Since the announcement yersterday, social media users and celebrities alike paid homage to Tina Turner. She is, once again, another black music legend who passed away. Among the many tributes, Beyoncé shared a heartfelt message to the icon. Knowles is not known for her creativity since most of her songs are either samples or, just like for her videos, unoriginal ideas she stole from real artists blocked in the sphere of the underground. The formula of Beyoncé is a pale copy of Tina Turner’s career, since Knowles stole almost everything from this woman. From the hairstyle, to the performances, to the stage presence. If these arguments are valid and true, the performative activism of US Blacks greatly contributed to a rise of hypocrisy.
Yersterday, following the death announcement of Turner, some African users exposed the racist comments the pop icon made towards Africans in 1976. If those words had been said by a racist white man, a horde of angry black women and performative activists would have called for a boycott. Tina was the reflection of the mentality of many black Westerners who believe in racial hierarchy within the black world, in the superiority of white people and Western culture.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé are ones of them. The last two were never pro-black, since they actually hate, despise their own people as they wish they were white. Their blackness is a problem since it blocks them from accessing higher levels of money. Indeed, if many members of the black group who evolve at the bottom are totally impressed by the flow of money which surrounds Jay-Z and Beyoncé, the members of the white elite, who are even richer than Jay-Z will never welcome him at their table. For the latter, Jay-Z, though wealthy, is nothing less than a black man from the ghetto who belongs to the bottom to their eyes.
Often, the performative activism comes with a fake idea of “black love”. This rhetoric is extremely used by black women to invalidate and shut down truthful remarks which are proper to their dysfunction of their political and social interactions. The black Western group knows how to manipulate the pain of history in order to advance a capitalistic agenda which is rooted in the exploitation of the weakest black group within the black sphere. If a black artist is called out by both black and white journalists for any form of political manipulation, black women will come out to attack them and use the black card to invalidate any valid critic. Terms such as “colorist”, “racist” will be enhanced at all costs.
Beyoncé proved many times that she never cared for her black community. During her Destiny’s Child days, she never spoke out against it. Daughter of a Louisiana Creole mother, she remained quiet during the Katrina fiasco. Knowles’ silence was shaped by her deep desire to be accepted and embraced by white America. She became a feminist before she became pro-black since her political activism is simply rooted in capitalism. She is an elitist, and as any black Western elitist who emulates and mimicks the wealthy white elite, her supposed art and “political” ideas are driven by money. The song Formation came at a time when pro-black songs were becoming trendy, regarding the constant shooting of black men and women by the police. Since the obsession of Beyoncé is to be remembered as a “legend”, hence a level she will never reach, as she will simply remain a superstar, exploiting trendy topics is an important part of her routine in order to stay relevant.
Later, in her pro-black era in 2016, she shouted out the name of Bill Gates in the song Formation. The man is problematic for many reasons, one of which being, his pure disdain and hatred towards both US Blacks and the African population. Gates has been a great advocate to push birth control programs in Africa in order to reduce its population. He also pushed for the use of vaccines against the African body. He embodies and represents the neo-colonial disdain of members of the white elite towards people from the southern sphere. Yet, Beyoncé finds in Gates a hero for being simply wealthy, powerful and… white.
In this hierarchy of black on black oppression, Jay-Z and Beyoncé released the 2015 song Drunk In Love. In his rap verse, Jay-Z says “Eat that cake Anna Mae” while boasting about his ego and wealth possessions. This verse is rather shocking as it refers the Tina Turner movie, What Love’s Got To Do With It, released in 1993 where Angela Bassett beautifully portrayed Tina Turner. In the scene, Laurence Fishburne who plays Ike Turner beats up and forces Tina Turner to eat some cake.
The fact that Jay-Z used this verse in a rant is not so shocking coming from the shallow human being he is. However, Beyoncé accepted it, sang it, and had no issue mocking a battered woman whose career she stole in every way. Knowles made fun of a scene of violence where a black woman was punched and treated like an animal, thus showing, like Tina Turner herself, her total disdain towards her community and black pain in general. In his rap verse, Jay-Z refers to himself as Ike Turner, so as to place himself in a space of superpower. Yet, if Ike Turner was a musical genius, he was not the best husband in the world and his attitude towards women could not be condoned. Ike did not only battered Tina, but he was also abusive to one of his sons, Ike Turner Jr, he pistol whipped. If the father and son made peace before Turner passed away, the other brothers were somehow traumatised by the dynamic of their household growing up.
The “Eat that cake Anna Mae” line was not condemned as much as it should have. The black community, as oppressive and toxic as it is today, simply used the race card to defend both Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
This was not a matter of black against white, but a matter of justice, where a woman, Tina Turner, was mocked by members of the younger generation, who had no respect towards her pain growing up as a woman.
By Victoria “VKY” Kabeya, All Rights Reserved 2023
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