Has Beyoncé Really Made an Impact in World-Wide Music? Racial Feminism

We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” Beyoncé

I am in love with that feeling you get when you listen to certain songs that just seem to empower you to an unrelenting extent. The songs that you don’t skip because you want that run of light bubbly inspiration to cascade over you. It is these type of songs that are rooted with deep meaningful loss or journey or wisdom. Such artists whom have the capability to provide this essence of strength through song stand out against all others with this deeper sense of intelligence.

I believe it is universally agreed that Beyoncé was an artist whom changed the lives for many negro women, empowering them, particularly with her pioneering album Lemonade.

Queen B.

Subtle start

Beyoncé first started experimenting with both visual and audio media’s to advocate a message in her famous music video “if I were a boy”. The audience is introduced with a string of words being “honesty, intimacy, commitment, you and me” which facilitates the questioning of relationship roles and standards.

Within this music video, gender roles are reversed and the women (Beyoncé) is seen as a flirtatious, uncommitted and disloyal partner who does not care much for the attention, support and efforts given toward her by her partner. Close to the end of the music video, the positions of the partners are revealed and the last chorus of the song demonstrates Beyoncé as the loving wife to a man whom does not care for her.

Through this contrasting method the audience questions themselves and the actions of each gender role and probes them to wonder where the gender “rules” are set, as there are none.

The powerful music video of if I were a boy : the start to Beyoncé’s visual quo’s in contextual issues

LETS MAKE LEMONADE

Further down the track, Beyoncé’s Lemonade is seen a “feminist text exploring the infidelity of Black Women” (Edwards, Esposito & Evans-Winters 2017) which promotes feminism in the equal quality of treatment to women, particularly of a racial colour. You can calculate the hybridisation that occurred in music between the time of if I were a boy and the Lemonade album.

Although black cultural music was the definitive medium of story telling for the African American people, and therefore an inherent and original form of expression for them – Flores (2016) remarks “Black music, and subsequently black culture, has been appropriated by dominant white mainstream culture”.

The appropriation of rapping and other components in Hip Hop

Black culture itself is seen to be hybridised and appropriated as global icons such as Beyoncé take on rapping, as a female artist, which was a controversial and innovative move in globalised music. Due to the pre-standing trends in RnB and Hip Hop, becoming a female rapper is a hard struggle to appropriate against male rappers. To become so, Flores regards how the use of inappropriate content seems to be the only way to make it there, copying masculine themes as rapping was seen as a masculine form of music.

Now, with innovative movement such as the civil rights movements in America and more recently the feminist wave, the globalisation of this music occurred due to the advocation and acceptance to such issues (race/gender). However, it is now becoming recognised that black characteristics in music, which was an innovative and unique addition to pop, is seen a s being whitewashed by white female artists (such as Taylor swift and Miley Cyrus’s, Flores 2016).

love Beyoncé’s persona !!

A feminist text that concentrates on race

The effect of Lemonade was a global liberation of black womanhood, it became an appropriation of these various forms of masculine music and hybridised into a passionate historic and inspirational like “pep talk” about these issues. Beyoncé’s music is seen to represent this community’s unique and overlooked discrimination, claiming empowerment to black people and strength to the women of this race. Visual African aesthetic within the features of the album assist in the cinematic quo’s of demonstrating black womanhood, reminding audiences of indigenous African culture which has changed through time but remained deeply integral.

For example, Beyoncé’s Formation starts with herself listing her cultural background. Referencing the “Creole” term of African and European mixed which was used initially to seperate from “Negro”, Beyoncé unites the terms to celebrate their indifferences. (Edwards, Esposito & Evans-Winters 2017).

Overall, Beyoncé attempts to create a message through the appropriated music she creates that the present is a time to empower people, and particularly those groups whom have been oppressed, black women. Through the hybridisation of many forms of hip hop themes, Beyoncé’s rapping was a pioneering ‘art form’ within global music that was intended to unite a group of oppressed individuals. Beyoncé has fiercely impacted and reshaped music to reinforce not only then local issues of feminism in America, but a global phenomenon of oppression to the African people.

Her moral was simply, human beings should be deeply connected to each other and thus empathise this pain to inform change to its treatment.

she showed us that even a pregnant women can preform like a star and continue to work

One Comment Add yours

  1. This was such an in depth look into the Beyonce and I loved it! I think you’re entirely right that Beyonce is an empowering symbol of both feminism and African American culture that deserves to be praised for the leaps she has taken for African American women in the music industry. She has paved the way for other great women of colour such as Lizzo who is another African American singer that promotes both feminism and body positivity. With all of Beyonce’s success I wonder how she will continue to break down barriers for both women and people of colour as her career continues. I found this post particularly interesting as I have just been looking at cultural appropriation in music and how artists such as Miley Cyrus have exploited African American culture to “rebrand” themes as “ghetto” (https://jezebel.com/on-miley-cyrus-ratchet-culture-and-accessorizing-with-514381016). It has really got me thinking how cultural appropriation must affect people of colours everyday lives as it promotes racial stereotypes. Did you have an opinion on the matter of cultural appropriation in music?

    Like

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