So a lot of people are still bent out of shape about whether or not Beyoncé lip-synced the National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration last weekend, and the whole thing is still pretty dumb. Because the fact is, whether or not she lip synced, she is still Beyoncé, and she still hangs out with the rulers of the free world and gets to come home to her loving family and her millions and a mailbox full of letters from adoring fans, so, you know, enjoy eating Spaghetti-O’s and reading updates from Perez’s dog in your empty apartment or whatever it is people who make a big deal out of these things do in their spare time. Anyway.
The point is, who really cares, because more importantly, this is over and the next phase of Beyoncé’s global conquest is less than two weeks away. And US Weekly apparently have the setlist, which, take it with a grain of salt, but if this for real, it’s pretty flail-worthy. Bey will take the stage first to perform "Crazy In Love" (cross your fingers for cameos from Jay-Z and Blue Ivy), followed by Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to reprise Destiny’s Child’s hits "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Survivor" and newcomer "Nuclear." Would have liked some "Bug-a-Boo" in there as well, but this song selection is more than satisfactory.
Now, people will inevitably ask, for the sake of being topical, is Beyoncé going to lip-sync? Even if she does, it will still be better than the unwatchable shells of themselves The Who have become, right? Being upset over not including Da Brat in the live performance of "Survivor," however, is entirely reasonable.
And you know what? It’s Friday. It’s been a long week. You guys deserve a dance break. Without further adieu, here’s a Destiny’s Child video party.
The Beyontroversé (thank you, VH1) continues to heat up (pretty ironic, right, since it was so cold on Monday, right? ha ha ha). Yesterday, an inaugural official, presumably bored now that his or her job is now over, confirmed that Beyoncé did not sing the National Anthem live. Oh, but wait! According to MTV, an audio engineer is confident that "at least half" of the performance was real. Meanwhile, Beyoncé is probably in Ibiza, tanning and laughing at all of YOU FOOLS for carrying on about this for the fourth goddamn day.
Our Lady of Majestic Hats Aretha Franklin (otherwise known as the Queen of Soul) is no stranger to singing in cold weather. After all, she made quite a splash at Barack Obama’s first inauguration back in 2009, where she sang "My Country, ‘Tis of Thee" while wearing a bow the size of at least one of her ample bosoms. Clearly, she’s the person to whom most of us would turn to get expert commentary on Beyoncé’s lip syncing controversy.
The Queen of Soul said she "cracked up" at all the backlash, adding that she would probably do the same thing next time.
"I wanted to give people the real thing and pre-recording never crossed my mind," Franklin said of her performance at the 2009 Inauguration.
The songstress also took the opportunity to complain that last time around, her long wait led to a subpar performance.
"I just wished I could have sung the moment I got there," she said. "If I could have walked on immediately and sung it wouldn’t have affected my voice the way it did."
Meanwhile, Franklin admitted to lip-syncing in 2004 at a Detroit-Lakers game in the NBA finals. But, you know, who cares? Because Aretha Franklin can sing. We all know that! And you know who else can sing? Beyoncé, you dummies! This is such a non-controversy because, hello, the lady sings live all the time. Case in point:
Washington, DC woke up this morning with one collectively epic hangover. Let’s face it: a five-day-long celebration is kind of overkill. Yes, there were fancy dresses, open bars, and VIPs (Beyonce! Jay Z! John Legend! Some guy from Gossip Girl, maybe!) and enough parties to crush any notions that this is anything like prom.
Most coverage of yesterday’s Inaugural festivities was about how decidedly “toned down” the events were. Guests had to (get ready for it) actually pay for their own drinks at the two official balls, and Cheez-Its and other previously packaged goods from the bodega around the corner were served to the first twenty people who happened to show up. There were ten official balls last time, but don’t let the numbers fool you. Washington, DC this past weekend was more an embarrassment of riches than what current economic conditions would have you believe.
Balls started last Thursday and included a Kids Ball where Usher and Katy Perry performed, an art party in a warehouse on the newly gentrified H Street NE, and, of course, countless of the more typical Washington affairs.
Beyoncé, the greatest human in the history of humans, did the honors of singing the National Anthem yesterday following Barack Obama’s second inauguration. And boy, did she knock it out of the park. OR DID SHE? Some people are now claiming that Beyoncé did not sing at all! Call the Warren Commission, because this is serious business!
First, the Washingtonian speculated that, as the Marine Corps band did not actually play the National Anthem, it makes no sense that Beyoncé sang the song:
But to close observers, it appeared the performer was not singing live. To press seated just below the podium, in front of the “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band, it was evident that the band wasn’t actually playing during the song—even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments. Separately, at one point during her performance, Beyoncé removed her earpiece.
But but but couldn’t she have sang it anyway? Please, mister, don’t tell me that one of my greatest joys (Beyoncé’s live-singing) has turned out to be a fake!
A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band said it was standard procedure to record a backing track and Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version rather than risk singing it live on the Capitol.
Four years ago I was in a much different place. I always considered January 20, 2009 as a turning point in my life. This, as you may know, was the day Obama was inaugurated into his first term. A moment in history that I knew was going to set the stage for the future. I had just turned 23, was living in Brooklyn with my two best friends, and was in the biggest state of depression I’d ever hit. Some might call that "rock bottom." At that point we were all smoking enough weed to fill Colorado three-fold. Some might call that "Numbing out." Again, I was 23, almost a year out of college, and flat-broke. I was working at a gallery for 15 dollars a day. I wasn’t working there for the pay; I was there because I fully believed in what they were doing and I was passionate to be a part of it. I had Sallie Mae breathing down my neck wanting their money. Arguing with them regularly, I would scream, "WHAT MONEY AM I SUPPOSE TO PAY YOU WITH? I DON’T HAVE ANY!" Convinced I was on their shit list and that a red alert came on their screen that said "HUGE BITCH" every time I called. Maybe it was all the weed that put me in a state of constant paranoia. Sorry Sallie Mae, actually fuck that you still want my money.
In a journal entry dated 1/19/2009 I wrote the following "Obamas Inauguration is tomorrow and I know things are going to get better, because, really they can’t get much worse. I have no money no job and frankly shit just sucks." On inauguration day I was with my friend Sara and we had gone to the Brooklyn Lyceum to watch history on a big screen. We cried, this was it, lets move forward. We headed to Pathmark afterward. Being flat broke we bought about 20 microwaveable Banquet meals that were on sale for $1.00. Chicken Fried Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, and the ever delicious Salsbury Steak Meal. $1.00 for bliss cooked in under three minutes. We were also really into instant coffee. God forbid we splurge on a coffee maker or anything that couldn’t be smoked. However, this day was a turning point. Slowly little by little since that day, things started to unfold. Odd jobs began trickling in, I was at the gallery, working at a photo studio, even doing a random data entry job in Greenpoint. Slowly a shift had begun to take place. I was lucky to live with friends, we all supported each other, pulled our selves out of funks and motivated one another to keep going further.
Four years later 1/21/13, I am sitting here watching the Inauguration for Obama’s second term. The top right corner of MSNBC says "Lean forward." Today I am in a much different place in my life. I’ve had a full time job for two plus years and manage to subside my Sallie Mae expenses as well as have some money left over for living. My pot smoking habit has become an occasional past time. The past has been nothing short of trans formative and I have no idea what lies ahead these next four years. I can only hope for the best outcomes and a continuation of moving forward, of feeling like we are actually heading somewhere. As Obama mentioned in his speech today "We must lead the transition."
Feels like just yesterday, huh? Well now we’re gonna do it all again. But better. Regardless of your stance on the election, the inauguration of Obama on Monday, January 21st is a good opportunity to head to DC, drink like you just got out of prison, and conquer the city’s top brunch and dinner places like a viking. Yeah, I want you to live it up. Not just because you only live once yadda yadda, but also because you paid good money for that train/bus/flight to be in the nation’s civic hub, so your weekend better be great. And withthis Inauguration guide, it certainly will be.
Just kidding. There’s no such thing as Peak Beyoncé.
So far, this week, GQ, surprising no one, featured Beyoncé on the cover of their "Sexiest Woman of the Century" issue, which is fitting because there is just no one else who could possibly. Later this month, she will sing the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, and a couple weeks later, perform at a large, televised concert bookended by a decidedly less important football game and premiere a self-directed HBO documentary. How could Beyoncé possibly top this eternally-rolling snowball of domination? By remembering the ’90s, obvs.
Destiny’s Child is back and releasing their first new track together in years to accompany Love Songs, a compilation of some of the R&B trio’s biggest, well, love songs, that will drop on January 29th. The album features slow-burners like "Emotion" and "Cater 2 U," along with "Nuclear," an all-new Pharrell-produced single. Let the Super Bowl reunion speculation begin, which would actually make up for several years of lackluster Super Bowl halftime shows.
Should we have a video party? Let’s have a video party.