Beyonce: Better on her worst day than we’ll ever be on our best day. 2017 Grammy Loss


Beyonce in Peter Dundas gown and special House of Malakai headpiece
Losing is a part of life, right?  It’s like death and taxes and the realization that no matter how good you are, sometimes people just don't want to see you shine. 

And that's exactly what the hell it felt like when Beyoncé lost album of the year at the 2017 Grammys. It was a personal loss for many. Beyoncé dripping in gold and all the radiance of a woman about to bring two new souls in the world, presented her brand of black excellence in vocals and visuals that night. She evoked goddesses of the diaspora as she sang Love Drought surrounded by women of color atop a seat at the table (and now sitting here writing this I see the irony of her not only being on top of that table but the chair falling back on to the table, a metaphor for the night -_-)

She lost album of the year to Adele’s 25. An album to lose to I suppose. It was a good record, outsold Lemonade and showcased Adele’s contemporary bluesy pop vocals that white audiences find palatable.

Did I still expect Beyoncé to win instead of lose? DUH

Now Lemonade was not for everyone. It was a story for Black women about Black womanhood by a Black woman.  Warsaw Shire, a Somali British poet’s words weave through King Bey’s visuals like golden thread further highlighting the pain, love and lives of black women. Watching Lemonade, listening to Lemonade I felt seen. I felt my humanity recognized as a black woman. The cultural impact of the album spread wide and far and was critically acclaimed by music and film critics alike.

“My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror — first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves. And have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable.”- Beyoncé, accepting the award for Urban Contemporary Album.

Adele in a rather gracious and strange moment (prayers for whatever room in Calabasas Kanye watched the travesty unfold) said what we were all thinking, “But I can’t possibly accept this award. And I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious. But my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the “Lemonade” album, is just so monumental. Beyoncé, it’s so monumental.

Also, later Adele explained her love and adoration for Bey and literally asked “What the f*ck does she have to do to win Album of the year?”

Well to the Grammys, Beyoncé did everything wrong. She made a black female record. One the mostly male aging white Grammy voters could not or simply would not relate to.
I could say in hindsight that maybe I should have seen the loss coming. I remember this country’s current political climate. I remember that the Grammys is ultimately a white patriarchal institution- which is to say minorities and women are always going to be at a disadvantage when participating. I remember that the American music industry has been consuming black entertainers and their works since the beginning, only to dribble out posthumous praise. Also, rumor has it that the Grammy academy members we're vexed by Beyoncé’s Lemonade album and its eclectic mix of genres, accusing her of stacking the deck in her favor for wins. They stingily delved their votes to other artists as punishment. How dare she be great, how dare she win.

You would think great achievements deserve great awards.

In her 2013 autobiographical documentary, however, Life is but a Dream, she laughs as she recalls the important realization she realized early on about losing “You can actually work super hard and give everything you have, and lose. The reality is, sometimes, you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens and it happens when it needs to happen.”

So maybe Bey know best.

And some (haters) will argue that she didn’t win because she’s not a singer’s singer. Those people are wrong and probably only know Beyoncé best from an SNL single ladies sketch.

But like Maxwell famously dm-ed: check the numbers b*tch.

Beyoncé has one of the best voices of her time. That's a fact. Music is subjective but vocal ability is not. She has some of the highest grossing and highest charting records of any artist alive today. I don't need to comment on her choreography because we all know what Mama is serving. She perfected the visual album, and re-invented how many artist drop and promo music.

So, when people tell me Beyoncé doesn't deserve her flowers for ALL OF THAT, it's a spit in the face. Another iteration of my mother and mother’s mothers words echoing through time about being twice as good for half the credit. Being a black woman in this world can be a burden but Beyoncé sat down and made Lemonade to lighten the load. Far more impactful than any award.

I long for better days when black woman can serve up diamonds and pearls and won’t be repaid in dust. I will do my best to hope for these better days, even in the ugly and withered face of anti-black sentiments and the survival mechanism of low expectations. Beyoncé wouldn’t want that for us.

And you know what, at the end of the night, Beyoncé probably went home after a long night of partying, hugged her loved ones, took off her heels and had a lemonade flavored mocktail and took a hot bath in purified ionized gold flaked water, I don’t know lol.

She will move on from this loss, and she will make something beautiful from it no doubt like she has done countless times in the face of her other losses. She is blessed and highly favored and has made an impact on millions of lives. I guess if you think about it, that’s not really a loss at all. 


Re-UP- 2017


Hey yall,
So I'm currently re-launching and re-working Black Rabble and this blog to be more focused and align with my creative energy in this current political climate. Stick around, I'll be regularly updating with my art, style, diy's, thoughts, news articles and thrift finds. All things still authentically me <3