Image Courtesy of FistInTheAir.com
Beyoncé stormed the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards last night and snatched 94.7% of the world’s collective wigs. How so? Her sensational, reformatted performance of Lemonade, her most recent album which solidifies her as an unapologetic queen. Marie Antoinette is on the other side nodding in fierce approval.
Bey 🐝 started the performance with “Pray You Catch Me” which bled into “Hold Up” which bled into “Sorry” which bled into “Don’t Hurt Yourself” which bled into “Formation.” She took a baseball bat to one of MTV’s cameras, she illustrated how magnificent her ass is, she made an incredible political statement and she gave full-on Beyoncé every single second she was on that stage. She was the white swan and the black swan. C’est magnifique! Easily the best moment of the entire year for MTV.
Image courtesy of Pitchfork.com
But was all of that necessary? 15 minutes and 46 seconds? Come on! After five minutes, it started bleeding into “Kanye” territory in the sense that it felt very self-serving. It was a musician opting to eat up more time than that night’s big honoree (Rihanna received the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award and performed throughout the night for an approximate 14.5 minutes) and to, yet again, make the night all about her.
Don’t get it twisted. Sometimes Beyoncé is needed. Coldplay as the Super Bowl’s halftime performers was just a silly decision and not even the incredibly entertaining Bruno Mars could have saved that segment. That year, the Super Bowl needed Beyoncé. This year’s BET Awards did not. As a whole, it was a fantastic display of music and, yes, Bey’s performance was great but it didn’t make or break that award show.
The 2016 VMAs were pretty lame but that’s been the case for over a decade now. Producers clearly allotted Beyonce 15 minutes because they knew it would generate headlines on every top digital publication across the globe. They knew it would dominate the conversation on Twitter. It was an easy move on their part to drum up excitement, ratings and coverage. But with Beyoncé, that’s what we expect, right? Excitement! Ratings! Coverage! She’s become The One you call in a clutch to shut it down and save the day.
However, her extended performance stole a majority of the spotlight from Rihanna. I don’t say this as the #1 RiRi fan. I do love me that bad gal but I only say the aforementioned because MTV touted it as her night. As someone being honored, I’m expecting you to make my portion of the night so exceptional that it’s the clear highlight. If they felt like Rihanna couldn’t deliver the explosive night they needed, why honor her? Why chop her performance up into small segments? Why, why, why?! I don’t blame Beyoncé for Rihanna not receiving the type of shine she should have received but I am looking sideways at MTV.
We simply didn’t need those 15 minutes to know Beyoncé is a star. Honestly, one or two songs would have been sufficient. She had her moment to shine in 2014 when she was awarded the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. Justin Timberlake had his moment to shine in 2013. This was Rihanna’s time. It makes me think of how gracious Beyoncé was when Kanye famously interrupted Taylor Swift and Bey brought her back on stage later that night to give a proper acceptance speech as she “understood” the importance of the moment. Kanye has gained a reputation for being self-centered and egotistical and last night, Bey veered dangerously close to those adjectives.
It’s remarkable because for years I’ve always put Kanye in the “Originals” box because of his strength to speak his mind and the confidence to produce and share his idea of musical art. Beyoncé, on the other hand, was always put in the “Performers” box. No one could touch her! No one can touch her when it comes to putting on a show but I think it’s time to move her over into that coveted “Originals” box with Kanye. She is now officially an artist. But with 2013’s Beyoncé, we learned that. Lemonade reiterated it. She didn’t need to hog up so much time at the 2016 VMA’s trying to prove anything. Trust me when I say WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, Bey, but sometimes it’s okay to give it a rest.
That being said, you HAVE to watch her performance. Happy Monday!