, ,

Beyoncé Became The Most Awarded Black Artist In The Grammys Section When She Never Changed Pop Music At All: How The Industry Creates False Legacies Through Theft and Elitism

Beyoncé, at the 2023 Grammy Awards

Yersterday night, Beyoncé broke an all-time record, as she became the most awarded black singer in the Grammys department. Though she lost the prize for Album Of The Year with RENAISSANCE, the complexities in music politics seem to become more and more apparent as time goes by.

Since the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, black music in the mainstream industry became more than disastrous. With the rise of the Internet and reality TV, success was no longer attributed to talent and work, but rather based upon controversy, popularity and scandal. A new artist in the industry would rather spend their days choosing the right outfits and fashion style instead of working on their music. Untalented people such as Rita Ora, Danileigh or Normani are a proof of this phenomenon.

Madonna/Jeff Kravitz MTV

The mother of this pop mediocrity was no other than Madonna. Indeed, at the time of the greatest in the 1980s and 1990s, Madonna, who was far from being a singing or dancing talent, proved, before the arrival of the Internet, how scandals and shock could surpass talent through the development of constant obsession with attention from the public. While Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince, Anita Baker were focusing on talent, music and the power of musical transmission to their audience, Madonna rather opened up the door to the later mediocrity which plagued the 2000s. Often presented as more excellent than the others for their natural talents, the black American community would follow the same path of mediocrity.

No black singer born in the early 1980s left any important impact which surpassed the works of a Jackson, Prince or Rick James. Gradually, these black singers who were formerly raised in a culture of hard-work following the path of a Jackson, began to rely on shock values and popularity in order to build their legacy. Usher, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Pink, released good albums throughout their careers, but none of them ever managed to redefine music like their predecessors. In 2001, Alicia Keys released a masterpiece known as Songs In A Minor, but she failed miserably in maintaining the same standard as her later music has not only become cliché, but a parody of what she could produce. Though introduced to the world as a talented woman, her voice was not that great at all, and her lyrics not as poetic as one would have thought. Keys is far from being a new Nina Simone. Usher, an amazing male vocalist, never surpassed or changed the standards put in place by Michael Jackson. On the contrary, though a convicted criminal, R.Kelly contributed greatly to the advancement of contemporary R’n’B.

In reality, the last black American music legends to have set new standards, whether in soul or/and R’n’B, would be no other than Lauryn Hill, D. Angelo, Erykah Badu or Brandy. Indeed, no other black female artist ever redefined black music like Lauryn Hill did a few years ago, with her contribution in The Fugees, of course, but especially as a solo artist since the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998. The legacy of this album is still felt today, in modern times as Hill remains a great source of inspiration for many new acts.

Unfortunately, the same legendary status can not be attributed to Beyoncé at all. Unlike Aguilera and Usher who accept to go where the wind leads them, Knowles has been involved in a campaign of total obsession with her and her team wanting her brand to be tied to greatness and a legendary, timeless status. In a 2008 interview, during the promotion of her album I AM Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé already stated that the album was conceived for her to reach the iconic status. Her brand is political and is dedicated to forcing the audience and public into buying this legendary status she has never been able to achieve in years.

1 How The Media Built Beyoncé’s Legacy

Kevin Winter for Recording Academy Awards

The success of Beyoncé was never built upon hard work as the singer embodies and represents the evil of capitalism from its core. Unlike real music legends such as Bob Marley, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, James Brown or Nina Simone, Beyoncé came from the elite, was chosen by the elite and saw her crafted power maintained by the same elite. Marley was signed to the most prestigious music labels, but these labels only held a power in the way his music had to be broadcast worldwide. They did not craft him in his essence at all, for being a real human being and thus, musician and artist.

When it comes to Beyoncé, her success can not be understood outside of the dictatorship of the GAFA. Since the selection of Barack Obama in 2008, political and media synchronicity began to take place. With the rise of social media, the same media moguls who ruled TV in the 1980s and 1990s transfered their power through the Internet where they began to reign as masters. This media power produce their own pawns whose agenda is to assert, confirm and push their own selected people. The constant involvement of celebrities in politics in recent years is not a coincidence but the real union of powers between the selected presidents and the musicians whose role is to influence and dumb down a certain portion of the masses.

Beyoncé stealing from underground Belgian choreographer for her album 4

Consequently, when it comes to Beyoncé, the same tactics operate as she evolves within the elite and takes great advantage of it through the constant theft of her victories she presents as authentic rewards. Since the release of Lemonade in 2016, Beyoncé has found new defenders in black women. Any valid attack made against her mediocre music is automatically fought back by a horde of dark skin and unambiguous black women who use the race card in order to invalidate a fact: Beyoncé is not a genius and certainly not a legend at all.

Beyoncé stole from an Italian performer in 2011 for her Billboard Awards performance of Run The World

These black writers often are the products of controled opposition, and fake pro-black leaders who are also greatly involved in the campaign of consumerism and capitalism, hence two factors which endanger black communities in the United States.

This reality is even more accentuated by the media machine which stands behind her and her unlikable fanbase, known as the Beehives. For years, these maniacs have organized as a cult as the members harass each and every individual who refuses to recognise Beyoncé as they do. If the principle of fanbase can be toxic, other celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey or Michael Jackson could totally count on their fans in times of darkness and chaos. There, a real relationship of love, longevity, exchange and humanity took place in tenderness, vulnerability, pain and joy. It is true to assert that the attitude of one’s fans reveals the real personality of the leader/singer they follow. Unlike a Mariah Carey, the fans of Beyoncé want to dominate and impose their favorite singer as the new standard for everything. They do not even see, perceive Beyoncé as a human being who happens to sing, but as a goddess who is worthy of being worshipped. This cult has to go beyond the Beehive sphere and has been imposed upon us by the fans, along with the media machine which has hyped Beyoncé endlessly.

When it comes to her, a problem persists. Though the media machine want us to acclaim her as a groundbreaking artist, Beyoncé Knowles is nothing less than an industry product. Indeed, if she can sing a song, she is far from being the best vocalist. She does have a technique and a tessitura, but there again, she is way too controlling of her emotions, and never let any space for vulnerability and emotions. In other words, she is no Brandy, Mariah Carey or even less of a Whitney Houston. Then, Beyoncé is a mediocre writer and creator. The woman is unable to create anything, lies about writing credits and steals other people’s intellectual property with no shame.

Though hailed as the best performer of her generation, Beyoncé’s legacy in art and music, mostly relies upon theft from other underground individuals. Recently, after the release of her RENAISSANCE album, iconic singer Kelis attacked Knowles for the use of one of her songs she exploited without asking for permission. Yet, Knowles respectfully asked Madonna for the sampling of Vogue regarding the remix of Break My Soul.

Madonna is a white woman with a higher position in the industry, hence a condition Beyoncé respects. Yet, Kelis has fans of all communities but remains a mixed-race black woman with less media impact than Beyoncé, and the disrespect of Beyoncé towards other black artists stems from her inner disdain towards her community she never held in high regards at all.

Yet, despite this reality, the media machine organized like a gang to force her upon the public. Before the release of any new music, the journalists publish rave reviews of the projects, even when the music, the lyrics and the sounds are generic, immature and dated. The status granted to Beyoncé takes root in the elite and gravitates within the elite. It does not come from the people itself, as the singer fears any valid criticism from the public. In that sense, upon any new release, the audience has no other choice but to agree, bow down and worship Beyoncé’s music, even if her music has little to no impact in the world outside of her delusional and aggressive fanbase.

Beyoncé and the media machine operate through the brutal mechanism of capitalism. This violence was inherited from her parents, especially her father Matthew Knowles who crafted her and her career through the constant destruction of black women, talents through the consolidation of systemic injustice in treatment. Knowles never built anything for herself at all, but was rather granted everything on a silver plate. She has no respect for other black artists, and does not hesitate to use her power to crush, steal and take things which do not belong to her at all in order to increase her profit and parade as the new legend she will never be.

The Grammy Awards ceremony is a proof of it, as both the selected “artists” and the PR machine operate as a gang to not only protect their chosen artists in the elite from criticism, attacks from the outside world, but they also force individuals to accept their lies through constant repetition of the same lies.

2 So Many Grammys “Won” With Zero Classics

The great number of Grammys earned by the female singer is problematic especially when she never produced any classic album and single.

If she has hits which made it to the top 10 back then, Beyoncé’s music is not great and does not stand the test of time. Her first solo single Crazy In Love did not age well, and the other songs, whether from I Am Sasha Fierce, 4, Beyoncé or Lemonade have been already forgotten. The sounds are not good and the lyrics are mediocre. Plus, she samples way too much, while creating nothing.

The Grammys she was given over the past fifteen years were granted to her for songs which never had any real impact in R’n’B. Indeed, the real contemporary R’n’B fans rather choose to listen to authentic artists such as Kelly Price, Keke Wyatt, Faith Evans or Mary. J Blige who remained true to the genre and never tried to stay away from their black roots. Even in the new generation, women like Summer Walker, SZA or Kehlani seem to be more appreciated by the Gen Z fanbase for being more authentic, relatable and approachable. Yet, these women and men will never be granted any Grammy award when their music impact the people everyday.

Despite her accolades and prizes, Beyoncé remains acclaimed in the sphere of the elite, but her music is not relatable. Who can claim to be related to her when she never exchanges with her fanbase, calculates everything and always sings about money and the diamonds she wears?

Legendary Prince took risks

First, she never produced any classics as she never took any risks. Before she proclaimed to be a pro-black and panafricanist, in the very early 2010s, she rather chose to exploit the concept of feminism which was not too divisive. While she was releasing albums such as B’Day, in the post-Katrina era, Beyoncé remained quiet on black issues as she did not want to hurt or bother the white audience at all. She waited until pro-blackness to become a trending topic to release a song like Formation. And even in her pro-blackness, Beyoncé never takes a stand and rather focuses on the principles of capitalism. Then, following two years of lockdown and massive deaths around the world, she chose to present the album RENAISSANCE, yet, no one had the heart to dance or celebrate anything, especially during the inflation as families have more and more problems paying their bills and eating right.

Since she never took any risks, she remained in the safer place and never gave anything special to the public. Yet, despite her true lack of integrity and real talent as a creator and innovator, Beyoncé has developed an obsession with record-breaking and with being the first in doing anything. The Coachella performance from 2017 was good, but she accepted to do it as she knew she would be the “first” black woman to headline it. Then, she also pretended to be a pro-black figure by working with African artists and by promoting new black photographers for they become the “first” to ever do it. This crafted legacy thus hide a void which is hidden under the pretense of false innovation, while stealing to further her capitalistic. Therefore, since a great part of the Western black mass is gullible and seduced by the idea of capitalism, Beyoncé passes off as a new leader and figure, while she is not.

Prince, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, or even the Nirvanas left a tremendous impact in music for taking risks in their music paths. They dared to go where no one expected them to stand. In the late 1990s, Carey broke away from the “Middle of the Road Girl” image to adopt a blacker and more R’n’B sound, to the dismay of an alleged racist Tommy Mottola. Prince played with different sounds and never ceased to evolve in music and sounds. What can be said about Jackson? Following the release of BAD, the legend was close to be surpassed by the new sounds which were being released at the time, including grunge and new jack swing, but he managed to stay on top with the album DANGEROUS which combined all the genres which were popular at the time, without distancing himself from his original identity.

Then, she was unable to release any classic since she does not touch people’s souls. The singer is simply not gifted enough for it and lacks sincerity in many ways. She also is not as talented as she pretends to be.

Indeed, Knowles is a product, a brand who can sing, but who also masquerades as a faux-music legend. Her strategy in refusing to give any interview, reminds of Prince. yet, Prince could act this way for being a true musician and genius in sounds. Beyoncé pretends when her success and legacy are fraudulent and created by the elite she sold herself to completely. In that sense, her dynamic is not any different than that of a Nepo-baby.

Finally, her lack of sincerity prevents her from releasing the classics she lacks. A good artist has to be an authentic human being who embraces their various sides, whether in the dark, sexual, spiritual, mental and earthly moods. Beyoncé is not spontaneous and rather presents as a robot who wants to control the images people should see. When pretending to write a song about miscarriage, she calculates the degree of vulnerability she oughts to show. For this reason, the only success she can have is in releasing songs related to anger, domination and revenge.

Her lack of sincerity led to the creation of Lemonade and The Gift, where her supposed most vulnerable topics related to infidelity, sadness and spiritual exploration were rather shaped through capitalism again and how the media could exploit such turmoils. Consequently, her relationship to Jay-Z appears as a business partnership first, before that of a natural love story and this lack of authenticity, her obsession with the capital help us wonder if and when she is being, really sincere? Once again, her desire of remaining in the shadows as she refuses to give interviews, is a calculated move as she still tries to maintain her legend status she does not have.

Thus, behind the gimmicks stands a total void in Beyoncé which has been covered by her relationship to the elite which built her career over the past fifteen years.

Many still wonder how did Beyoncé manage to earn so many Grammys? After all, she even surpassed the number earned by the greatest themselves who came before her. How could she do so when she, in more than twenty years in the music industry, never produced any classic album or song? In her obsession with becoming a legend, Beyoncé and her team did everything in their power to tie her name to the greatest artists of the past decades. Once again, the self-proclaimed pro-black singer uses her connections to the elite, gangsterism and theft in order to secure her higher position and satisfy her own ego.

Beyoncé stealing songs, again

In order for her to produce a classic album, Beyoncé needs to learn how to write her own music and songs. There again, since the beginning of her career in music with the Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé lied about her songwriting skills.

Following the release of her song Irrepleaceable in 2007, Beyoncé pretended she wrote the piece while singer-producer Ne-Yo did it. Throughout her career, she was not afraid of twisting the credits to songwriting simply because she had changed two or three words in a sentence she never wrote initially. Recently, following the release of her album RENAISSANCE, songwriting legend Diane Warren questioned how one could have 24 songwriters in one album? Quickly, producer The Dream exploited the race card to explain why Beyoncé took so many different writers. For fear of being called a racist, Warren, who is Jewish-American, rather chose to apologize. In 2016, for her album Lemonade, Beyoncé chose sixteen writers.

It is true that due to centuries of abuse, black people have no rational relationship to power and money and as entertainment was the only sphere where they can evolve and generate money, they are more willing to surpass the limits originally imposed against them.

By the time Michael Jackson passed away, the 1980s born generation of black singers also wished they had the same fame Jackson had. In reality, though he revolutionized music entirely, the new generation (Usher, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys) actually wanted Jackson’s power and influence over people. These singers failed to understand that Jackson was truly loved by the people who cried and danced while listening to his music which became a part of their lives. The male singer did not order fans to faint at his sight, but his many unreal talents touched their hearts so much that their reactions turned out to be irrational.

Therefore, since the 1980s born singers were abandoning the importance of work in order to focus on popularity, they wished to obtain the legendary status through little work. And when they pretended to work, like Beyoncé always claims she does, they actually stole from other individuals who will never have access to the power of the elite.

3 When The Brand Overshadows Art

Legend Janis Joplin

Because of the media machine, the work Beyoncé has produced are slowly being rejected by many. Actually, one should be given the time to listen to a project, dissect it, appreciate it in order to love it. Yet, the media machine which push Beyoncé want to force people worshipping her music while not letting the people any time to appreciate it slowly, with time. Without a year has passed, Beyoncé is already hailed as the new genius and nominated in all music categories in ceremonies, while the people still has not decided for themselves. Consequently, this automatic praise of Beyoncé advanced by the media highlight a real dichotomy between their rank and that of the people, especially when the people and the younger generation rather chose to follow new artists with less money, less media impact but more sincerity such as SZA or Kehlani. In that sense, the Grammys which lost their total value as they rather reward popularity over real talent, seems like an elitist ceremony where members of the elite congratulate one another while pretending to be about real music.

The industry, through elitism, has created a total shift between the people, the artists and the machine they use to promote their products, branded as artists. After the hard times of COVID, it would not be surprising to see a total rejection of Hollywood and the music industry from the people themselves, as many will rather choose to support their local talent artists who sing about them and for them, rather than supporting products like Beyoncé with irrational life visions which are totally opposed to the suffering of modern people.

By Victoria “VKY” Kabeya. All Rights Reserved 2023.

[1] Aguilera, Daniela “Beyonce defends herself after being accused of plagiarism and arrogance”, Music Mundial, 2023, https://www.musicmundial.com/en/2022/10/09/beyonce-accused-of-plagiarism/#:~:text=Beyonce%20defends%20herself%20after%20being%20accused%20of%20plagiarism%20and%20arrogance,-by%20Daniela%20Aguilera&text=Recently%2C%20Fred%20and%20Richard%20Fairbrass,latest%20song%20’Alien%20Superstar’.

[2] “Ne-Yo regrets giving track to Beyonce”, The Independent.co.uk, 2011 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/neyo-regrets-giving-track-to-beyonce-2237995.html

[3] White, Tiffany, “Every Single Time Beyoncé Was Accused of Stealing From Other Artists” Distractify, 2021

[4] “Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk In Love’ Lawsuit Is Just the Singer’s Latest Scandal” Time Magazine, 2015

[5] Gardner, Eric, “Why an Allegation That Beyoncé Plagiarized Dance Moves Is Truly Unique (Analysis)”, The Hollywood Reporter, 2011

[6] Hlathewa, Zaza, “Beyoncé and the Spirit of plagiarism” Mail and Guardian, 2019, https://mg.co.za/article/2019-07-23-beyonce-and-the-spirit-of-plagiarism/

[7] “Beyoncé’s Black Is King: Black Capitalism & The Continued Wakandification of Africa”,Shambaland, 2019 https://shambaland.com/op-nonfic/beyonces-black-is-king-and-the-continued-wakandification-of-africa/

[8] Fatoba, Kemi,”Black Is King: Did Beyoncé deliver or has the African continent been misrepresented?”, The Face, 2020

[9] Asala, Kizzi, “Africans Unimpressed by Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” Africanews, 2020 https://www.africanews.com/2020/08/01/africans-unimpressed-by-beyonce-s-black-is-king//

[10] Nyathi, Denzel, “Why are African artists helping to Wakandify Africa?”, BubbleGumClub, 2021 https://bubblegumclub.co.za/discourse/why-are-african-artists-helping-to-wakandify-africa/

[11] Akinro, Boluwatife and Segun-Lean, Joshua, “Beyoncé and the Heart of Darkness”, Africa Is A Country, 2020 https://africasacountry.com/2019/09/beyonces-heart-of-darkness

[12] Norris, Christ, “Kelis Smashes Pharrell, Calls Out Beyoncé for Using Her ‘Milkshake’” LA MAG, 2022 https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/kelis-smashes-pharrell-calls-out-beyonce-for-sampling-her-milkshake/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: