When Beyoncé hit the Coachella stage last year, many of us expected amazing live vocals, her iconic hits, and memorable choreography. Instead, when she hit the stage, the audience at Coachella and those watching online were left in awe when Beyoncé delivered more than just a regular performance. In a 105-minute set, Beyoncé presented a statement on Black culture and history. No one could’ve guessed one of the many songs she performed would be The Black National Anthem. No one expected Beyonce to have a full marching band (from Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to help lead her performance. And of course, no one expected a Destiny’s Child reunion.
Beyoncé’s Coachella performance was not only celebrated because of her amazing talent, but because it was a tribute to Black American culture. In the film, Beyoncé said she “wanted every person that has ever been dismissed because of the way they look to feel like they were on that stage.” And that night, she did just that.
A year later, Netflix set the internet on fire when they released the trailer for Homecoming. The trailer included a voiceover from Maya Angelou discussing the honor of representing her race through her art. Though Homecoming included the entire Coachella performance, there were interviews and rehearsal footage of Beyoncé sprinkled throughout. Those clips detail Beyoncé’s extensive eight-month rehearsal for the performance plus her journey post pregnancy. The excellence in Homecoming is not just the actual performance, but being able to witness what it takes to be the undisputed greatest performer of our generation.
In the film, not only do we hear Beyoncé struggle with her ridiculously strict diet post giving birth, but we witness her calling all the shots from the shape of the stage, the lights, and costumes, all the way down to the camera shots. We see Beyoncé hold meetings with her team demanding them to do better and then leave to take care of her two infant children. We hear Beyoncé, who we have crowned the Queen, doubt her performance abilities after giving birth to twins. Homecoming is a masterclass on excellence because Beyoncé never makes excuses nor does she slack off. She gathers her crew, has three sound stages and rehearses for eight months straight. Homecoming shows that the brilliance of Beyoncé does not come from magic, but from determination. Seeing the blood, sweat, and tears she puts into her performances and seeing her leave her heart out on that Coachella stage, reinforced the truth that Beyoncé has no equals.
It’s impossible to watch Beyoncé at her peak and not be inspired. However, the beauty of it is Beyoncé doesn’t make you want to be her, she inspires you to be the best version of yourself. She inspires women who watch her, to be excellent at whatever it is they do. Beyoncé shows women that there are no limits to the greatness within us.
Why Beyoncé’s Homecoming is a Masterclass on Excellence: Featured Image: @Beyonce on Instagram
The season of eating is upon us at last! Nonstop family and friend dinner parties with leftovers for a week. Treat yourself! You deserve it! But maybe now you’re feeling motivated to work off all of those extra pie calories. Need another reason to stay fit this upcoming holiday season? I’ve got just the extra push you need: Beyoncé bought out Ivy Park!
Beyoncé co-founded this fantastic brand with Philip Green, first announced in 2014 and then went on sale two years later in 2016. The gym wear brand took off! It seemed like the two were an unstoppable pair. Of course, that was up until this past October when Beyoncé cut ties with Green after sexual and racial abuse allegations. According to The Guardian, Green is denying the accusations, saying that his remarks were nothing but casual banter. However, employees at Arcadia Group are lining up with horror stories of bullying and harassment from Green going on at the company.
Beyoncé wanted absolutely none of that. She quickly brought out his half of the company and decided to take on the entire brand herself. Without the weight of Green’s abominable behavior, there’s no telling where Beyoncé will carry Ivy Park next!
Ivy Park is the haven of all workout clothes. Who knew a sequin covered sports bra was just what you needed to bring out the glow of determination from your sweat and tear-ridden face after running all of those miles and lifting all of those reps? From fabulous leggings that show off that butt you’ve been sculpting, to sweaters that keep you active and warm while you bear the elements of your wintery run, Ivy Park has it all.
You can check out and shop all of Ivy Park’s activewear online just in time for the perfect holiday gift, or the ideal equipment you need to make the most of your new workout regimen. Beyoncé’s brand has got your basics for the traditional workout such as comfortable sports bras and classic tees, as well as a touch of style with the Asymmetrical Stripped Hoodie and the Circular Knit Asymmetric Bodysuit. Ivy Park is the hottest gym wear this season! Get your run gear before they run out!
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Another Reason to Stay Fit this Upcoming Holiday Season: Beyoncé Buys out Ivy Park: Image Credits: InStyle.com, Nordstrom.com, IvyPark.com
Beyonce and Jay-Z kicked off their On the Run Tour II on Wednesday in Cardiff, Wales, and gave fans a glimpse of intimate moments between the pair. During the concert, Beyonce shares new video of Rumi and Sir with a possible vow renewal and the beyhive went crazy.
The Carters have mastered keeping her private life private until they’re ready to reveal all, and that’s just what they did with Rumi and Sir. Previously, the only official photo of the twins was when Bey posted on Instagram an image of her holding them in her arms when they were just one-month-old. A fresh glimpse of the now 11-month-old babies, was featured in a video interlude during the concert. That particular video also had the beyhive buzzing with speculation that the Carters may have renewed their vows when they celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary in April.
Grandma Tina Lawson posted a screenshot from the video with the caption, “My babies.” In the photo, Beyonce and Jay-Z are wearing white, facing each other, heads down and holding hands. Rumi and Sir were also in white, being held next to them, as big sister Blue Ivy stood nearby.
While social media videos and photographs on Beyonce’s website display endless moments of affection between her and her hubby, the power couple also referenced one of their more controversial moments by making a grand entrance in an elevator shaft. This was a clear nod to the infamous elevator fight between Jay-Z and sister-in-law Solange during the 2014 Met Gala. The incident fired up infidelity rumors, which were later addressed in Beyonce’s Lemonade album and Jay-z’s 4:44. But this time, the couple appeared stronger than ever as they stood side-by-side, holding hands.
Queen Bey did not disappoint when it came to her concert fashion. According to Elle, she wore a total of six different looks. The songstress elevated her signature fishnet tights, bodysuits, and thigh-high boots by mixing it up with face masks, body jewelry, and futuristic fabrics. One of her show-stopping looks included a diamond-encrusted blazer and matching bodysuit paired with clear vinyl boots. She also brought out the sex appeal with a red leopard print bodysuit and black garter belt.
OTR II Tour’s next stop is in Glasgow, Scotland on June 9.
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Beyonce Shares New Video of Rumi and Sir with a Possible Vow Renewal: Photographs courtesy of @beyonce on Instagram and @mstinalawson on Instagram
Less than two weeks for the start of summer. Yes! Wow, this year is flying by so fast. Some may look at summer as the time to sit back on a reclining beach chair, with a cold one in your hand, feeling the nice breeze. But we’re more concerned with summer as the time to get out and see as many of the best artists around in concert as we can. Here are the 8 concerts that you should be counting down to.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z
One of the hottest couples and reigning duo will be performing their Bonnie and Clyde act to 18 shows across America. So get pumped for the “On the Run II” tour, which kicks off on June 25, and runs till Aug. 6. You don’t want to miss the mind-blowing showmanship.
At one point, this band was thought to be dead. But now they’re making headlines all over the country. This will be the fifth leg of the band’s successful “After Laughter” tour and I am sure it will be a beauty to watch. The band hits the road beginning on June 12 in Saint Augustine, Florida. Buy your tickets now, as tickets will sell out fast.
Oh my god, get ready, for all the young ladies out there. One of the most handsome men is slated to bring his tour to the states. As he continues his red-hot tour, “What Makes You Country,” at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Saturday, June 2. Hooray! Joining Bryan on stage will be some of country’s popular stars like Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, and Morgan Wallen.
Alright, as much as I’m feeling the “adrenaline rush,” folks out there should be as well. She’s back! The queen of all music genres and snakes! So guys, are you ecstatic for the “Reputation” stadium tour? The tour is currently underway in the US, but Taylor will also add some international flair to the proceedings with stops in England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Kesha and Macklemore
Let the adventures and fun begin. The cutest pair are co-headlining “The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore” tour to support their albums, Rainbow and Gemini. My guess is that this tour will be epic to watch live. The tour kicks off on June 6 in Phoenix and ends on August 5 in Tampa.
If you’ve been to a wedding in the last few years, you’re probably very acquainted with the music of Bruno Mars. Lucky for you, his “24K Magic World Tour” is coming back to the US after stops in Asia and Europe. He’ll make his return July 25 in Las Vegas and will have dates across the country, ending October 27 in LA. To make things even better, he’ll be accompanied at almost all of the shows by Cardi B!
Ahhh…the British singer-songwriter is coming! Back that is, after a long European leg of his “÷ Tour.” This time, things are going to be even bigger, as Sheeran will be performing at large stadiums on this leg versus the smaller arenas he played on the last American leg of the tour. Things kick off on August 18 in Pasadena and run through November 10 in Atlanta.
It might surprise some to see Britney on my list, but how could anyone doubt that she’s going to put on a great show. And who knows what might happen during any of them? Last year, a man rushed on stage at one of her shows and was quickly tackled by security. Let’s hope the excitement this time comes from the show itself. The American leg of her “Piece of Me Tour” starts July 12 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
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8 Killer Summer Concerts To Get Pumped For. Featured Image Credit: Sffoghorn
The weather is getting warmer and the pressure is on to tighten up for beach season. Now, I am a firm believer in every body being a bikini body, but plenty of us still want to get into tip-top shape for just ourselves. That being said, it isn’t always easy. From your gym buddy cancelling to simply being weak to the call of the latest binge-worthy Netflix series, working out can be a huge challenge. That’s where the music comes in. Having the right music to exercise to can make you forget your legs are screaming on the stair climber because you’ll be too busy jamming out. I chose these beats for you to do just that: zone out and get sweating!
Some old, some new, all gym-approved. Here are my top ten picks for your gym playlist. I’ve carefully curated a mix of upbeat hip-hop, grime, Afro-beats, & dancehall for maximum muscle gains. This is a playlist to keep you going even when your abs want to quit. Zone out for that half hour daily workout with these tunes!
- 7/11 -Beyonce
- Real Bad Gal – Vybz Kartel
- Nice for What – Drake
- Rambo Kanambo – Vybz Kartel
- Shake Body – Skales
- Thiago Silva – Dave, AJ Tracey
- Breeze – Aidonia, Govana
- Split in De Middle – Freezy
- Powerglide (Feat. Juicy J) – Rae Sremmurd
- Iskaba – Wande Coal, DT Tunez
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10 Songs to Add to Your Gym Playlist ASAP: Featured image credit: Young Money/Cash Money Records
In the wake of Beyoncé’s absolutely epic, news-making Coachella performance, now is as good a time as any to uncover some more life-giving female talent to add to your playlists. Here are some women to watch, picked fresh from the Coachella 2018 lineup.
- Peggy Gou
Berlin-based South Korean DJ Peggy Gou is absolutely masterful when it comes to giving us chill tunes to vibe out to. The sounds are colorful, fun, and get those endorphins flowing. This is feel-good music in its purest form—which makes Peggy Gou’s light, refreshing house music the perfect compliment to your spring and summer playlists. No matter what time of year, though, you’ll find yourself transported to that perfect Saturday in June. Think: good drinks, great company, and too-good-to-be-true beach-day weather. Everybody’s talking about her breakout hit It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) and, while I could loop it for hours, my personal fave is definitely Han Jan.
Image Credit: XL recordings
Speaking of Beyoncé, you might’ve seen this duo across visuals from her Lemonade album. Ibeyi is made up of twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. The French-Cuban sisters are heavily influenced by their Afro-Cuban roots and African ancestry. They mix in some Yoruba on many of their songs (my favorite, River, among those) and Ibeyi actually means twins in the language. Their self-titled album dropped back in 2015 and their sophomore album Ash dropped in 2017. So, if you’re just now catching on, you’ve already got a healthy supply of Ibeyi waiting to satisfy your ear. This wasn’t their first Coachella performance, either; they made an appearance in 2016 as well. Their soulful, spiritual sound is thoughtful and tells stories of womanhood, family, and love.
I was first introduced to the rapper who goes by Noname on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape. Since then, her album Telefone has found a special place in my heart. Right along with her set on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert last year. She showcased herself herself as super-talented, super-intelligent, and super-humble. Her fresh lyricism takes on serious subject matter while staying creative and engaging. She pauses to talk to the crowd to break down her song choices and why she performed them the way she did; genuine in her desire to be understood and gauge the effectiveness of her delivery. If you haven’t already, I recommend heading over to YouTube and checking out that particular performance before diving into Telefone. After you’ve done that, Noname is sure to make it into your top ten.
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Featured image credit: Ninja Tune
There’s been a few times we’ve listened to our favorite artists sing a particular note or cover a particular song, and us as the listeners choose to question what if they take it a step further? What if they create an original work in a different genre, giving us a seamless gift of music? With current works and vocal capabilities in mind, here a few artists who should try another genre.
An artist with a very flexible voice that spans numerous hits, stages and audiences, Beyonce is at the top of any list when it comes to venturing into another genre, and doing it well. With her most recent release Lemonade, she swam into various musical styles and spoken word, but her collaboration with Jack White for “Don’t Hurt Yourself” was especially thrilling for those stubborn to understand her artistry. Aside from it coming from a place of anger and betrayal, this song definitely showed her vocal capabilities to own a funk rock song with no hesitation. With something just as enthralling, intensive & a chance to show off her vocals, a performance-heavy track would be interesting to hear (and see!).
Let’s Try: Beyonce meets Lenny Kravitz’s “Tunnel Vision”
This artist created a space for herself and her listeners, with her electronic, alternative R&B style & effortless performances. Twigs constantly pushes the expectations of her fans aside, keeping true to her sound but giving results that are unexpected yet still very much appealing and almost hypnotic to listen to. Twigs has a few songs where she gives her listeners a stripped-back feel such as “Good to Love.” Because her musical sound encapsulates her very careful and sweet sounding voice, it would be very interesting hearing it with more acoustic rock instrumentals that complement rather than take over her voice & songwriting.
Let’s Try: FKA Twigs meets The Cranberries’ “Roses”
Lady Gaga is an artist evoking classic and modern styles across her discography. Taking on jazz, glam and dance pop, house, rock and little bit of country, narrowing down what genre Gaga should take a gander at next gives pause. Though some didn’t care for it, “Perfect Illusion,” featuring production by Mark Ronson & Kevin Parker, definitely kept in-style with Gaga & showed she’s capable of continuing with a synth & rock infused track. It’d be interesting to hear her bring her extravagant vocals & poetic lyrics to a song with more synth and carrying beat (the Eurythmics anyone?).
Let’s Try: Lady Gaga meets Eurythmics’ “Forever”
Usher is an artist that got his start in his early years, and thus grew up with a variety of different sounds, and wasn’t afraid to make his velvety-smooth voice a part of it. Everything from classic and contemporary R&B, dance pop, hip-hop, trap, indie pop & electronica, can be found somewhere in his discography. Along with various appearances in time for his love life, Usher has caused various debates among fans regarding sticking to a sound that enhances his vocals rather than drowning it in heavy production An example of a mature sound was “Here I Stand,” that featured on his fourth album. The love ballad featured various instruments, like the keyboard, soft drums, and piano that were layered to give harmony to Usher’s voice. It was slow paced, but rhythmic. It evoked comparisons to Stevie Wonder influences with production from Drev & Vidal (Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild) and Polow da Don. It would be complimentary for Usher to try more within the soul genre among the wide universe that R&B has taken over the years.
Let’s Try: Usher meets Stevie Wonder’s “Moon Blue”
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4 Artists Who Should Try Another Genre. Featured Image Sourced from Wikimedia Commons. All photo credits to Yne Van De Mergel, Bobo Boom, RocBeyonce, and Eli Watson
Within an hour of Jay-Z’s 4:44 dropping on TIDAL, people were already calling the album “Jay’s Lemonade.” This was inevitable, as some tracks appear to be his most confessional songs to date. For example, “4:44” — arguably the strongest track on the album and one of the best he’s ever written — details in brutally honest lyrics any shortcomings in his relationships with his wife, children, and himself. Ultimately, this album tells the story of how Jay-Z’s failures became his comeback.
But to say this album is solely about infidelity or responding to Lemonade would be a gross oversimplification; it’s about a lifelong rumination on personal failure in regards to love, parenthood, friendship, monetary success, artistry, and racial progression. With the help of producer No I.D., Jay-Z was able to perfectly capture this mixture of vulnerability and power.
It took almost four years exactly for Jay-Z to follow up Magna Carta… Holy Grail — a drought that led many to accuse the rapper of falling out of the game. In addition to taking a hiatus from music, Jay’s career suffered an inevitable dragging when Beyoncé’s Lemonade dropped last year. Since then, it’s fair to say that the public has been more concerned with the Carters’ relationship than their music. One might have forgotten Jay-Z’s name in music the past four years, thus giving listeners plenty of time to learn a few new ones.
Throughout the album, Jay addresses this new generation of rappers who have seemingly ‘replaced’ him. This occurs most notably in “Family Feud” where he pleads with the two groups to stop tearing each other down by saying, “We all lose when the family feuds.” He confronts the differences between his lifestyle and that of the new generation in “Bam,” where you hear him say, “Y’all be talkin’ crazy under them IG pictures / So when you get to hell you tell ‘em Blanco sent you / I can’t take no threats, I got a set of twins.”
Another important shift in Jay’s life since his 2013 studio album is the dissolution of his relationship with Kanye West. He partially blames himself for this, which you can find in 4:44’s intro “Kill Jay-Z” when he says, “You got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye / You gave him 20 million without blinking / he gave you 20 minutes on stage.” Jay also blames the end of this friendship on his own ego and lifestyle in this track, and explains that he is too old for Kanye’s petty games. The 4:44 singer takes jabs at West throughout other songs on the album as well, such as in “Caught Their Eyes,” where he references Kanye’s hit “Ni**as in Paris.”
The flow of this album allows Jay-Z moments of self-critique and opportunities to indulge his egotistical persona. If “Kill Jay Z” is his self-destruction, then the rest of the album is his rebirth. He rewrites his own history through a lens of self-awareness by referencing many old lines and tackling them in a new way — almost as if he’s writing footnotes for his previous self. This new Jay-Z is vulnerable when it comes to his loved ones, but assertive when it comes to racial injustice. He is not ignorant, self-important, arrogant, or in denial, and that is the beauty of this album. It’s the story we’ve been waiting to hear from him all along, but he only just found the courage to tell.
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How Jay-Z’s Failures Became His Comeback: Image courtesy of REX/Shutterstock
Let’s be honest: every day should be Mother’s Day. Mothers should be celebrated for all that they do. However, with no disrespect to my mom at all (sorry in advance, Ma!), there are just some families I wish I could be adopted into. I can’t be the only one; I see all the fans out there who comment “MOM” on a photo or tweet to their favorite celeb. I think it’s safe to assume that there are just some lives we want to be part of even if it’s 100% not possible.
While we obviously can’t plop ourselves into a family of our choice, at least we could look from afar (or at least from our couches) to see how everyday celebrity moms are spending time with their kids. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we rounded up a few of our favorite celebrity moms!
There doesn’t even need to be an explanation for this. If only we could see what Blue Ivy sees every single day. What we would do to be in her shoes…
Last night’s 59th Grammy award show opened with Adele performing “Hello,” sending off a warm welcome to the audience and viewers at home. Following Adele’s performance, Grammy’s host of the night, James Corden, held the audiences’ attention with a dramatic tumble down the stairs, losing a shoe in the process. Immediately, we knew we were in for a crazy night.
Besides Adele’s gracious opening performance and tribute to George Michael (to which she had to start over after stumbling through the beginning), other acts included The Weeknd and Daft Punk who performed the latest hit, “Starboy.” Prior to The Weeknd and Daft Punk’s performance, they were introduced by Paris Jackson, who called attention to the pipeline protest.
“We could really use this kind of excitement at a pipeline protest, guys! #NoDAPL,” Jackson said.
The night was packed with star-studded performances. Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood performed “The Fighter.” Ed Sheeran as a one-man band sang “Shape Of You.” Kelsey Ballerini’s “Peter Pan” was combined with Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.” Bruno Mars sang “That’s What I Like” and performed a tribute to the late Prince. Maren Morris and Alicia Keys beautifully sang “Once.” Pantatonics did a tribute to the Jackson 5. Lady Gaga joined Metallica on stage. And John Legend had a beautiful duet with Cynthia Erivo for “God Only Knows” during the in memoriam tribute.
Presented by her mother, Tina Knowles, Beyonce opened her performance with a stand for motherhood and women power, saying that women “can’t be contained.” Her performance was by heightened her pregnancy glow, showing off her baby bump while performing “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.” Beyonce also stood up for children of every race when she said that they should feel, “beautiful, intelligent, and capable,” in her speech after winning Best Urban Contemporary Album.
After James Corden almost tricked the audience that Kanye West would be the next presenter, Neil Portnow called attention to the President and congress to save the music industry.
“The Recording Academy, together with the music makers, call on the President and congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education, and renewing America’s commitment to the arts,” he said.
Towards the end, a performance by A Tribe Called Quest raised awareness about the Muslim Ban. Busta Rhymes and Q-tip repeatedly referred to the President as “President Agent Orange” and chanted “resist” before stating that “bad folks must go.”
Winner of Record and Album of the Year, Adele, broke her award in half during her speech because she felt that Beyonce was deserving of the award instead.
“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, was just so monumental,” Adele said. “It was so monumental and so well thought-out and so beautiful and soul-baring. We all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see and we appreciate that.”
The Grammys certainly held an eventful show with outstanding performances and speeches while calling for attention to the current issues in our world.
List Of Winners:
Best New Artist: Chance The Rapper
Best Pop Duo/Group: 21 Pilots
Best Rock Song: David Bowie, “Blackstar”
Best Country Performance: Maren Morris
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beyonce, Lemonade
Best Rap Album: Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
Song of the Year: Adele, “Hello”
Record of the Year: Adele, “Hello”
Album of the Year: Adele, 25
Click here to view the full list of winners from last night.
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The 59th Annual Grammy Awards Recap: Featured image courtesy of The Grammys