A surprise album? Why the hell not? If you’re music royalty like Beyoncé, you can completely change the industry in a matter of hours. When B dropped her self-titled, 14 track 17 video album, she broke the internet and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in just three hours, in route to 828,773 in just three days. Add to this that the songs can not be bought a la carte – so that’s almost 900,000 people who spent $15.99 on an entire digital album (something I haven’t done since, well, I can’t really remember). Forbes magazine pointed out that her three day sales totaled more than Katy Perry’s Prism and Lady Gaga’s Artpop opening week sales combined.
Forgetting the surprising, record-breaking manner in which it was released, Beyoncé is a damn good album. It’s a little different than her past albums, but that makes it all the more interesting. It’s definitely more personal and just like she has always stated, it is I am woman, hear me roar – but in all facets.
I have always been a fan of Beyoncé, not just because of her music and her insane talent, but because of what she represents – a strong, independent black woman. She represents a modern woman – one that loves her her baby and being a mother, and her equally successful husband, yet, is also fiercely independent, has her own brand, wears revealing clothes and sings about loving sex. Women are complex beings and she let’s us know that you can be a feminist and be sexy. She takes the word feminist, that still has such a negative connotation, and uses in it in the way that it was always intended.
The tracks on Beyoncé, go from being Drunk in Love, to ladies being on the receiving end in Blow, to struggles in motherhood in Mine (which features Drake), but the song that discusses feminism outright is Flawless. Halfway through it features Nigerian-born writer and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking from of my favorite TED Talks on feminism. It’s about being more than someone’s wife. That women are taught to aspire to that, when we are so much more. I love that Beyoncé tells women to tell “him,” I woke up like this – we flawless/I look so good tonight. The video features is Beyoncé with a number of female dancers of all different races, which is another reason she gets it right.
Are some of her messages at odds – sure, but that’s what makes it better. Women aren’t just black and white and Beyoncé gets that. She gets that as a woman I want to be accomplished on my own, but I still want a life partner that I love. I am sexy, but I do not want to be objectified. I want a child and family, but I do not want to give up my career.
In the midst of the current musical landscape, it’s nice to have Beyoncé remind everyone why she’s a positive role model for women.