has a reoccurring theme of needless servant abuse. Whatever, I’m here for it. Sorry, Corinna Corinna.

DRUNK ON LOVE

This song is okay.

I am amused by the idea that Beyoncé and Jay-Z often get so drunk that they wake up on their own kitchen floor the next morning. Girl, get your life together. You are a 32-year-old mother. Take your drunk ass to bed. Kim Kardashian is knocking on the front door, carrying skinny fraps and her Pilates bag and you’re trying to figure out whose idea it was to put all your Grammys in the sub-zero fridge. Don’t be that girl. I used to be that girl, so you don’t have.

I also like how Jay is wearing a hella lot of diamond-encrusted mardi gras beads in the video. Yo, Hov, what you been flashing to get them beads, son? I’m just saying. This is what happens when you pull your dick out at Kanye West’s house.

BLOW

This is my favorite track.

I am HERE for Beyoncé’s Hedwig weave!Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 2.07.45 AM

I am HERE for Solange cameos!

I am HERE for the combination of roller dance parties and oral sex. Takes me back to Middle School.

I am HERE for skate choreography! You better Xanadu that, Bey!

It was at this point that I thought to myself, Oh, I think this is a Prince album. Earmuffs kids. This is not a club-bangers album. This is baby-making music. And by baby-making, I mean dirty, dirty fuckin. Damn. Someone bring me my chastity scarves.

NO ANGEL

This is my favorite track.

I believe the video for this song is Bey’s audition reel for a DP job on the next season of Treme. It’s just rims, ramshackle houses and grittin’ dudes. Oh, and more frank talk about sexuality, as Ira Glass would say. Whew. I used to play the Dangerously In Love album when dates came over back in the day. If I were to play this album on a date, I’d probably end up being interrogated on SVU.

PARTITION

This is my favorite track.

The intro, which is split into a separate video called “Yoncé”, is an e-mail to Nicky Minaj with the subject line: Put on a hat. I just snatched you bald.

CC: Azaelia Banks

“I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker.” I can’t.

I cannot wait until choreographers start using this whole track to create absolutely filthy crunk masterpieces. I am just going to the University of the Arts dance department and wait. Tondu, change! Tondu, change! Tondu, change! Plié!

JEALOUS

This is my favorite track.

I love how this is a perfect marriage of old-school vengeful Beyoncé and old-school heartbroken Beyoncé.

The video is actually a pilot for a new ABC series called “Desperate Disney Villains” featuring Beyoncé as a Maleficent, an oft-ignored housewife/international superstar. It co-stars Lady Gaga as a Cruella De Ville, the crazy neighbor lady who runs a sweatshop.

The opening also includes an amazing shot where Beyonce drops her napkin on the floor just so that her white maid can pick it up. You know she whispered to her “This is for Solomon Northrup, Alice.”napkindrop

I like how this video suggests that there is any place on this globe that Beyonce can walk down the street without being accosted. Especially in that SICKENING blood-red trench and silver heels. Girl, bye.gabourey Also, where is this shady, uncrowded Williamsburg bar where Queen B can just sit on pinball machines and knock back drinks like she’s in a Dewar’s commercial? The set of Smash? Girl, goodbye.

ROCKET

This is my favorite track.

The video begins with the line “Let me sit this back/ on ya.” It’s followed by a shot of Beyoncé’s bare butt. I’m like, “Oh! This is what heterosexuality feels like! Phenomenal!” Guys, I’m straight now. Sorry Tom Daley.tom-daley-dustin-lance-black-first-couple-photos1 I guess you’re going to have to stay with your boyfriend who is 20 years older than you and yet looks exactly the same age. And is also a fit, wealthy, talented Oscar-winner. Condolences. I’m straight now.

There are so many visual metaphors for penetration in this video it’s almost hilarious: lipstick being unsheathed, drills, splooshing water. Sex is hilarious. The only sad part of this video is when they drop a piece of toast with jelly on the floor. Servant cruelty. Food abuse.

I have to say, with all the flipping on mattresses, this video may also be a commercial for a maxi-pad. I’m not sure.

MINE

This video is actually just a live feed of the Illuminati Induction Ceremony. It takes places on Mars and features those weird elves from Thor and I just don’t have time for it.

XO

THIS IS MY FAVORITE TRACK.

Thiiiiis! Future husband, take note: This is the song we will use in our engagement video. I imagine it’ll start with side-by-side montages of our lives up until the moment that we met. Then the montages will fuse to show our courtship, freezing on our favorite picture together (you know the one I insisted we retake 10 times because I was doing  a weird thing with my eye?). Then our entire families will come bursting through the picture, running down a field holding whimsical things like sparklers and ribbons. My dad will be holding a sign that says “Really, boys, isn’t this a little much.” My nephew will bring up the rear, holding a big bunch of balloons. He’s a month old now and I imagine the ideal age for  this is about 4-6 years old, just to give you a timeframe.

Also, this is going to be the song that the wedding party enters to at the reception. And if you’re reading this, you’re invited to the wedding. Clear your schedule. Save the date. SAVE ALL THE DATES.

love how good Beyoncé is at writing songs that express the giddy enthusiasm of true love. It’s not like that every day but there are moments when you look at the person you love that a drum starts to beat in the background and the lights grow bright and your heart gets filled with champagne fizzes and your smile is gravity-less and you think, it is just like Jill Scott was saying the other day: this person excites me to chorus.

Look, guys, I know I’m being really effusive about it. I’m not even sorry. I was raised Baptist; there’s a fire shut up in my bones!

***FLAWLESS

This is my favorite track.

I was initially unsold on this “Bow Down” redo. I didn’t like “Bow Down” the first time. But the video is HOT FIRE that I cannot get enough of.

And CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHE! Yes, LORD! That interlude is the greatest thing since Kanye sampled “Who Will Survive In America”. IT IS EVERYTHING. PLAY THIS ON YOUR RADIOS! “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

I’m going to say that again.

“Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

Don’t tell me you’re not a feminist; I will shout you down. Don’t say the words “man-hating”. I will shouuuuut youuuuu down. We are all to work, every day, at being feminists. Handle that.its-handled

SUPERPOWER

This is my favorite track.

Frank Ocean. Swoon.

I call this video “Bey for Vendetta”. Or “Warriors (Now with more midriff!)”. The cinematography and narrative in this video are just stunning. I don’t even have anything snarky to say about it. I fucking love it. I love the Destiny’s Child reunion! I love the slightly less psychotic revolution that started in “Girls (Run the World)”. I love how there’s randomly a person running around in a bear costume. What the fuck is going on? Are you all on E? I love the swooping Cleopatra eye. I also love how a truly romantic slow-jam is playing over a Will Smith/Zoe Saldana action movie. Featuring Pharell in a jaunty hat that will probably not come in handy during the ensuing conflict.

HEAVEN

This is my favorite track.

I was crying after the first note. This song is just about all the feels. Someone fetch me my weeping veil.beyoncecry

PS the dead woman in the video looks like Ashanti. That was distracting.

BLUE

This is my favorite track.

blueYou can’t go wrong with Blue Ivy and Rio. You can try. But you’ll never go wrong. Even if you put Bey in a headdress and tell her to writhe in the waves. I will throw a tiny bit of side-eye at that, but the joy of Brazilians dancing and Blue Ivy’s toddler babble will warm even the most cynical heart. I will say this, my girl B comes up with some really insane ideas for costuming but damn if she doesn’t commit. I have this ecru sweater that I’m kinda iffy about the fit on and I pretty much fall apart like Goldie Hawn at the end of Death Becomes Her any time I have to wear it in public. But Bey, God bless her, is like “I’m a Carnivale dancer! I’m a mermaid! I’m impregnating you with my eyes! BOW DOWN BITCHES!”

suddenlyAnd that’s it. It’s supposed to snow in Philly today but I’m wearing jorts and a tank top because when a new Beyoncé album comes out that can only mean one thing: summer’s coming. WON’T SHE DO IT!

Well. This has been fun. I have a suggestion: instead of Kwanzaa, let’s just celebrate the Beyoncé Surprise every year! We can all surprise each other with the perfect, sex-drenched, massively-organized gift every year on the 13th and then celebrate until the end of the year. Ujima, y’all!

rericthomas.com

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