In Defense of Lemonade

 

Matt Walsh of The Blaze, wrote a review of Beyonce’s album, “Lemonade.” Walsh titled his story, Beyonce is Destroying Your Daughter, Not Empowering Her, which is certainly an eye-catching title and sets the tone for this engaging piece.

Beyonce released the album over the weekend and it’s already caused quite a stir from its’ listeners. “Lemonade” has opened the door to cheating rumors between Beyonce and her husband Jay Z, to fill social media as well as the 24-hour news cycle.

Walsh’s take was an attack on the values presented in the music and the artist, and reduces both to cliches. He also reduces Beyonce from a feminist icon to an immoral brand of commercialism. Walsh writes:

“This is the advantage of being a feminist sex icon in modern America. Everything you do and say will become the greatest thing anyone has ever done or said, that is until the next thing you do or say. Beyonce does not occupy this category alone, but due to her race and her dancing ability, she stands at the pinnacle of it.”

Well, not everyone sees Beyonce as a feminist icon, that’s for each individual to decide. Also, being a feminist has nothing to do with whether you like Beyonce’s ability to dance or like black people. Walsh forgets something valuable – not everyone is a fan of Beyonce’s music. She’s a very distinct voice, sound, and genre, and certainly she is allowed to cater to the fans who are interested.

“Never mind that “Beyonce” is more a brand than a person. The lady herself is a person, but what’s presented to the world is a carefully constructed and marketed product. It’s a narrative, a story, a walking and talking fantasy novel for girls.”

Of course Walsh. What point are you trying to make? Beyonce is not the inventor of Apple computers, she is an entertainer. People pay to see her, and in public she is the loudest piece of advertising that money can buy. How is that any different from a quarterback or politician? It’s called being the face of the franchise. Is Beyonce a fantasy novel for young girls? If so, who? Yes, Beyonce is extremely popular. She is probably the most well known entertainer on the planet, but not every young girl is a fan. For instance, some boys grow up interested in sports, while others are interested in cars. It’s not fair to say that all boys are have a fantasy of becoming Peyton Manning.

Finally, Walsh gets to the point in his article, the fact that Beyonce’s music is called empowering.

“It would be merely absurd, not necessarily dangerous, for a woman to feel “empowered” by these rote pop song platitudes. Unfortunately, in Beyonce’s case, when her lyrics aren’t warmed-over and cliched, they’re vulgar, ugly, manipulative and destructive. Often they’re all five of these things at once. Granted, many pop songs are profane, mind numbing garbage, but considering Beyonce’s status as Pagan Goddess of Secular America, her garbage is all the more toxic.”

It’s not absurd to say that someone can feel empowered by the music Beyonce produces. Music is a form of expression, and if a listener feels a emotion and the artist expresses that emotion, then the listener might feel empowered to buy that artist music. The problem some people have with Beyonce is how she expresses herself or others, and that simply does not matter.

The great entertainers, especially actors, convey feelings so well viewers think those feeling are happening to the actor at the very moment. It’s not however, it’s just a show. But the ability to make those feelings feel real is the sign of a great entertainer and artist.

Walsh doesn’t take into account one thing: why girls and women are connecting with Beyonce. Maybe because they actually feel the same way.

“It truly boggles the mind that mothers (and fathers) would be enthusiastic about their daughters marinating their minds in this bile. I understand, in today’s culture, it’s exceedingly difficult to insulate children of a certain age from this kind of stuff, particularly if they go to public school (which is another argument for homeschooling). But the sad truth is that many parents don’t see any reason to even attempt to shield their daughters from music that encourages them to “bounce to the next d*ck.”

Does any of that really matter? Not to make assumptions, but Walsh might also have a problem with touchdown celebrations. Picture an arrogant fan who sits in the stands and thinks, “Why does he have to act like that, just hand the ball to the ref.” That fan didn’t just score a touchdown, so what right does the fan have, to tell the player how to feel.

If any person is angry, and chooses to express their anger by using words, poetry, or music, thank God. If a couple is having a dispute, and one member of that couple decides to write an album about it, rather than use physical domestic violence, this country should throw a parade. Music, like movies, tells stories that provide an outlet, not a blueprint. Those who choose to use that excuse as a defense for committing terrible crimes, have lost the battle in the court of law.

Walsh, like Beyonce, is allowed to expresses himself in as many ways as possible. They are just not allowed to dictate to others on how to do the same.

 

 

Prince Found Dead at 57

 

Rogers Nelson, more famously known as Prince, died Thursday in his home in Paisley Park. He was 57 years old.

Watch Prince at the 1985 American Music Awards.

Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was a resident of the Gopher state most of his life. Nelson was known for giving birth to the unique Minneapolis sound. Nelson won seven Grammy awards in career, and also starred in the cult classic film Purple Rain.

Nelson used creativity, fearless risk taking, and fashion sense to carve out his own place in music history.

Nelson reported feeling ill in early April and postponed two concerts in Atlanta, citing the flu. Nelson was rushed to the hospital earlier this week, forcing his plane to make a emergency landing. He was released after a short stay.

Watch Prince with join James Brown and Michael Jackson on stage.

Nelson is most known for his complete albums, such as Purple RainAround The World in a Day, Sign of The Times, 1999. His singles success includes, Little Red Corvette, 1999, Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Kiss.

The cause of death has not been official determined.

 

 

 

Vacation: Summer Music Festivals

 

Brian Wright

The school year is almost over, and for most adults and teens, it’s time to find a job or babysitter, or both. However, those fortunate enough to have vacation plans should consider spending their money at a music festival.

Joe Minihane’s CNN article highlights music festivals like Primavera Sound, a four-day celebration of music in Barcelona, Spain, headlined by Radiohead. From July 15-17, the city of Chicago will be hosting Pitchfork Music Festival, a major attraction to Chicago’s Union Park will be FKA twigs.

 

Casey Lewis of Fashionista, compiled a list of musical acts that will headline traditional music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Grimes will grace the stage at Coachella, Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza. Ellie Goulding will join her at Glastonbury, but will also play at Bonnaroo. Coachella is where you can find an abundance of musical acts like SHAMIR, A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmud, and Mavis Staples.

 

depositphotos_33612887-Amelie-performs-at-the-hard.jpg

Time Out website is the destination if you are a music lover and are looking for a huge festival to attend. The site has complied pretty much all the go-to sites in one location, making it easy for viewers to pick a place to spend their money.

If you can attend one of these events you might need to book a hotel room. Check out websites such as Value Place and Firefly. USNEWS website offers some free advice on how to lower costs when attending a summer music festival.

Catch Guns N’ Roses at Coachella!

Guns N’ Roses 

Ellie Goulding

 

 

 

Rapper/Actor Eve Making A Comeback

 

Brian Wright

Recently, rapper/actor Eve took to Twitter to announce she will be releasing some new music for the first time since 2013. Eve’s last chart-topping hit was Gangsta Lovin’ in 2002 featuring Alicia Keys. Eve is well known for tracks such as, Who’s That Girl, Love is Blind, and Let Me Blow Your Mind. 

Watch Eve’s Who’s That Girl Video

Eve will co-star in the latest Ice Cube Barber Shop movie franchise, Barbershop: The Next Cut, which will be in theaters April 15. The cult classic returns with hip-hop stars like, Nicki Minaj, Common, and Tyga. Also making the cast, powerhouse comedians, Cedric the Entertainer, JB Smoove, Regina Hall, and Lamorne Morris.

Watch Barber Shop Trailer

Drake Releases 2 New Songs

 

Brian Wright

Rapper Drake released two brand new songs yesterday. The tracks are called One Dance featuring Wizkid and Kyla and Pop Style with Kanye West.

 

Listen on iTunes

Listen on iTunes

These songs are from his upcoming new album View From The 6Rohan Nadkarni of GQ gives the track a pretty positive review and even goes on to profess that these will be the songs of the summer. View from the 6 is set to release this month.

Kendrick Lamar Untitled Unmastered: Go Listen!

Brian Wright

Untitled Unmastered. Was just released and you must get a hold of Kendrick Lamar new album Lamar’s new album, that contains music made in 2013 and 2014, while Lamar was working on his last album To Pimp A Butterfly. The tracks are raw but the listeners will enjoy a ride as Lamar explores the limits of his own creativity. The Album is available on ITunes, Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play Music.

Kiana Fitzgerald of NPR music describes Lamar’s album with the following:

“It feels and sounds like Lamar is shaking off flakes of the old him and growing a new skin by the minute. In that song and others, we get a direct line into Kendrick Lamar’s experimentation with using his voice as an instrument. We hear him strain and yell and whisper his way through his own evolution.”

Lamar had been on a mission to release some of his new tracks, he appeared on the Colbert Report in 2014, and then performed parts of the collection during his, awe-inspiring Grammy performance. In an interview with 2 Dope Boyz, Lamar said the album face clearance issues and his record company Top Dawg was worried if the album would turn people off.

Sheldon Pearce of Pitchfork had this to say about untitled 5:

“It fully explores how power disparities create street violence, and how that violence impacts the psyche, shaping one’s sense of normality. It grapples with sanity in the context of a human framework that doesn’t make sense. It wonders if the prerequisites for lucidity are skewed in the hood, if it’s even possible to think rationally trapped in a loaded reality. Kendrick, along with TDE cohorts Punch and Jay Rock, tackle how classism feeds the prison-industrial complex, and in turn, commodifies black violence.”

The Album is receiving positive reviews, untitled 5 is receiving most of the positive attention, but untitled 07 is also holding its own. Nathan S of DJ Booth gave the track high reviews saying:

“Those woozy synths lines are…oh goddamn, and now those drums kicked in? Drugs won’t get me as high as this. YES LAWD. SWEET JESUS TAKE ME NOW I’M READY. More of this please, I’m back, resurrected from track 6 – I’m floating. This sounds more like it could have been a GKMC leftover than TPAB. Funny, this is exactly the kind of song all the people who didn’t like TPAB said they wanted, and exactly the kind of song Kendrick doubters would have used as evidence that he’s not a great rapper…wait…beat switch. Now it sounds like an orphan English kid singing about being from Compton – and a whole different beat.”

It really is can’t miss music, that will probably take over national radio stations this summer.