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Beychella is Proof That Beyoncé is the Greatest Performer Alive. I’m Not Arguing

Beyoncé Giselle of House Knowles. First of her name. Snatcher of Edges. Killer of Stages. Exemplar of Excellence. Citizen of Creole Wonderland. Legendary Black Girl. Wakandan Council President. Queen.

Beyonce Beychella Queen

CHISOS KRISTI. See queen of life.

I gotta up my intake of B12 (Biotin) and re-order my supply of Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Beyoncé stays coming for all my new growth. I’m not even mad cuz I’d gladly sacrifice some coiffure for the Queen.

I didn’t go to Coachella, but I was a citizen of Beychella, watching her performance on live stream and realizing more and more that we are watching a legend. That is not an over-statement. If Beyoncé decides she’s sick of us lessers and never releases another piece of music or do another performance, she has already earned icon status and I’m not here to argue with you. Be mad at your mama. People have been crowned icons for doing and being less. Many white musicians who died early in their career are considered icons, because of the potential they showed and what could have been. Here’s a woman who is living and thriving, who has done four times as much musically and people want to question her position. NAWL.

This woman, who makes history over and over again, and did it last night by being the first Black woman to headline Coachella, took the chance to cement her place as the greatest entertainer alive.

Beyonce Coachella

LET ME REPEAT: Beyoncé is the greatest performer and entertainer alive. And if you disagree, there’s hateration where your heart used to be. This should be undisputed. Tell me who else has the showmanship, the excellence, the choreography, the voice. If you can’t, stay out the fray. People have been saying Janet Jackson. Listen here. I LOVE ME some Damita Jo, just like the next but this ain’t the era of Rhythm Nation. She is forever GREAT but she is not at her prime (which is okay because she’s also 20 years older than Bey). I said what I said. Be mad. Stay nauseous.

The reason why I’m especially staking this claim of greatest alive is that Beyoncé does it, while making a point to be as BLACK AS POSSIBLE. There is something really special about watching Bey in all her NOIR PIXIE DUST, reminding folks over and over again that Blackness is something to be proud of. Everybody gon wanna go to an HBCU now. I’m over here like “Does Howard have a remote location where I can just say I took classes?”

At Coachella, she sang the Black national anthem (Lift Every Voice), while a 100-person all Black band was behind her giving all the life. They did a full stepshow, while wearing branded sweatshirts in the tradition of paraphernalia of historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities. They even stepped as she told people to “suck on her balls.” Then she changed into a costume with a crest on her chest. The crest had the eye of horus on it. And 4 segments with Queen Nefertiti, a Black Panther, a fist up and a bee (for the BeyHive).

Beychella crest 2

She played Malcolm X’s line of “the Black woman is the most disrespected person in America.” She paid tribute to Fela Kuti. THEY EVEN SWAG SURFED, YALL!!! It’s was so beautiful. And BLACKITY BLACK BLACK.

For 2 hours, she performed for a mostly white Coachella audience. But really, she performed for the millions of Black people she knew were tuned in online everywhere. It was a brilliant display of excellence. It was a performance of bravado. It was a musical that I’d watch on Broadway over and over again. It was Black affirmation, not giving a damb about white gaze. Because I’m sure the performance went over the heads of some of the melanin-deficient who saw it in person.

That ain’t even touching the fact that she then brought out Jay-Z. And then Destiny’s Child reunited, making them the first girl group to perform at Coachella. And then Solange came out to dance for her life with her sister. It was stunning. It was a feast for the senses. As your eyes are dancing along with Bey and her crew, your ears are overwhelmed because she also sounded her best.

Beyonce Coachella Beychella 5

We were watching a living legend at her best. 6 months after birthing twins. She never looked winded. She danced and sang for 2 whole hours at top energy. She is a marvel. I’ve never had kids and I did a karaoke routine of Sister Act 2’s Joyful, Joyful. 4 minutes where I was 2-stepping and lip syncing. I got off the stage and had to sit down for 10 minutes to catch my breath.

And that is why I have spent a lot of today arguing with people online. I feel like this performance took me to the point of no return in my fandom. I’ve always been a Beyoncé fan. I buy all the albums. I know ALL the songs. I even write about how I lose my shit about her work. Read:

But I haven’t been a member of the BeyHive even though I have attended a few meetings. I hadn’t been dragging folks on her behalf. That has changed. It is official. I just sent in my membership dues. I’ll bring Flaming Hots to the next meeting. 🐝🐝🐝

HOW CAN ANYONE DENY THIS WOMAN’S TALENT?!?! People have definitely tried it today and my patience is out. How can you watch what she does and still be like “meh?” At this point, it’s foolishness and those engaging in it are enemies of progress.

suck on my balls pause

Here’s the thing. I’m not saying people need to declare Beyonce Queen of their Hearts. But the woman is EXCELLENT and her artistry is undeniable. The levels people go to, to criticize her excellence, is mind-boggling. When you spend hours every day, practicing your craft, for 25 years. And you show up and give everything you have. And you honor your culture. And you show up for people who look like you, yet people can still be all “she ain’t that good.” Or people say “she can’t sing” even though you are belting out songs acapella on key at octaves you don’t speak at.

It begs the question: at what point can people do and be enough? It’s also a lesson for everyone: NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE YOU. And that is okay. Keep doing what you were doing anyway. There are people who don’t think Beyoncé is talented. So you KNOW there will be people who don’t think your work is remotely good. Keep doing it anyway.

All I know is that Beychella has inspired the hell outta me. This woman is on top but still shows up as if ever performance is her first and last. She acts like she still NEEDS to impress people (like it’s her first time), and leaves everything she has on the stage as if it’s the last time we’ll see her. She’s constantly trying to do herself because she’s not in a race with anybody but who she was yesterday. She doesn’t take being at the top for granted, and that makes me appreciate her artistry and her personhood and her work ethic like nothing else. I will revel in her greatness, and I will side-eye anyone who dares try to diminish what she’s done.

Queen Beyonce Coachella Beychella

YES. I AM OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE TO DRAG PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE.

Sooo… my BeyHive membership kit. Can it come with pins? I need to rock it on my jackets. I also need my t-shirt in a size extra schmedium, please.

She makes me so proud to be a Black girl. And I am emboldened to be able to say a Black woman is the best entertainer alive.


Have you bought my NYTimes-bestselling debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual? Haven’t ordered it yet? Now’s your chance. You’ll love it. Amazon. Barnes & Nobles. iBooks. Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself). Kobo. Books-A-Million.

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25 Comments

  1. Valerie D Covington
    April 15, 2018 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    During the opening the stage/set was reminiscent of a slave ship. Then the roof waa lifted to reveal the band–genius!

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm — Reply

      It looked like a pyramid to me. Will have to view again.

  2. Sherry Gary
    April 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm — Reply

    👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 To your blog….you have stated how I’ve felt about Queen Bey for years!!!

  3. April 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    Yes! I’ve attended a few meetings too and I’m now ready to pay my dues. On the way to Wakanda, I need my Beychella stamp. Throw some more pepper in that salt shaker. I am LOVING the Black Renaissance we’re currently going through. It’s right on time. Say it loud: I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD!

  4. Yvonne
    April 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    I can totally agree with you! I was always a fan, but after watching this I’m a Stan! She can do no wrong. And even if she does, all is forgiven.

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:35 pm — Reply

      I seriously thought that too. #IStan4Bey. She’s completely won me,

  5. Tra
    April 15, 2018 at 6:46 pm — Reply

    Straight FACTS Luvvie! Perfectly stated all my feels! The next person that criticizes Bey and her GOAT status, when their only talent is making sure their shoes in the closet are lined up, is getting drug ON SITE!

  6. dearlesley
    April 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    Listen. I have an unhealthy obsession with Jay Z. I’ve had it for years even before he started dating Beyonce and subsequently marrying her and having a family with her. My petty wasn’tstanning for her on the strength of that alone. After watching this performance in its entirety- I have no choice but to freaking submit my application for membership to the beehive as well. She is bad. There is truly NOBODY out here snatching wigs like her. Not.A.Damn.Body. Anyone that says otherwise is hating and I don’t have time for that type of negativity in my life.

  7. Theresa Mother
    April 15, 2018 at 7:50 pm — Reply

    No. After every performance, some fan starts shouting that she’s the GOAT. Calm the F down. When your vocals are pre-recorded, of course you’ll sound good while dancing. Her daddy said that you have to make the public believe that you are great. Smoke and mirrors.

    • KayTee
      April 16, 2018 at 2:09 am — Reply

      OK thank you for your opinion….bye Felicia

    • wishicouldhteonhertoo
      April 16, 2018 at 8:33 am — Reply

      Please name a BETTER performer alive today??!!! Not just a singer who stands still. I’ll wait. Entertainment IS smoke and mirrors…… its entertainment!!! Geesh… out government is smoke and mirrors…… unfortunately.

    • notconvincedgranny
      April 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm — Reply

      Even with a backing track, how many performers are on stage for two hours? She had twins just a minute ago; did you return from your maternity leave like this? Your witness (her daddy) has credibility issues. Your objections are noted; however, your objections are hollow, sanctimonious and without merit. Overruled. Take your seat, preferably outside.

  8. April 15, 2018 at 8:06 pm — Reply

    Girl you ain’t never lied!!! Your write up is spot on!

  9. April 16, 2018 at 12:40 am — Reply

    Queen Befertiti gave me my “goddamn-goddamn-goddamn” life with that performance. When it was all over, I legit wanted to see Wendy Williams dragged into the center of downtown Wakanda and then booed, heckled and pummeled with tomatoes and eggs for her ridiculous-ass claim about Bey and autotune. Wendy and anyone who agrees with her needs to get check up from the neck up.

  10. April 16, 2018 at 7:41 am — Reply

    First Black Panther and now Beychella – WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
    Your post is spot on – I don’t know how anyone could even argue otherwise The showmanship, the spectacle, the thought and detail and layers and layers of meaning, history and subtext. Folks are legit going to study this performance for years to come. All now someone is probably switching their cultural studies master’s thesis to focus on Beychella. It was THAT excellent.

  11. Dulce
    April 16, 2018 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Same to u

  12. valerie
    April 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    She showed her Heart on that stage! When she started singing the Negro anthem – I was like girl you are crazy them folks invited you to their show and you sing that song oh yea – I was screaming and shouting, when I heard Nina Simone’s “strange fruit” while panting I started saluting ! This is the perks of working hard and making it big – You get to do whatever the hell you want! She didn’t forget her roots or how she made it big! Thank you for the History lessons, for the courage and motivation to continue the fight!

  13. notconvincedgranny
    April 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    We are all unsafe. You can have a room full of wigs, a crate of extra edges, a lead lined case for your spirit, and your soul encased in concrete. Bey is knocking all that aside with a wave of her pinky finger. It would be wise for you to just pick up your damn feet or be dragged.

  14. Ketra
    April 16, 2018 at 10:18 pm — Reply

    One quick rebut to this article.. When Beyonce takes the blond weave out of her hair, then I’ll give her credit for being “Black as possible”. Other than that, I agree that it was an awesome performance.

    • Von
      April 17, 2018 at 11:29 am — Reply

      Not for nothing, there are countless sistas outchea with weaves, perms, etc. Does that necessarily make them less Black? It’s what you do & what’s IN your head, not what’s on it…she still giving more Black culture realness for the masses than many so-called “natural” performers.

  15. Char Turner
    April 16, 2018 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    I love Janet Jackson too but even at her peak she didn’t have Beyonce level Vocals.

  16. Londa
    April 17, 2018 at 9:57 am — Reply

    I’m not ready to be a member of the Beyhive because I have commitment issues. Plus, I have a child in college and one on their way in another year; so all my potential dues money is designated elsewhere.

    But, I will 100% declare that Beyonce is a freaking icon who has earned all her dues. I love her work ethic. I love her performances. I love alot of her songs. I have at least two or three playlists with her music alone.

    Also, just like a lot of people, I have the capacity to love Janet and Beyonce at the same time. It’s as if Janet passed the torch that had beeng given to her and gave it to Beyonce who will one day pass it along to another deserving person. The never-ending circle of life. It’s a beautiful thing.

  17. Tami
    April 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    I have always liked Beyoncé…Now I love her…She is the greatest performer alive…& her show…Black…that spoke volumes.

  18. AmandaG
    April 19, 2018 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    I ended up staying up to 3 AM watching it live KNOWING FULL WELL it would be on YouTube the following day but I couldn’t stop watching. It was fantastic. It was exciting and such a tribute to Black culture. I saw a bunch of people on Twitter complaining about the crowd not being in to it because they were all white. But, I have been to a Bey concert, in her hometown no less, and everyone there was the same way through parts of the concert. Maybe everyone is just so transfixed on her awesomeness? I mean how does one do all that without looking like they are winded one bit in heeled boots? HOW? She danced so hard her clothes couldn’t take it but she kept going hard! And at some point everyone got to take a break except her (unless you count the bit where she was lying down while singing). Magic.

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