This past Sunday, Beyonce put on one of the greatest Super Bowl halftime performances of all time. For 12 exhausting minutes, Queen Bey entertained like I’ve never seen anyone entertain before.
It would be criminal to just state that she sung and danced her ass off; the performance was so much more than that: there were flashy lights, explosions, these insane aerobic dances, giant Beyonce faces and Beyonce duplicates. There was even an appearance from the two Destiny’s Child members that didn’t become homeless, Kelly and Michelle.
I enjoyed the show and treated it like a big budget summer movie: a fun, special effects-ridden spectacle that starts to show its flaws the harder you think about it.
Because, while Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance might have cemented her legacy as the greatest entertainer we have in music right now — and, quite possibly, of all time — the performance might have also confirmed that she doesn’t have the songs to match her mighty status.
She’s a musical icon who doesn’t make iconic music.
It’s stunning when you think about it. There’s not a current artist in music with her skill set: She sings and dances better than everyone else in her field, and it’s not very close.
So we compare her to the icons: the Whitneys, the Princes and the Michaels.
And if you hold Bey by those standards, like we should, she falls short.
During the Super Bowl halftime show you are given 15 minutes, give or take, to cram the cream of the crop of your catalogue into your performance. In 1993, probably the first year when these halftime shows started to get good, Michael Jackson performed “Billie Jean” and “We Are The World.” Years later, when Diana Ross hit the stage, she performed “I Will Survive.” When it was Prince’s turn, he killed by performing “Purple Rain” — In the actual rain.
Here’s the lineup Bey hit us with on Sunday: “Love on Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “End of Time,” “Baby Boy,” “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women (Part 1)” (which are both Destiny’s Child songs), “Single Ladies” and “Halo.”
All good songs, in some cases great songs when you compare it to what was released that respective year, but when you look in a historical sense, these tracks don’t hold up.
And for that reason, I get somewhat disappointed when I think about Bey’s career (disappointed — which is perceived as hate by you Beyford Wives out there who defend Bey like a lioness defends its wounded cub.)
Bey is not the only one I feel somewhat frustrated by. In the acting realm I look at someone like Will Smith, who turns down Django Unchained so he could get Men in Black 15 green-lit.
I’ll give you this, Bey heads, I think she’s trying harder than Will is. While on B’Day and I Am… Sasha Fierce Bey was slaving away to the radio, 4, her latest album, saw her take risks I’ve never seen before.
Not too many, though.
Because, remember, she’s Beyonce and part of being Beyonce is being perfect, leaving little room for failure, which a lot time leaves little room for risks.
Beyonce is the most beloved artist this side of Michael Jackson. So I’m going to get scorched for this blog.
For Bey Stans out there, I’ll say this: let’s hear em. What are the iconic songs Bey has? The classic, iconic albums? Can we put Dangerously in Love with the Purple Rains and Thrillers of the world?
Honestly, it sounded ridiculous just typing it out.
Just buzzin’ in my Beyhive, ladies @Milkman__Dead