Surprises In Beyonce’s “Black Parade”
Our girl Beyoncé dropped last night with a fire new single commemorating the Black Lives Matter Movement and the 2020 celebration of Juneteenth entitled Black Parade.
This fun single with an Afro inspired beat, touches on nearly very moment in the Black American experience- from backyard barbecues to our obsession with laid edges.
Let’s review this uplifting track and sort through all the little surprise Easter eggs Beyoncé left us to enjoy.
African Folk-Lore – Something tells me Beyoncé is really into African history before the perils of slavery, genocide, gentrification, and apartheid. In Black Parade, she shouts out African goddesses Yemaya and Oshun, and the infamous Ankh symbol.
What’s cool about this moment is in literature, past and present, folklore of Roman and Greek gods and goddesses monopolized all the attention. The goddess Venus even got a disposable razor out of the deal. Better yet, the Trojan horse got a…well, ahem, never mind. Now it’s our time to explore our own African folklore from the motherland and include black characters in our literary expressions, just as Beyoncé did.
Melanated Drip For Sale– In Beyoncé’s famed song Brown Skin Girl she harmoniously proclaims, “Drip broke the levee when my Kelly’s rolled in.” This lyric is a shoutout to beautiful dark-skinned girls like Kelly Rowland.
In Black Parade, Beyoncé broadens that famed expression by repeatedly chanting, “Motherland, motherland drip on me.” A line that bolsters African American’s roots in Africa, and of course our mean melanated drip.
An MJ Shoutout? Almost everyone knows that Michael Jackson is Beyoncé’s favorite artist. In Black Parade, Bey toys with Michael’s famous African chant from the king’s 1982 hit Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.
She borrows the “Ma ma Sa”, line by being more literal in crooning “mama say” in reference to her own mother, Mama Tina.
COVID- 19– The queen is even talking about the pandemic we are currently in. Beyoncé was caught out for a drive with a face mask on recently so in Black Parade she sings, “Pandemic fly on the runway, in my hazmat.”
Lipo– During both of Beyonce’s pregnancies, she was accused by the tabloids of having lipo injected into her lips because they swelled in size due to normal water retention.
Bey took that hurtful commentary and made it a positive lyric. She croons, “Talking slick to my folks. Lift that lip like lipo.”
Austin Powers and Cochella– Of course Beyoncé played the parody blaxploitation character Sexy Cleopatra in the Austin Powers’ movie, Goldmember.
Also, in her Netflix documentary of her Coachella performance, Bey famously admitted after a rehearsal that she needed to go home to her “Fiffty ‘leven children”. This quote has been a joke among her fan base since the documentary aired.
So, what do those two factoids have to do with each other? Nothing, other than in Black Parade Beyoncé decided to sing about the two. She intones good-humoredly, “crack a big smile, gold figure, me and Jigga, fifty ‘leven children.”
Race Riots and Protests: After the inhumanely unjust murder of George Floyd, African Americans took to the streets to protest and riot. Bey couldn’t help but join in lifting her voice by singing, “Made a picket sign off your picket fence. Take that as a warning.”
Picket fences are associated with the white middle class and I LOVE how Bey went ‘there’ with that lyric. African Americans are finally challenging systematic racism and classism. Tearing down these oppressive systems and structures one by one.
She even touched on the harmful rubber bullets police are firing at black protesters in another bold lyric.
Black Hair– If you ever read my article about Black Hair and shame (Ironically featuring Beyonce’s iconic sister, Solange) you understand that black people have always been bullied about their kinks and coils. Beyoncé addresses the issue by insisting that females no longer slick down their hair’s edges with gel and black males no longer strive for waves. Just let our beautiful hair do what it naturally does.
She vocally declares:
[Explicit] these laid edges, I’ma let it shrivel up. [Explicit] this fade and waves. I’ma Let it dread all up.
Black Parade is an entire mood! I love it and what I love most is that one hundred years from now, people will listen to this song and hear our oral history in musical format.
This song cannot and will not be erased and years from now, our great great-grandchildren will understand how 2020 redefined black history.
Streaming Black Parade is also for a good cause. According to Beyoncé herself and her website, Beyonce.com, Black Parade benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need.
Queen Bey really did her thing with Black Parade, but I think the most important takeaway is that African Americans are a people with a rich history, a stunning culture, and a bright future as we continue to fight for the right cause.
Stream and download Black Parade to help support black business. With your listenership, you can help change the face of black history through the Black dollar.
What do you think think about Black Parade? Comment below and be kind because, “Bees are know to bite 😂🐝 .”