There once was a time when a young Beyoncé Giselle Knowles would promote a new single or an album. She would appear on shows like MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live) or even perform on BET’s 106 & Park, and you’d be like, “Oh, this song sounds great, I can’t wait for the album. It’s coming out November 4th right?”
Then some time after becoming Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, those promotions started to not be as visible, but they were at least still somewhere: “I just heard Single Ladies, what do you mean there’s already a video?!”
Yet, it was when Bey finally brought new life into this world through the eyes of little Blue Ivy, that she actually stopped caring for us. Her performances and moments were always “show-stopping,” but she had now stepped into the supposed mantra of “world-stopping.”
To this day, I can pinpoint exactly where I was when Bey dropped her self-titled visual album, Beyoncé, and years later when she interrupted my late day once more with the Blackety-blackest visual of her career (at the time), “Formation.” Not to mention Lemonade, which she did provide advance notice about, but still wasn’t entirely forthcoming in what form she was going to slay my night with.
I’m talking day-to-evening-to next day ruined because of her abrasive releases. No promotion, no warning, just an on-the-hour mic drop. Life gone. Plans destroyed. Marathon watching The Wire: over.
I have yet to fully recover from either releases, but the Beyoncé album release is the blueprint for how Bey formulates her plans to ruin my day.
It was Thursday, December 13, 2013 at around 11pm ET. I remember because I was fine with life after watching a new episode of ABC’s Scandal (still in its 10pm slot). I was a college senior about to go out with friends on a Thursday night. I was living life. Did Beyoncé care? Hell no.
I was on Twitter taking in all the post-Scandal fan theories until one tweet about a Beyoncé album flew out, and I was shook.
After incessant research and a small bout of hysteria, I gave iTunes $19.99 and I wasn’t even sure what it was for. But sure enough, it was an album. I listened to it as I went out that night, but I should’ve ended my plans. I could barely function in public. And once I watched the album the next day, I was shook for days.
Also while I’m here let’s get something straight:
That is a “surprise drop.” Bey may not have invented it, but she definitely mastered it. Drop the music/visual and leave me reeling. Anything else is an imitation.
To be a fan of Beyoncé is to be in continuous awe of her. Every time she does something miles ahead of the curve it makes me happy that 20+ years ago I decided to steal my brother’s copy of Destiny’s Child’s The Writings on the Wall and open the insert booklet to ingest every name of that group. I don’t worship the ground Beyoncé walks on, but that doesn’t mean I will let you speak a bad thing about her in my presence (and every other member of DC, except Farrah).
Ms. Knowles-Carter has ruined a number of my days, but you know, life went on after. And when I went back into life, I tended to be a happier, more inspired, and confident person belting out new Bey tunes like I had been in the production process with her. Beyoncé may not have cared about my day when dropping these projects, but she cares about my life to keep putting forth remarkable projects one after the other. So yes, even through ruining my days and slightly affecting my mental well-being, I am still a better person because of Beyoncé.
Check out this personal playlist with some of my favorites from the birthday Queen!