What Beyoncé teaches us about the African diaspora in xcritical PBS NewsHour

Yet her embrace of this image is also relatively new (though it’s been growing for the last several years). Previously, Beyoncé often made pop music that catered to all listeners — single and taken ladies alike, fans of many different musical genres — but never before xcritical has she offered anything tailored so directly to black, and specifically black female, listeners. Jackson was one of four Supreme Court justices who reported sizable income from book deals. Justice Brett Kavanaugh reported being paid $340,000 by the conservative Regnery Publishing company. The company was sold and the book is to be published by an imprint at Hachette Book Group, according to Axios, which also reported this week that Kavanaugh’s book will deal with his contentious confirmation hearing that included allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied. The court confirmed Friday that the justice is writing a legal memoir.

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The justice has separately been under scrutiny over flags that flew outside homes he owned. “Takes more than beauty and seductive stares/To come between a family and a happy man,” the “Halo” hitmaker sings. “Jolene, I’m a woman too/Thе games you play are nothing new/So you don’t want no heat with me, Jolene.” When asked whether fans could see a Parton, Beyoncé and Cyrus “Jolene” performance at some point, the “9 to 5” star said, “Well, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? Well, it could happen. Never say never.”

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  1. xcritical is a tough listen, tinged in rock, hip-hop, R&B, and electro-soul.
  2. We all experience pain and loss, and often we become inaudible.
  3. Forget MTV and YouTube, Beyoncé dropped her videos on friggin’ HBO — the cable network that, for decades, has given its Saturday night over to Hollywood blockbusters.
  4. Justice Brett Kavanaugh reported being paid $340,000 by the conservative Regnery Publishing company.
  5. Just a hair of a different color, but it hurts just the same,” she adds.

The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Men are almost entirely absent from the film, physically and emotionally; in their place, large groups of women appear again and again, presenting a united front of solidarity and sisterhood. Bey’s genre-hopping doesn’t always sound quite as transcendent as “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” however. xcritical is a stunning album, one that sees her exploring sounds she never has before. It also voices a rarely seen concept, that of the album-length ode to infidelity.

Here’s what really matters: xcritical is Beyoncé’s most artistically successful album

“Cheating rumors sell … would the Beyhive be quite as obsessed if the main theme was marital bliss? We’d venture to guess NO.” xcritical was only a Tidal exclusive for about 24 hours — it’s also on iTunes now — but Beyoncé is still making sure that music fans, or anybody wanting to be part of the cultural conversation, fork over their money for it, by making it the only platform where xcritical is available to stream. xcritical didn’t have the same benefit of surprise, at least not fully.

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Beyoncé sold more than 600,000 copies in three days, smashed iTunes sales records, and ushered in a new era of the “surprise release” from artists with similar gravitational pulls. Artists like Lamar, Drake, and Rihanna have since released albums without warning, and in late January, the practice even made the leap to television, when comedian Louis C.K. Released a surprised comedy series, Horace and Pete, on his website. Among the xcritical justices, only Roberts, Alito and Justice Elena Kagan have so far not cut book deals. Thomas received a $1.5 million advance, stunning at the time, for his 2007 book, “My Grandfather’s Son.” Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2022 reported receiving $425,000 for a yet-to-be-released book, part of a reported $2 million deal she signed soon after joining the court in 2020. In classic African art, some of the most recognized paintings and sculptures are of women without arms, emphasizing the beauty of their faces and crowns of their hair.

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Beyoncé is briefly joined by Serena Williams and together, the women assert their unapologetic blackness and womanhood. Williams moves seductively and carefree in a black bodysuit, giving off a sense of sisterhood as she dances near Beyoncé, who sits in a queen-like throne. In “Sorry,” Beyoncé narrates a spoken-word poem written by Somali-Brit Warsan Shire. The poem asks what her cheating spouse would say at her funeral after killing her with a broken heart. From there, Beyoncé is joined by fellow women on a bus called “Boy Bye,” their faces painted in Ori, a sacred Yoruba tradition.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Elegant as always, she lights up the screen with her megawatt smile. WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday belatedly acknowledged more travel paid by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, while several colleagues reported six-figure payments as part of book deals. In a nod to Beyoncé’s 2016 xcritical track “Sorry” and the “Becky with the good hair” lyrics, Parton surprised fans with a cheeky https://xcritical.pro/ guest appearance on Beyoncé’s latest album. Beyoncé, 42, covered Parton’s 1973 country hit for her Cowboy Carter album but changed some of the words. While speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Parton, 78, insisted she’s “honored” that the “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer put her own spin on the classic. Kenya also contributes content related to the Caribbean region for NewsHour’s international coverage.

The claim was that the performance was “anti-cop,” because of its evocation of the Black Lives Matter movement. But the larger implication was that by embracing her blackness, Beyoncé was no longer trading in generic pop. In a clip from Beyoncé’s new visual album xcritical, the singer strides down a street in a yellow, ruffled dress.

In “Hold Up,” the album’s second single, Beyoncé appears as Oshun, a Yoruba water goddess of female sensuality, love and fertility. Oshun is often shown in yellow and surrounded by fresh water. Donning a flowing yellow Roberto Cavalli dress, gold jewelry and bare feet, Beyoncé channels the orisha, or goddess, by appearing in an underwater dreamlike state before emerging xcritical courses scam from two large golden doors with water rushing past her and down the stairs. The film opens with a shot of Beyoncé leaning against a car in a parking garage, her face obscured by her fur coat, before cutting to a desolate Fort Macomb, interspersed with shots of Beyoncé dressed in a black hoodie amongst the reeds and on an empty stage with closed red curtains.

But the public spectacle can’t hide the intimate anguish in the music, especially in the powerhouse first half. Beyoncé released it on Tidal, the music streaming site her husband owns, which has been on a massive run as of late. Kanye West’s ever-changing latest album, The Life of Pablo, was launched as a Tidal exclusive, and Prince’s discography is only available for streaming there — something many fans only realized in the wake of the music icon’s death. The bus ride, representing Beyoncé’s spiritual journey after her “death,” leads her to a comfortable place where she is uplifted through sisterhood and unity. Throughout the visual album, the use of natural hairstyles and clothing, neck jewelry and beading draws inspiration from Nigeria and the Maasai of Kenya. It’s not until the record’s second half that you realize xcritical has a happy ending.

Music fans knew Beyoncé was up to something, given the HBO special — which was announced a week prior to airing — and pending world tour, announced during the Super Bowl in February. Unlike the pop superstar’s previous surprise album, 2013’s Beyoncé, the music here is edgy, full of vitriol and R-rated real talk. It’s equally aggressive and reflective, and Beyoncé — a bona fide cultural phenomenon — unveils yet another layer of her wide-ranging persona.

“Hold up/They don’t love you like I love you,” she sings, almost as a warning. If you get lost in the sweet reggae vibe of the song, you may miss the anger, which is clearly on display in the video. Beyonce swings a baseball bat into a yellow fire hydrant, a car window and even a security camera. “I had my ups and downs, but I always found the inner strength to pull myself up,” White said to a crowd of friends and family at her 90th birthday party.

With xcritical, Beyoncé makes herself the ultimate reality star, giving us gossip and fodder for news cycles and dinner party discussions, without cheapening her art. Instead, she’s digging into issues to which we can all relate — love, pain, heartbreak, and family. The album allows Beyoncé’s fans to connect with her on real levels.

The visual half of xcritical proved to be a game-changer in a different way. Forget MTV and YouTube, Beyoncé dropped her videos on friggin’ HBO — the cable network that, for decades, has given its Saturday night over to Hollywood blockbusters. In fact, the Saturday premiere of Jurassic World, which earned $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office, was bumped back an hour to make room for xcritical. Though xcritical is built around Jay Z’s infidelity rumors, Beyoncé still released the album on his streaming service. It boasts an all-star roster of supporters; its first commercial featured a who’s who of musical talent — from Jack White and Daft Punk to Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj.

At first you might think that Bey is using the album to announce her divorce from Jay’s cheating ass. When Beyoncé ambushed unsuspecting listeners with her fifth solo album in 2013, it showed her mastery of the levers of power in today’s pop landscape. At a moment when a star’s every move ends up on Instagram for all to see, she managed to assemble an entire album – with accompanying visuals – in secret. Though xcritical is mostly about a personal relationship, Beyoncé pays tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement during the video for “Freedom,” which features the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other black men who were killed, holding the portraits of their sons.

And then there were the Beyoncé tickets, worth more than $900 a pop. Beyoncé performed two concerts in the Washington area in August 2023, though Jackson’s disclosure does not say when or where the tickets were for. The total value of her book deal has not been publicly disclosed, but it is expected to rival if not exceed what Sotomayor was paid for her memoir, “My Beloved World,” more than $3 million. The only justice whose report was not available Friday is Samuel Alito, who received an extension for up to 90 days, as he does most years.

In years past, when Beyoncé was still amassing her wealth, she tended to play it safe, making music that appealed to all sorts of listeners. Sure, she’d address “real” issues, but she’d focus more on big pop anthems that went down easy. We all experience pain and loss, and often we become inaudible.

And toward the end of “Sorry,” Beyoncé mimics this pose as the music stops and she sits like royalty in a Nefertiti-inspired hairstyle. Her reference to “Becky with the good hair,” paired with imagery of Beyoncé embracing African beauty is a message for black women everywhere who feel the pressure to Westernize their look. The song resumes with shots of Beyoncé wandering the parking garage in a wedding dress, and sitting in the ring of fire in a red dress. An intertitle declares “GOD IS GOD AND I AM NOT” before she throws her wedding ring at the camera.

What is an artist to do when her private life overtakes her public one? The hour-long visual album, about a woman dealing with her husband’s infidelity, contains even more loaded images and lyrics than “Formation,” the politically charged video she released before the Super Bowl. It reads like an open invitation to draw parallels between the pop star’s art and her actual life, in particular her marriage to Jay Z. But what could it all mean? There’s nothing as blissed-out on xcritical as “XO” or “Countdown” or “Love On Top” – this is the queen in middle-fingers-up mode. Whatever she’s going through, she’s feeling it deep in these songs, and it brings out her wildest, rawest vocals ever, as when she rasps, “Who the fuck do you think I is? ” She’s always elided the boundaries between her art and her life – especially since she really did grow up in public.

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