A load of us went to The Alibi in Dalston the week before last. Not to experience their Void Audio Air Motions (lol wut?), nor to make friends with girls with really short fringes (although naturally I ended up with about six of those by the time I left). No, we went because the Facebook event promised that they’d play Beyoncé for the whole night.
An absolute dream for a gayman and his hags, we were all like
So we did. And if we discount the average-to-poor warbles spurting out of the supposed ‘tribute act’, we actually had a fab old time, slut-dropped until we could slut-drop no more, and managed to pick up a pretty alright kebab from that place that takes fucking AGES next to the mosque on Kingsland Road.
For a Thursday night, a solid 7 out of 10.
But two people really annoyed me that night. One was this dumb bitch that I well nearly head-butted after she got all up in my #SURFBOARDT space.
And the other was this guy in the cloakroom queue at the end who told me that “Beyoncé is a dickhead”.
As you might expect, I was not only really really upset but also pretty confused as to why you’d bother attending an event dedicated to a woman/babe/stunnah that you think, for whatever insane reason, is a dickhead. Whatever, I thought sassily, let him hate, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let it slide.
But I couldn’t. I refused to believe this guy at the time and couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of late morning-afternoon the next day, wallowing in my Tesco Basics vodka aftermath.
Because, actually, I thought everybody liked Beyoncé. Even if you liked her only the tiniest amount, locked away deep in your soul somewhere beneath a determination to enjoy only indiegrimealtfolkbluegrassjazzadultrockdeathhousemetal.
No, if you claim to never have heard that horns intro in Crazy In Love and not felt your foot twitch as you struggled to keep it from tapping, you are a liar.
But then that guy thinks she’s a dickhead.
Her music is catchy as hell. Every one of her five albums has reached number one in the US or UK or both. I just checked and I’ve bought them all, which might be a bit lame but whatever. She’s painfully meticulous about getting her songs right. Supposedly 80 tracks were written (sure, not by her) for her recent self-titled album to be whittled down to the final 14.
And yet, some apparently still reckon she’s a dickhead.
Where Beyoncé really kicks some bootylicious ass is on stage. General sale tickets for the UK tour last year sold out in a little over 10 minutes. I remember sitting there in my boyfriend’s bed refreshing the O2 page on more MacBooks, iPads and iPhones than I’d dare ever admit to having access to. Beyoncé has developed a reputation for performing that blows our little minds away. Her 2013 Super Bowl half time performance made me just cringe at Bruno and a very haggered-looking set of Chili Peppers this year. I mean it was fine, but it wasn’t Beyoncé.
Which leaves me dumbfounded that anybody would ever post comments like this.
Beyoncé, whether she intended to or not, has become a role model OF DOOM, potentially creeping into the realms of modern-day feminism, whatever that is. This gal has proven that you can be a woman and not-white and a wife and a mother and still achieve what you want and more, earn a crap load of money, look bloody fab, be a sassy bitch and get shit done. She seems to accept that for a lot of us, sex is a reality of life – it’s pretty commendable to take the stance that women can use and embrace their sexuality should they want and choose to. She tours with a feisty all-female band, Suga Mama and backing vocals The Mamas.
And a really hot guitarist.
She sings about the importance of the Independent Woman, tells us that girls can Run The World, and discusses how totally shit it is when women feel they must pursue physical perfection in Pretty Hurts.
So she’s mega successful, puts out great music, mesmerises on stage and somehow still has time to act as role model for millions of women (and actually, all genders) across the globe.
But she’s a dickhead apparently.
And d’you know what? I was sad. But I totally get it.
She might be belting out a track named ‘Flawless’ but her music can be far from it.
She samples a lot, granted with many hitting the right notes (lol punny) – think Major Lazer in Run The World (Girls) and The Chi-Lites in Crazy In Love. But sometimes, she fluffs up super badly. Bey’s inclusion of audio from the 1986 Challenge disaster in XO left NASA writhing in her Texas hometown.
Other times, it’s not even clear what’s a sample and what’s a direct copy. A quick crosscheck of her Billboard Awards performance or Single Ladies and Countdown videos with work by Lorella Cuccarini, Gwen Verdon or Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker might lead us to question where the line is between Beyoncé’s ‘inspiration’ and what is actually closer to plagiarism.
Bey also messes up when she doesn’t mimic others. She looked a hot mess alongside Jay Z at the Grammys back in January
and then went all overconfident after boring us to death in a TOWIE-mermaid dress at the BRITs over here a few weeks later
I’d genuinely rather endure a night in doing the washing up with Ellie Goulding than have to go through that again.
When she wants to, Beyoncé’s hard-hitting girl power vanishes faster than that time Taylor Swift recovered from thinking she’d won Best Album.
It’s pretty confusing that she uses Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s manifesto on the same track in which she tells us to “bow down bitches”.
Back in 2007, she axed her concert in Malaysia after refusing to dress modestly.
Rihanna, on the other hand, managed it okay in Abu Dhabi.
Beyoncé has been criticised for being an Independent Woman one minute and rockin’ around on The Mrs Carter Show the next. Should girls be fighting to be on their own? Is it fine to be married now? Or what?
And why, in a song stating that “perfection is a disease of a nation”, is Beyoncé apparently half as skinny as she was before her pregnancy?
This diva didn’t get to where is by playing the nice girl. Beyoncé treads on toes/feet/hearts and has always run the show.
She pied off her family.
With father, Matthew, acting as Destiny’s Child group manager, the number of times that the DC lineup changed is something only the Sugababes brand could match.
But the dad/manager thing got weird – Matthew quit his job and mega screwed up his marriage to follow this Bey obsession. So before her fourth album, Beyoncé was like ‘whoa, I’m a Grown Woman’ and sacked him.
She panicked when fans got a little excited by her (much cooler) little sister, Solange. So Bey gave her two seconds of screen time in the Party video and then was like okay seeya. And poor little Yoncé 2.0 has been left scratching around for anything she can find on Shoreditch High Street. Or Soundcloud.
Okay Sol, you can go.
There’s also her mum, lol. Tina Knowles, who’s just sort of happy to be allowed any involvement at all. She had her moment at the Billboard Awards but that’s about as far as Teenz will go. She’ll either carry on thinking that House of Deréon is going to happen, or pursue a career as a Stifler’s Mom-lookalike.
Then there are Beyoncé’s girls, her ‘sisters’. She waited for Shell to finish faffing with her one-single-only gospel album and for Kel’s Nelly-Dilemma limelight to dim before taking a dump on both solo efforts. Bey teamed up with baby boy Jay Z, pouncing on the pair of them with Dangerously In Love, her best-selling album to date and lead single Crazy In Love, earning Bey her first solo number one. From then onwards, poor Shkel didn’t have a hope in hell.
And yet we’re obsessed with any news that they’ll be back. Social media gushed over the reunion with Kelly and Michelle, but with terrible weaves sewn in and mics turned down, they were totally eclipsed by Bey. To be fair, Michelle especially sounded like a sack of shit and, let’s give Kel her due, she sure landed that jump better than Shell did.
Didn’t stop her writing the total cringefest that is Dirty Laundry, though. Just listen to those lyrics. Christ.
Beyoncé was always in charge. Like, definitely. And she was a dick about it.
Maybe she is a dickhead. There, I said it.
Sure she mimed at Obama’s inauguration.
Yes, she makes weird narcissistic documentaries.
Okay, she may or may not have faked a pregnancy.
And absolutely, she fell down the stairs that one time.
Beyoncé is a dickhead like all the rest of them. (And by them, I mean other women that are, for whatever reason, shoved into the limelight.)
She might not write a lot of her music, but she has a go, and puts out CHOONZ, many of which have average-good intentions behind them.
She might have a load of people making her look FLAWLESS, but she works her butt off for it. And she tries to make others not obese too. Remember that time she changed Get Me Bodied so it was called Move Your Body and surprised all those fat kids at that school?
In whatever warped capacity, she mainstreams feminism (which, for the most part, is good) and feeds it to heaps of young people that will carry it with them for a good while yet. She’s shown that if you want to get married and have kids, you should sodding do it. And if you do, it won’t stop you being a strong woman and doesn’t have to stop you being a badass go-getter. (Admittedly, she’s got tonnes of dollah to help her along with that.)
She donates to charity. Well actually no, she encourages fans to donate to charity rather than donating a portion of ticket sales. But she’s trying.
And as far as we’re aware, she’s pretty well behaved.
Apart from this time when she was totally wasted
Beyoncé is a bit of a dickhead. A heap load of ultra-famous women have slopped up a bit. Aren’t loads of those galz dickheads?
She’s a dickhead.
She’s a dickhead.
She’s a dickhead with frogs.
She’s a dickhead that somehow won it back.
Massive, massive dickhead.
I’m not saying they’re dickheads because they’re women. Obviously. Absolutely bloody not. What I’m trying to illustrate is that Beyoncé gets called out (often quite aggressively/unfairly) on her errors a lot more than others. Not because she makes more mistakes or because those few mistakes are especially bad, but because she’s so sodding fab that it’s a trillion times more noticeable on the rare occasion that she does happen to bodge anything thing up. So yeah Beyoncé might be a dickhead sometimes, but the rest of them are bigger dickheads. Bey doesn’t twerk on/get twerked on by mysoginistic douchebags; doesn’t have a dodgy sex tape; doesn’t dress in weird shit like, all the time; doesn’t shave her head; doesn’t live off of coke; and doesn’t think she’s the absolute shit because she released one Christmas hit like two decades ago. (Although We Belong Together is also great so well done for that Mariah.)
But Beyoncé is mad. She sold around 60 million records with Destiny’s Child and almost double that going solo. She’s won 17 Grammys. Multiply that by 10,000 and you get the number of people she performed to when she became the first woman in a stupid number of years to headline Glasto. Her most recent album smashed iTunes sales records with zero publicity. She’s also married to Jay Z and found time to have a kid that – okay, isn’t that cute yet – but will be DROP-DEAD in a few years’ time. You’ve gotta hand it to her. Bey done good.
Beyoncé might be a dickhead, but she’s a great dickhead.
Especially when she does this
So next time I catch the 67 up to Dalston and brush shoulders with some dumb guy in a motheaten wife beater and his dad’s old snapback that tells me that Beyoncé’s a dickhead, I’ll be like
Sure she’s a dickhead.
But we’re all dickheads.
And Beyoncé’s the boss.