Some things, as we know, are fate. We knew we could fill an entire podcast talking about #Beychella, especially since that performance – that performance – happened in the middle of the night, in what seems like it was a dream state. And especially after we had to take an unscheduled podcast break last week… we were ready.
Then, when Jon Caramanica pointed out in the New York Times what we’ve all already known, that Beyoncé ‘shows her work’, well… you all were ready and thank you for asking for this podcast, specifically!
So. Even after Kathleen's piece about the layers upon layers of black culture Beyoncé layered into this performance, and even after Lainey lost her mind about the production value, there was a ton to talk about.
So. We started with all the things that hit you about the performance and how many views it takes to really digest it all. Early and often, I reference Becoming Beyoncé, the definitive biography written by J. Randy Taraborelli, which I have read over and over, and which underscores our thesis that Beyoncé may be an underrated genius – at least musically.
Plus we lost our minds at the skill of the production, and tried to add up the money and manpower involved – with a little help from this Instagram post from cameraperson Ben Hagarty who was there – and explains exactly how much work was involved. Plus we found all the places where Beyoncé hid from us in plain sight… all pointing back to the work she’s been preparing for her whole life.
Then of course, there’s the #Beychella factor. Coachella has been forever changed, and as Doreen St. Felix points out in The New Yorker, it changed because Beyoncé demanded it, and because of messages she was determined to send – in a way even her mother, Tina Lawson wasn’t sure she could pull out.
Finally, if my favourite Beyoncé literature is Taraborelli’s book, Lainey’s is the last official Beyoncé interview on record, in GQ in 2013. Did she mean what she said at the end? Does it give credence to the theory that maybe she really is a genius? That we’re justified in feeling thrilled about watching performances from a woman who may really be unparalleled?
As an indication of how strongly I feel about it, I tell a story from way back in the vault – one so good that I humbly think it’s worth changing my Twitter bio to include.
Thanks for all your excitement for this week’s episode!