Like I said in the open today, I thought the Grammys were well-produced and I appreciate that they put in the effort to make good TV. But like I also said in the open, that was a long ass show. And while I can happily binge eight hours of a Taiwanese drama, or a Korean drama, or Bridgerton, during this pandemic, I’ve lost patience for three hours and 45 minutes of an award show. So at some point, I was thinking I might turn it off for a while, do something else, and watch it on the playback. But then… the camera cut to Beyoncé. It is now Beyoncé’s thing to not show up at the beginning of an award show and just arrive whenever she goddamn feels like it. As we saw, the show producers then reacted by cutting to her as many times as possible. Until she made it impossible – by leaving, after winning Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade”. Which, you will note, she DID NOT thank the Recording Academy for. And that was it. She was nominated for other awards but Her Beyjesty did not stay. Because she knows these people for their f-cksh-t. She knew last night and she knew in 2017 – a good time to reup my post from the Grammys that year when Lemonade was in contention. That was the year she performed pregnant with the twins and let us know during the show that it unfolded the way she expected it to. So with that in mind, what she gave the Recording Academy last night was probably more than they deserve. But it’s not like she did it for them.
Beyoncé comes through for Black women, and last night she was there to pick up Blue Ivy’s Grammy, and for Meghan Thee Stallion, and other Black and BIPOC creatives. She came through for her community, and in coming through for her community, she flexed the value of her cultural currency. This is what’s most important to her now – not the trophies, not what the Recording Academy decides is prestige, but the actual, undeniable impact she’s had on the culture. So impactful that when the camera finds her midway through an award show, and you can’t even see her face because she’s masked, people lost it, not just on Twitter, but the people at the event themselves, the people in the control room. And definitely the Recording Academy, especially, knowing that her presence validates THEM, and not the other way around.
With that in mind, then, well, her reaction to being stopped on stage by Trevor Noah after she and Megan The Stallion won for “Savage Remix”:
BEYONCÃ‰ REACTION ðŸ˜ pic.twitter.com/25UlneEfaJ— ð”¹.ð•‚ ðŸ¤ (@Rumiyoncee) March 15, 2021
First of all, I’d love it if one day Noah could tell us the story of how that went down – there must have been instruction in his ear about Beyoncé’s record, and a decision made that he should interrupt the flow of the show to make that announcement while she was still on stage. So that the cameras could capture her live reaction. Yet another example of the Grammys maxing out on how much they can use Beyoncé for clout but not respecting her influence with their top hardware.
That, in part, I think at least, explains her expression. And Jay’s expression! Do you see him turning away? There’s nothing in his body language that indicates he’s proud, or even smiling. If anything it was mild annoyance and impatience. Let her come off the stage instead of holding her there in a desperate attempt for ratings when she’s already told you about yourself – by declining to perform and refusing to even confirm her attendance ahead of time. As the LA Times pointed out on Friday, it’s a sh-tty look for the Grammys, that the artist who led the nominations was not taking the stage.
As Cody pointed out earlier in his Megan Thee Stallion post, Beyoncé may hold the record now but most of her Grammys wins are in the “urban” categories. So for all the shine that the show was putting on Beyoncé for her historic moment, that record comes with an asterisk – an asterisk that the Recording Academy themselves have attached to their own accolades. Again, per the LA Times, “What’s still missing is the academy’s aligning the history books – as embodied in the big awards that people remember – with the dimensions of her career”.
So, to go back to her expression.
That’s just one of many, many memes coming out of that moment. Because it was noticeable. Beyoncé wasn’t about to perform gratitude to the Recording Academy. Nor was she about to pretend like it’s surprising that she’s a legend. She’s going to react to her making history as… well…whatever. Yeah, of course I’m breaking history, I’m Beyoncé. Do these motherf-ckers put enough respect on my name?
What’s for dinner is probably what she was really thinking. She and Jay went to Giorgio Baldi afterwards – with an outfit change. Please note that the outfit she changed into, AFTER the Grammys, was more spectacular than the little black dress she wore AT the Grammys. If clothing tells us anything, that’s what Beyoncé thinks of her Grammys record.