In the aftermath of Beyonce’s new album release we are seeing the supremacy of a certain kind of Black creative. This Black creative is uber-famous, uber-rich, pop(ulist) and also visionary. They are transcending the politics of the entertainment industry while appealing to the masses. Creatives like Beyonce, Pharrell, Janelle Monae and Solange can sell records but they can also transform culture in profound ways. Kanye West, however, who should belong to this peer group, is slowly pigeonholing himself into historical obscurity. It’s like Twitter user @secondnameisval tweeted: ‘Yonce out here achieving everything Yeezus ever whined about. She creates culture. She’s not asking to be at anyone’s table.’
Assita Camara (via theafromodernist)
No disrespect to Pharrel, Janelle, or Solange, but give me a fucking break. Beyonce and Jay Z ARE asking to be at someone’s table. That someone is THE MOTHERFUCKING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! Beyonce hosted a $40,000 a plate fundraiser for Obama in 2012. She LITERALLY wants to be at the president’s table.
What table is Kanye cozying up to? He just released a record that basically has no radio singles and is the angriest pop album since Nirvana’s In Utero. Then he told the president to go fuck himself, Then he released a video of him basically fucking a (sort of) white woman, a notoriously taboo topic that got his last album artwork censored at stores across the country.
Meanwhile, Beyonce’s husband shilled for the Barclay’s Center’s gentrification of Brooklyn: “Mr. Carter’s involvement frustrated opponents of Mr. Ratner’s development plans in Brooklyn who saw the arena and proposed residential and office towers as a subsidized land grab that could ruin the neighborhood. They complained that residents who might have been wary of Mr. Ratner’s promises to create jobs, nonetheless trusted Jay-Z, who invoked his roots and insisted he could never support ‘anything that’s against the people.’”
Jay Z then released an album with Samsung that mined extensive data from users as a precondition for its download.
Oh, and then he refused to distance himself from Barney’s after it repeatedly racially profiled black customers, and then released a line of products with the company including a white t-shirt that costs almost $1,000 and a hoodie for over $3,000.
Given all this, it’s safe to say that nobody’s gonna be writing an article about Jay Z or Beyonce’s revolutionary politics any time soon.
Criticism like this sounds like a simple defense of black capitalism, and of a black president that has deported more undocumented folks than any other president in U.S. history, continues to support Israeli apartheid (in spite of his expressed love for Nelson Mandela and his fight against South African apartheid), presides over the imprisonment of over 800,000 African American men and almost 5% of the ENTIRE African American population, and basically props up the racist and imperialist machinations of the U.S. at every turn.
But sure, you go Beyonce and Jay Z.