Beyonce is Perfectly Imperfect (And You Will Deal)

These are pictures of a female human under bright lights and a HD camera. Deal.  

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Beyoncé is imperfect.

All of these are fundamental truths, but somehow one just became evident yesterday after website The Beyonce World leaked more than two hundred un-retouched  Beyoncé images from her 2013 L’Oreal campaign. In the “worst” of the images, which are eons more flattering than many people can manage for their VSCO cam–edited Instagram photos, Beyoncé’s face looks puffier than usual, mostly result of poor camera angles. Despite the heavy makeup— this is an ad for L’Oreal after all— her jawline has blemishes. Her plump lips are framed with “laugh lines”, a genetic trait undoubtedly passed down from her mother, “Mama” Tina Knowles.

So no, these pictures are not “flawless”, an image Beyoncé— and near every other woman in the public eye since the dawn of photography and film— has tried to project for years. They are pictures of what an attractive woman looks like with harsh lighting and a professional grade camera zoomed inches from her face. And still, Beyonce looks imperfect and perfectly fine.

What isn’t fine, however, is the hysteria and backlash over Beyoncé’s unretouched photos, a response that was notably absent when an unretouched photo of supermodel Cindy Crawford began making the online rounds last week. That leaked photo, which showed Crawford with cellulite and a soft midsection, was an outtake from a photoshoot for Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America.

American Marie Claire called the photo “real… honest… gorgeous.” CNN asked if Crawford’s cellulite was “empowering” and published an article that stumbled all over itself with praise for the image. Cosmo called Crawford’s photo, an “excellent reminder that ~unretouched~ photos are gorgeous, and so are our flaws.”  There was so much praise for Crawford, you would have thought she published the image herself. She didn’t.

And I humbly ask, where is all the celebration and praise for Beyoncé’s unretouched photos? Instead, people have gone nuts.

I don’t understand the alarm, the type that led Gawker to title a story about Beyoncé’s photos “Uh-Oh: Beyonce’s Face Is Uh-Oh” and snarked, “[these] should make you and Solange feel a little bit more secure about yourselves.” Really? The feedback was so bad that The Beyonce World removed the unretouched Beyonce images from their website, and actually apologized for upsetting people.

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The Root: 5 Reasons We All Fawned Over Solange's Wedding Photos

  Beautifully Black & In Love

Last week was hard for black women. Kim Kardashian’s bare ass—and all the white privilege it represents—was everywhere you scrolled, an unintentional attempt to fulfill the directive on the cover of Paper magazine: Break the Internet.

Whether you thought her flaunting her big bottom was exceptionally vulgar or artistic homage, you knew that whatever it was, you couldn’t get away with it. Black girls get scolded and shamed for flaunting their bodies. Kardashian does it and literally gets put on a pedestal (she’s standing on one on the Paper cover).

We needed a pick-me-up. Something with some class, some creativity we could get behind. We didn’t need a reminder that black is beautiful (and not just when the attributes show up dipped in white), so much as we just needed an immediate counterexample to Kardashian’s ass-out imagery. I mean, there has to be some balance.

Come through, Mrs. Solange Knowles-Ferguson. The quirky fashionista, singer and songwriter has always marched to a very different beat from her pop-star sister and everyone else, too. And her wedding day was a reflection of that, just as everyone expected, once the blogs broke the news that the younger Knowles would marry over the weekend. We were all expecting something unique. But Solange and her new husband, videographer Alan Ferguson, took their celebration to epic status.

Here are the top five reasons social media is swooning, fawning and “Yaaassssing!” over Solange’swedding photos.

1. Solange looked amazing.


From her fluffed-out ‘fro on her big day (yes, big hair is special-occasion hair) to her array of caped cream one-pieces, including a to-die-for Stephane Rolland jumpsuit, Solange served up hippie goddess and superhero chic with futuristic flair. She showed enough curves to let you know she was a woman, and covered enough for you to know she was a lady, too.

2. Everyone looked amazing.


If you’ve ever been to a white party, you know that folks can get that dress code mandate very right—and very wrong, too. Also, someone always goes rogue on the color restrictions. Solange’s guests came through fierce, on theme—and covered. (In the group picture that features 12 women, there are just two sets of knees exposed.)

“Black people in white look like little black angels,” The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks once observed. And you know what? She was right. Some sort of award should go to Tina Knowles, who stunned as the mother of the bride with a plunging neckline and svelte waistline. And there should be an honorable mention for Jay Z, the dutiful brother-in-law, whose perfectly tailored cream suit looked straight off the cover of GQ.

3. Black love abounds (at every age).


The Knowles women exemplified black love on Solange’s big day. Of course there were the newlyweds, Solange and Alan (he looks a full two decades younger than his actual age, 51, and looked “crazy in love”). Big sis Beyoncé was escorted by her family: husband Jay Z and their adorable fluffy-haired mini, Blue Ivy, who was pictured on her mother’s hip as the family exited the church. Mama Knowles was accompanied by her very fine, gray-bearded beau, actor Richard Lawson, whose hat she held in multiple pictures.

4. She did it her way.


It’s clear that Solange didn’t follow the rules, and the results were amazing. From Solange and husband-to-be riding a bike to the ceremony, to her wedding pants; unconventional group wedding photos, taken by Rog Walker (and seemingly inspired by Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft); and regal, floor-length, cream Kenzo wedding gown with two simple gold Lady Grey cuffs, Solange went totally left, and it came out right.

5. It gave us all a little hope.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 4.17.15 PM


You can hardly scroll through an essay on relationships or black women without stumbling across a stat about how we never marry, or a line bashing single moms. But here is Solange, a divorced mom of one, finding love—and locking it down—a second time around, and with a husband who gazes at her adoringly. Then there’s rapper Jay Z, once the poster boy for black bachelors, lovingly carting around his daughter in his arms with his wife by his side. People grow up. It’s beautiful to bear witness ... sort of. (Instagram counts.)


Read the full story: here 


Solange Knowles: Jay-Z's100th Problem? (Not Really)

Jay-Z, Beyonce' & Solange exit The Standard hotel after the "elevator incident". Remember three years ago when Beyoncé revealed her pregnancy from the stage of the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards? It set a then-record for Twitter with 8,868 tweets per second. If my personal social media timelines from yesterday are any indication, I’m going to guess the recent Carter-Knowles melee tops that.

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Yesterday TMZ—which, with stories about Donald Sterling and Columbus Short, has been on a roll with breaking news lately—released video footage that showed Solange Knowles, younger sister to pop superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter,wailing on her sister’s husband, rapper Jay Z, like she was some sort of “Mortal Kombat” character. On what had to be the longest elevator ride ever, Solange went off on her brother-in-law, slapping and punching and even kicking him multiple times. Ever-present bodyguard to the Carters Julius De Boer got a run for his money as he repeatedly attempted to restrain Solange.

So many people are talking about this video as if it’s the most scandalous event ever, but really it’s just an embarrassing family matter made public, and it shows cracks in the facade of Jay Z and Beyoncé’s picture-perfect life—sort of. The Carters didn’t do anything wrong here; Solange did.

As disappointing as it is to see a person lose control that way, she’s getting a huge pass from many viewers. Not because she has a history of physically going off—though, given her sister’s and brother-in-law’s unshocked reactions, she may. It’s just that Solange has always been the fired-up, keep-it-real one in the Knowles clan. Because of her personal “brand” of sorts, her antics aren’t so far-fetched, and the assumption is that Jay Z must have done something to “make” her flip on him, even if no mature adult thinks an assault was the best way to handle being angry.

Jay Z and Beyoncé are entirely in the clear here. Despite being assaulted, Jay Z only defends his person and leaves the literal heavy lifting to the bodyguard. He’s receiving some social media roasting about his “100th problem” (Solange), but his brand as a mature, urban sophisticate remains intact, and he won’t be losing any endorsements.

Beyoncé is unscathed as well, even if her reaction to her sister going ballistic on her husband is just ... strange. She mostly just stands there doing just about nothing. I certainly didn’t expect her to fight her sister, but it isn’t until the third time Solange kicks Jay Z that Beyoncé stands between them. And even then, she still looks unbothered, taking the time to fiddle with her dress as she acts like a human shield.

It’s a weird, if noble, reaction, but I guess that’s about what can be expected from a woman who has been on the receiving end of a long-running joke about her being a robot. (The rumors are officially confirmed.) No, but seriously, how many times does your sister attack your husband and you react like it’s nothing?

We’ll never know.

Read more on The Root 

Monica Lewinsky: Waiting On A Redemption That Will Never Come



Blame Beyonce.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time lately thinking about Monica Lewinsky. Okay, not inordinate — just every time I hear Partition, which is played an inordinate amount of times on the radio. But I digress.

I think of Lewinsky every time I hear that part in Partition where ‘Yonce sings of how her husband “Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.” I laugh and wonder something like, “Geez, can you imagine what it must be like to have your name be synonymous with performing a blow job … forever?” That is, until yesterday.

Lewinsky, a woman still best known publicly for those occasions nearly two decades ago where she, ahem, serviced then-President Bill Clinton, is back.

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, she breaks her 17-year silence, writing, “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” allusions, respectively, to the hideous hat she wore in a widely circulated picture and the dress she saved after her lover, Clinton, um, sullied it.

The full article, “Shame and Survival” won’t be released until Thursday, but Vanity Fair’s excerpts promise a story that’s pretty by-the-book as far as ‘Where Are They Now?” stories go. Lewinsky’s admissions are predictable in that, surprise, surprise, she “deeply regrets” her presidential affair and considers “what happened” to be “consensual,” though she does feel “my boss took advantage of me.”

She also believes she was made a “scapegoat” in order to protect the President. Perhaps the most striking admission thus far is that Lewinsky contemplated suicide multiple times — but never attempted it — which isn’t so shocking given her worldwide ridicule but still alarming to read how her mother sat by her bed at night afraid that her daughter “would be literally humiliated to death.”

It was an unexpectedly sad read. Lewinsky made a profoundly bad decision at 23, and at 40, she still pays the price for it. She’s never held a real job, despite her master’s degree from the London School of Economics, she’s recognized daily, and after all this time, she’s still a pop culture punch line. (Lewinsky goes on record correcting Beyonce’ for that “Monica Lewinsky-ed” line in “Partition.” Apparently “Bill Clinton-d” would be more accurate.) She’s never been permitted the chance to move on from the scandal.

As I was reading, I kept wondering, “Why is she telling us this now?” especially after I got to the part about Lewinsky not being paid to be silent all this time. In the Vanity Fair excerpts, she explains her motives a few different ways.


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Beyonce' Named Time's Most Influential, But All Anyone Talks About Is the Photo

  Beyonce Time Cover

Evidently it’s the “list” time of year, and so far black girls are winning. On Tuesday, People magazine debuted its 50 Most Beautiful issue, starring none other than media (and fan) darling Lupita Nyong’o on the cover. Not to be outdone, this morning, Time released its annual 100 Most Influential People issue, featuring singer Beyoncé on its cover. Nyong’o’s issue went over pretty well (at least in my circles). Beyoncé’s, though? Um ... not so much.

In her Time bio, ’Yoncé is lauded by Lean In author and Facebook honcho Sheryl Sandberg, who effusively praises the singer-actress-performer turned wife-mother-feminist. Sandberg makes a brief but solid argument that plays off Sandberg’s lean-in catchphrase: “Beyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one.”

Sandberg describes how Bey’s last album—the self-titled audiovisual gem she dropped with zero notice or promotion last December—“shattered music industry rules and sales records.” (That’s not just fan hype. Beyoncé holds the record for fastest-selling album in iTunes history and has sold more than 3 million copies.) Sandberg goes on to mention Bey’s sold-out world tour and notes the singer’s (somewhat shaky) track record of raising “her voice both on- and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead.” (Admittedly, she’s getting better.)

I’m far from being Beyoncé’s biggest fan—though I love the latest album—but it’s hard to argue that

she doesn’t have the influence to earn that Time-cover spot. I expected people to try to argue against it anyway, because, well, that’s what the Internet is there for. But nope, folks surprised me. Instead, everyone’s talking about what Beyoncé looks like on the Time cover, as if she’s over there with Nyong’o on People’s Most Beautiful cover.

I have to ask, though: Should it really matter what she looks like?

Apparently. The (sad) consensus among many social media readers is that this Time cover isn’t Bey’s best look. The complaints are many:

She’s “too skinny”—“look at her thighs!”

“She looks sick!”

“Her hair is too straight” or “too blonde!”

“She looks white!!!”


Read more: here 


Dear Yoga Girl, You Know That Most Black Girls Don't Envy Your Shape, Right?


I debated  whether to weigh in on this XO Jane story , "It Happened to Me: There Are No Black People in My Yoga Classes and I'm Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It."

In case you missed the hoopla, a self-described "skinny"white girl went to a yoga class in NYC, saw a Black girl in her class and wrote the most narcissistic, projecting essay I've read in a really long time. The only thing I can think of that tops it is that infamous (and fake? And equally delusional) essay from a white woman explaining why Black men prefer white women. #womp


Here's a selection from Yoga girl's essay. Try not to laugh:

"A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio...

"Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute)... At that moment, though, I found it impossible to stop thinking about this woman. Even when I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at her, I knew she was still staring directly at me.

"Over the course of the next hour, I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body. I was completely unable to focus on my practice, instead feeling hyper-aware of my high-waisted bike shorts, my tastefully tacky sports bra, my well-versedness in these poses that I have been in hundreds of times. My skinny white girl body. Surely this woman was noticing all of these things and judging me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me—or so I imagined."


Are you laughing yet? It gets worse:

"I thought about how that must feel: to be a heavyset black woman entering for the first time a system that by all accounts seems unable to accommodate her body. What could I do to help her? If I were her, I thought, I would want as little attention to be drawn to my despair as possible—I would not want anyone to look at me or notice me. And so I tried to very deliberately avoid looking in her direction each time I was in downward dog, but I could feel her hostility just the same."


Really, lady?



Lawd, how I wish someone could track down the Black girl in the yoga class for the ultimate response piece. I really want to know what she was thinking. It was probably, "Can I live?"

White Yoga Girl is currently being dragged for entire life across the Internet. There are many great retorts, but the best response came from where writer Kadia B. substituted yoga for twerking and read Yoga Girl from the complete Encyclopedia Britannica:


"A few weeks ago, as I settled into my crowded evening class, a young, fairly thin white woman took her position right behind me. She appeared to have never set foot in a twerk-out studio before..

"Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to twerk in her face. I found it impossible to not think about this poor woman behind me. Even though I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at her, I knew she was still staring directly at my ass. Over the course of the next hour, I felt her despair turn into resentment and then contempt. I just knew for sure, it was directed toward me and my booty.

"By the time Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up” came on, I was completely unable to focus on my twerking.  Instead, I was feeling hyper-aware of my spandex booty shorts, my sexy tight tank top, my well-versedness in dropping it like it’s hot. My heavy-set black woman body.  Surely this skinny white girl was noticing all of these things and judging me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me – or so I assumed. However, I’m pretty sure I was right. How could I be wrong?"


Like I said, there have been so many great satirical and intelligent responses (honorable mention), I feel like I would be re-inventing the wheel to do add one of my own.

There is, however, one point that I have not seen in the many great responses, a nuance that NEEDS addressing:


SOME white ladies need to know that really, it's only thicker American Black girls who were raised in or only operate in white environments who have any envy for the "ideal" skinny white girl shape. Skinny Black girls have the same shape, usually with some ass, and they're not trying to exchange it for long back or noassitall.

In general, Black girls don't get the size 0/ size 2 with absolutely no curves thing that SOME white women cottage cheese, lettuce and yoga their way through life for. We flip through "mainstream" magazines and look at the clothes on the skinny models that reflect the white ideal and think, "that might look like something if she had some shape, but her shoes are cute though."

Think I'm playing? Look on Twitter at the reaction to the  size 2 Beyonce' that showed up at the Grammys Sunday night.

This may cause some alarm for white folk who think they are the center of the universe, but those particular white folk do need to know that Black folk have their own standard of "ideal" beauty. It involves curves in the "right" places-- kinda like what Bey had pre-Blue or like the woman in the picture at the top of this page. And there are black girls aplenty trying to get that shape, narrow waist, wide hips, thick thighs and plump ass mandatory. When most Black women exercise, we're mostly trying to cardio off mid-sections and keep everything else curvaceous so we can "fill out" our clothes, ironically enough, just like Beyonce' sang about on "Jealous". Milkshakes bring boys, of all colors, to the yard.

Lastly, Black women really don't spend that much time thinking about white women. We go through life thinking about, you know, ish that matters-- when is Scandal coming back, how long it's going to take to pay back Sallie Mae loans, if the Rabbit has fresh batteries, etc. Random white women only pop on our radar when one of them does something wildly offensive or asinine... like write a masturbatory essay about how a Black woman minding her own damn business in a yoga studio must envy or hate her  for being thin and white.

And then? Well then, you get dragged.



The Root: Beyoncé Can Do Whatever She Wants

beyonce-jayyy UPDATE: In the hours since this post was originally published yesterday, British newspaper UK Metro referred to America's Queen of  Pop as "Whore Beyonce'" for Sunday night's Grammy performance.

C'mon, son. It was a risque performance, no doubt. Extra? Perhaps. Sexy? Yes, gawd!  But for Yeezus's sake, she's a pop star.  This is pretty much in the job description and compared to say, Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMA's, it was pretty tame. Let's be reasonable here. A married woman grinded on and writhed  for her husband. Miley Cyrus twerked, wagged her tongue, rubbed someone else's ass, humped a "We're #1" fan sign then bent over in front of someone else's husband and didn't even get called a whore.

A whore?!

Over on My Black Baby, writer Denene Millner was rightfully fit to be pissed over the w-word. She wrote:


Now mind you, these are the same people who would turn a blind eye to racist “art” depicting a white woman using a naked Black woman as a chair and applaud Miley Cyrus using Black women’s asses as props in a bizarre, crotch-grabbing, chicken-twerk dance at the VMAs, but have a conniption when Beyonce straddles her phatty across a chair and sings about making love to her husband. They’re the same people, too, who would giggle about how adorbs Justin Beiber looks in his DUI mugshot but would nod their heads furiously in agreement when fellow Tweeters call pro NFL player Richard Sherman a thug and ape and nigger for expressing his emotion after a game-changing play that sent his team to the Super Bowl. And you best be clear that these same people probably wouldn’t have said a peep when a major media outlet referred to then-9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallisas a cunt on the biggest night of her life, but probably had to be buried, resurrected and given a bushel of throat lozenges to get over seeing Janet Jackson’s boob tassle in the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Did any of those women call Pink a whore for showing off her Brazilian bikini wax during her splits and sexy curtain twirling at Sunday’s Grammy performance? No?

See the pattern?

I’ll tell you this much: I’m done—done—with all this righteous indignation over the baring of Black bodies and the demand that Black artists color within the lines of respectability drawn specifically for us. (I’m tired, too, of Black folks who quickly co-sign this foolishness by dragging Beyonce for looking sexy while daring to sing about explosive sex, complicated relationships, the beauty of motherhood and finding her voice as a woman in a sexist world, or dogging out shows like Being Mary Jane and Scandal for showing the less-than-perfect, complicated lives of single Black women.)




Original post

When it was announced that entertainment’s “it” couple, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jay Z, would be performing at the Grammys—the opening act, no less—I knew it wasn’t going to go well. They were undoubtedly going to perform their latest hit, “Drunk in Love,” an ode to liquor and the joys of marital sex, replete with raunchy innuendo. Everyone would tune in, and there would be a mega backlash.

There’s been a lot of fuss over the song. Over at the Huffington Post, Frances Cudjoe Waters took issue with Beyoncé’s admission that she’s a 32-year-old woman who drinks, but the song’s most troubling lyrics came during Jay Z’s guest verse. In response to his trash-talking wife, who is boasting of her sexual prowess, he slickly—or sickly, depending on your perspective—says, “I’m Ike Turner turn up/You know I don’t play/Now eat the cake, Anna Mae/Eat the cake Anna Mae/I’m nice.” Le scandal.

Jay Z’s allusion to the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It—particularly the scene where Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne) smashes a slice of cake into the face of wife Tina (Angela Bassett)—has been repeatedly (over) analyzed. It’s been called evidence that Bey and Jay Z condone domestic violence and proof of the couple’s insensitivity to Turner, with whom Beyoncé has performed in the past.

Because there have been so many essays taking Jay Z to task since Beyoncé’s album was released in December, I’m well-versed in the argument that his lyrics, joking or not, go too far. But the hype is just that.

Jay Z is in no way condoning domestic abuse on that verse. He’s drunk-talking—hence the song’s title—to his wife, who has been playfully trash-talking to him. By the middle of the verse, he, too, is talking trash about what he’s going to do to her sexually—and, most important, with her consent. I mean, she’s drunk-giggling in the background of the video as he talks drunk mess on a song called “Drunk in Love.” If his wife is fine with him talking about rough sex, what is the problem here?

Is an Ike Turner allusion the best choice? No. But in context, there’s nothing to see here, folks. Drunk married people are playfully saying drunk words to each other—he even says, “I’m nice,” i.e., drunk—right before they “surfboard.”

I know that drunk Beyoncé is a little jarring for some, but at 32, if she wants to get drunk and then be “filthy” with her husband, that’s her adult and wifely right to do so—and her prerogative to sing about it, even at the Grammys, because she’s a “Grown Woman.”

Over at Colorlines, Akiba Solomon seemed fine with all this but believed that Beyoncé should have stayed silent about that “eat the cake” line:

At least one radio station—in the U.K.—blurs out this part of the song because it’s a jokey joke reference to physical abuse. So last night when Jay got to the “eat the cake” line, I thought maybe Queen Bey would stay silent on it. Instead she puts bass in her voice and chants along with her husband, “Eat the cake Anna-Mae!”

That Tina Turner is supposed to be one of Beyoncé’s idols makes this even worse ...  I’m disappointed in Beyoncé. I wish in this moment she could have been more Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and less “Cater 2 U.”

Read more: here

The Root: 6 Things I Care About on 'Beyonce'' More Than Her Feminism

Bey-JayIf you’re reading this, you have an Internet connection. And because you have said connection, then you are undoubtedly aware that Beyoncé Knowles released an album out of nowhere last week on Friday. For the better part of the last 96 hours, the Internet has been going HAM about Beyoncé, the person and super-secret album of the same name.

Leading this discussion has been an intense (and circular) conversation about whether Beyoncé is or is not a feminist and whether bona fide black feminists should support her. This conversation happens every single time Beyoncé drops an album, an empowering (or male-ego-stroking) song or performs at any televised awards show. It’s perhaps more intense this round because Beyoncé featured the TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists” by Nigerian-born author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the single “Flawless.”

I remain unclear on why it matters if Beyoncé is a feminist or not. Admittedly, it would be nice to have a new visual of a feminist woman that replaces the inaccurate and widely held stereotype that feminists are unattractive, old, bitter and manless. But otherwise, I don’t get it.

There are at least six more things that I find entirely more interesting about Beyoncé’sBeyoncé. In no particular order they are:

1. The Gamble

Beyoncé the album was exclusively posted on iTunes in the wee hours of Friday morning. With no promotion whatsoever it was a gutsy move, one that has proven to be purely brilliant at three days hindsight. From Friday till close of business Sunday night, Beyoncé sold “an unprecedented 828,773 albums,” according to Billboard, and broke iTunes' first-week sales record in the United States. When speaking highly of Beyoncé, it’s usually her beauty and her work ethic that get the mentions. Add brains to that list.

2. Anna Mae

The first single from Beyoncé, “Drunk in Love,” features a verse by Beyoncé’s husband, Jay Z. He raps, “I'm Ike Turner, turn up/Baby know I don't play/Now eat the cake, Anna Mae.” The allusion to the infamous line spoken by Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It? has come under fire, although in context, it’s a reference to Jay Z’s sexual prowess, not condoning domestic violence.

Still, I’m amazed at the number of writers who either missed the reference entirely—Vice writer Kitty Pryde, who live-blogged the album, swore Jay Z said “anime” instead of Anna Mae. In a follow-up apology, she admitted she had never seen the film to know the reference, but at the time of her second writing she knew where the line came from and still called “Anna Mae” Annie Mae. A HuffPo article dressing down Beyoncé for going from “extraordinary to common” on her latest single gets it wrong, too, and the author saw the movie.

3. “Rocket”

For nearly 14 years, D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel?” has topped my list of favorite sexy-time songs. And now, with the help of Miguel, who penned the lyrics for “Rocket,” Beyoncé has crafted an equally seductive tune that speaks for how the ladies feel. (I’ve had this on repeat for four days.)

Read more: here