If you’re on the internet at all today, #BeyoncéHomecoming is all there is, but just in case you’re somehow avoiding all of it except this post, SPOILERS abound below:
Lainey and I are joined by very special guest/official provider of waterworks Kathleen for what might be our most anticipated podcast of the season – by us, at least. We got up in the middle of the night to be together by 2am ET and watch Beyonce’s Homecoming the second it was available on Netflix. We were astounded by it a year ago and even more so a year later, now that we’ve had the chance to process exactly how much of an effect it had on us – and then recorded our feelings live, with no stops, on no sleep… don’t worry, only two of us cried live on the broadcast.
So the work of Homecoming – written, directed by, and starring Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, as it says in the credits – isn’t just about showing us all the creative decisions that went into the show; first and foremost it’s a celebration of the culture of HBCUs - Historically Black Colleges & Universities – the schools Beyoncé dreamed of attending and the homecoming celebrations she lived for.
And that culture is RICH – and overtly for Black people first. We dive into Beyoncé’s decision to eschew flower crowns (we CACKLED when that line came up) and dive into something that would not be explained for the non-Black people in the audience, a decision even her mother, Ms. Tina Lawson, worried about.
Then of course, it’s impossible to talk about Beychella without discussing the work, and the tech – though Lainey and I dove into this a lot last year in our (first) all-Beychella episode, it’s impossible not to talk about it again, from the costumes to the dancers, drumline, orchestra – and, you know, stuff like this:
Looked like a simple shot in the film but i had to stay framed up while walkin down the biggest bleachers on earth 🤯 lol.— BenRealVsWorld (@BenRealVsWorld) April 17, 2019
Got the 📹 tho 😊. In and outta there ✌️
“Don’t trip don’t trip don’t trip” lol pic.twitter.com/9nTR5ZuuvL
We also spend a lot of time on the crisp and gorgeous audio that allowed you to hear every stomp and breath (and that, I can personally attest, is present on the Homecoming live album she dropped on Apple Music this morning) which is especially ironic in light of this interview from a couple of years ago, when a know-it-all Super Bowl audio engineer covered up the fact that he couldn’t on Beyoncé’s level by calling her demanding. (Lainey: correction – I said in the podcast that he was bitching about her Super Bowl performance, it was actually the Country Music Awards. But the point remains: he was bitching because she had a standard.)
Finally, all of the quotes from celebrated Black scholars and writers were resonant in different ways, but we spend time with a quote from Bey herself – “My family is my weakness and my strength”. We break down all the ways her whole family – her parents, husband, and children – enable and inspire the film which is overtly about wanting to inspire us.
There are so many more references and potential links – trust Beyoncé not just to celebrate school but to send us to school – so listen to us break down many more of them, and to hear live spats, giggles, and my joke that cracked Lainey and Kathleen up so effectively I’m still proud several hours later.
We cannot wait to hear what you think, and how many times you’ve watched (also if you followed the #MerchMacgyvergate on our Instagram stories this morning, I will happily accept your high fives) Hit us up – on Instagram, @laineygossip @duanataha @kathleennb, on Twitter @laineygossip @duanaelise @kathleennb, and of course send us your emails and thoughts. And, in the words of Bey herself, thank you for choosing