How does an icon go from extraordinary to common? Witness Beyonce from "Independent Woman" and "Irreplaceable" to her new release, "Drunk in Love."
First let me say that Beyonce's new release of her new videos on the new album is amazingly stunning. Yet, after being a huge fan for the last decade, I must admit that this latest release, "Drunk in Love," is incredibly disturbing.
To go from independent woman -- in control of her destiny, demanding respect and embodying girl power -- to describing herself as a drunk, profane woman willing to let her man kick a misogynistic, abusive verse is so disheartening.
How do you go from "Since I'm not your everything, how about I'll be nothing?" to having your husband, Jay Z, on your video from your new album saying "I am Ike Turner, Eat the cake Anna Mae" -- a line from a movie that clearly illustrates one of the most vicious wife beaters who almost killed another amazing icon, Tina Turner. It's like in one stroke she undermined Tina Turner's march toward victory and mocked it saying that kind of domestic violence is alright.
My God, it's as if she turned back the clock 50 years in one moment.
Arguably one of the most beautiful, talented, gifted, independent artists of our time now feels that it's not enough to have come into her marriage as an equal, but now must tell the world that it is ok to have him writing verses that exemplify the worst in modern male-female relationships that we have seen documented in the Tina-Ike story.
What was she thinking? To go from the uplifting love song, "Love on Top" to this?
"I been drinking... I get so filthy...Eat the cake Anna Mae..."
Unfortunately -- just as millions of Americans look at the pleasant images on prescription commercials while ignoring the warnings of possible complications even possible death being calmly recited in the background -- I know that millions will overlook these harmful lyrics while enjoying the beat and Beyonce's beautiful image. Never mind that millions of young girls and boys will be singing along helping to normalize incredibly dangerous behaviors.
But at some point, we need to hold artists accountable -- even the ones we love.
As I deal with woman after woman and children in abusive relationships, I wonder how abuse as violent and gruesome as that represented in the Turner marriage can be turned into a joke and become the image of what is desirable in any relationship.
We are witnessing a sad development in the body of work of this icon. She sold millions as a class act. Why go down this road? Let's hope that at some point the self-respecting, empowered and empowering Beyonce will rise again.
Until then, who will raise a standard for black girls and women to look up to in the entertainment industry. Badly done, Mrs. Carter. Badly done!
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to Tina Turner's former name as "Annie Mae." Her name was "Anna Mae." The post has been updated to correct this.
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