Written by: Trachelle Carr (Instagram: @trachelle112 – Member of the Beyhive; 2003 Inductee)
True to their name, bee-eaters eat bees and wasps. When the bird chases a bee, it flies like a heat-seeking missile, matching its prey’s every twist and swoop. After a midair snatch, the bee-eater returns to its perch to de-venom the bee. It’s a brutally efficient operation.
Day 43 of 2017: 59th Annual Grammy Awards, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, 5:00 pm (PST)
Album of the Year (AOTY) Winner: 25 by Adele
Day 47 of 2017: AOTY Controversy reigns supreme on our nightly news, entertainment news, blogs, talk shows, Twitter feeds, Facebook and Instagram timelines, Snapchat filters. The 47th day of 2017, 4 days after the show aired, and we are STILL talking about Adele winning AOTY, and Beyonce’(Bey) NOT winning AOTY.
2 weeks ago, Bey announced that she is pregnant with twins. The world erupted with excitement. This week, Bey lost the AOTY category at the Grammy’s, and the world erupted in outrage and hate over her loss. Not the hate of Adele, but the hate of Bey. Weird right? Not at all, welcome to 2017, where one day you’re breaking the internet, and the next day you’re being told by society that as a black woman; you’re still not good enough. you haven’t accomplished anything of significance, you’re not great, you’re overrated, you don’t sing good enough, you don’t dance good enough, you don’t dress good enough, you don’t speak good enough. You’re simply just not good enough…….Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter.
Day 46 of 2017: I received an email from one of my BFF’s focusing my attention on a comment someone made on a blog about Bey, and why she wasn’t good enough to win AOTY. We will refer to this commenter as “Pink.”
Day 47 of 2017: I couldn’t take it anymore, and a 1-sentence snarky response to my BFF regarding Pink’s comments, morphed into this:
When I was initially asked to write this think-piece, I was frustrated and annoyed with the “Wasps,” or as I like to refer to them, the Wasphive. I was blaming them for this brouhaha. The Wasphive is notorious for perpetuating this insane “Beyonce-God” complex. They promote this ideal that Bey is perfect, she deserves all of the awards she’s nominated for, she doesn’t make any mistakes, and she isn’t flawed. In reality, none of this is true. She’s human, she’s not perfect. She’s close, but she’s not perfect. The Wasphive is not a part of the Beyhive. They’re often ignorant, crazy, malicious, delusional, and mean. Social media gives them way too much credit and attention. Then, I had a revelation. Many posit that the Wasphive is also toxic, vicious, and bad for Bey’s brand, but they do have one thing in common with the Beyhive, they protect their Queen. I don’t always agree with their tactics, but they’re support of her is undeniable. You always know where they stand, you never have to guess. Their loyalty by any means necessary is actually quite impressive. As I began to process this revelation, I realized my issue is actually not with the Wasphive, it’s with the likes of Pink.
Here are Pink’s comments, and my responses:
People wanted Beyonce to win AOTY just off of the strength of her star power. That’s pretty much it. Why should “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag” be worthy of any award? The fact that she was even nominated in that category was incredible.
The world is reading way too much into this AOTY controversy. It should not even be controversial. Why is this even a thing? When Bey didn’t win AOTY, she was probably disappointed for all of 5 minutes. This woman is pregnant with twins, she just performed, had a wardrobe change, she’s sitting front row at the biggest night for the music industry, and honestly more than likely could not wait to get home, and kick her feet up. She won Grammy’s in other categories; we even witnessed her accepting one of them on stage. 3.5 hours into the awards show, and the AOTY winner is announced……drum roll…….Queen Bey lost to Adele……ADELE!! Come on people, Adele isn’t some random singer that no one knows, she’s a global superstar. She deserved every single award she received that night. Hello was one of the biggest songs towards the end of 2015, and most of 2016. Although it was extremely humbling and kind of her to physically split her award with Bey, it wasn’t necessary. Most importantly, Bey didn’t ask her to do it. Bey is also HUGE fan of Adele.
You can’t hear a song like Formation, Sorry and think that can compete with Adele’s Hello or Someone Like You, anything off of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, anything Whitney Houston sang, or any song of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Bey is not Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston or Lauryn Hill, and that’s okay. Why are we constantly comparing her to others? We don’t pit white singers against white singers or male singers against male singers like we do Bey against everyone else. It’s mystifying, and it needs to STOP.
Beyonce is a beast of an entertainer who tends to get more praise than she deserves because she is sexy and gorgeous, but a musician with depth and complexity – she is not. Truth be told….the majority of her music isn’t memorable. Other than Love on Top, Crazy In Love, Single Ladies (for the dance)….she does not have a strong body of work. This has always been her weakness. To be such a great performer, her elementary lyrical content doesn’t seem to match the quality of performer that she is.
Now, let’s unpack this AOTY controversy for what it really is…..I LOVE 25 and Lemonade, but Lemonade, just spoke to me on a level unlike any other Bey album. As a black woman, it made me feel powerful, sexy, vulnerable, and overall amazing. I felt like the album was for me, and I could relate to it as if I was there with her when she created the vision for it. Lemonade wasn’t meant to be a stand-alone album, it was meant to be an album with songs to go along with a concept with visuals and imagery. I liken it to a movie soundtrack. Lemonade is a strong body of work, and by far her strongest. It was an album that without a doubt displayed not only her vulnerability, but also her depth and complexity as an artist. It also may just be my favorite, and I rank her self-titled album and 4 pretty high on my list of favorite Beyonce’ albums. This AOTY controversy; it’s not that deep. Simply, Adele won because artists and creatives were voting, and they focused on the bottom line of what AOTY truly means, and 25 is THAT album. This isn’t up for debate.
This notion that Beyoncé is not great, is vacuous. This woman has been working her ass off for 20 plus years in the music industry. If she never sang another note, or danced across another stage, she will be okay, we will be okay. She owes us nothing. She has a catalog of a plethora of memorable songs, she’s strategically marketed herself, and ultimately turned herself into an undeniable force. Her fan base is out of this world, so she must be doing something right. Who else has two opposing Hives in their corner? I’ll wait….Hence, to say that she’s not a singer-singer is reckless. Does she have the pipes of Adele, nope, but she can sing, and she knows how to sing. She knows what works for her voice, and what doesn’t work for her voice. It’s called artistry. Just because she chooses to dance, and do these insane visuals, doesn’t mean she’s not a singer-singer. She can also stand at the center of the stage with a mic, and sing most of us “under the table.” AND since we like to compare, I’m going to allow the “church girl” in me to speak, and just say it…….Adele is ALWAYS pitchy. It’s not sound editing, it’s not a production issue, it’s not a mic issue; it’s her voice. Most singers are pitchy when they sing live, and that’s okay. That’s why pre-recorded tracks and “click” tracks are used during live performances. I think Adele’s ability to be over, and/or under the note is from nerves and stage fright. She’s not perfect, and neither is Bey, and we all need to be okay with that. Ironically, no one is nailing Adele to the cross because of her chronic pitch issues.
Her hype NEVER matches her numbers.
In this age of streaming, artists are not selling albums and records as they were in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s Why buy an album or a single when you can stream 24/7 for a monthly fee?
Why has it only been her and Rihanna shining for the past decade anyway? Where the hell are the new black female artists?
STOP comparing Bey and Rihanna (Rih). Rih is a formidable artist in her own right. She’s created her own niche in the music industry, with an incredible fan base (The Navy). Why can’t they both be great and highly acclaimed? Like Lemonade, Anti was Rih’s best album. Blame her peers for not voting for her.
The lack of new black female artists? Good question, but blame the music industry, and recording companies. That’s where the institutional racism exists.
I do not perceive Pink as being a Beyhater, but rather a Bee-eater. Bee-eaters are birds who eat bees, wasps and other flying insects. They often stand on their perch, where they watch their prey from afar, then they pursue and attack directly head-on, or from behind. Pink, like the Bee-eater, doesn’t play fair. Pink knew enough of Bey’s discography to mention some of her songs, Pink even acknowledges Bey as being a great entertainer, and states that Bey even being nominated for AOTY is incredible. Then, 3 sentences later, Pink is ripping her to shreds, stripping her of her accomplishments and greatness. However, Pink’s arguments are flawed. Pink and people like Pink like to sit on their perch, and watch every move Bey makes. Then, when they feel threatened, like she’s making too many moves, releasing too many songs, releasing too many videos, making too many appearances, posting too much on social media, they like to attack her artistry, her character, her style, her creativity, her gift, and her talent They like to write visceral op-ed pieces, Twitter rants, Facebook statuses, and comments on blogs about how horrible she is, yet she was good enough for you to consume? You’ve downloaded a song, you’ve bought an album, you’ve been to a show, you’ve watched countless award show performances, but your messaging to her is contradictory. Ironically, Pink probably looks just like Bey, but will never allow her to be good enough. Pick a side Pink, make a decision. Either you’re in the BeyHive or you’re not. If you’re not, it’s okay to have an opinion, but do your research, know the “real” facts. Have an opinion, but don’t deny her greatness and accomplishments at the expense of your own insecurity. Give credit where credit is due. Hard work and dedication can indeed create a sustainable brand. She’s been teaching us this for the last 20 years.
So, the issue was never the Wasphive, it’s always been the Bee-eater. Bey’s worse critics are her sisters and brothers, the men and women she has the most in common with. It’s a polarizing position; sitting on your perch, pointing out others flaws and mistakes, expecting perfection. However, when you come down from that perch, after you’ve attacked your prey, what have you really achieved. Is the achievement about a sense of self-discovery, and uplifting a fellow Queen, or are you still jealous, miserable, uninformed, and making gross generalizations with alternative facts?
Day 48 of 2017: 5 days after Bey lost AOTY to Adele, and the Bee-eaters are still perched, watching Bey’s every move, still telling her she’s not good enough, she doesn’t matter. 14 years after the release of Dangerously in Love, 6 studio albums, 22 Grammy’s won, the creation of her own entertainment and management company, her own charity, and countless other accomplishments, and they’re still saying, Beyonce’ you are not good enough. AOTY is simply the by-product, another catalyst for the Bee-eaters to perch, watch and attack. BeyGreat.