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Thu Apr 28, 2016, 06:46 PM

Beyoncé’s Lemonade, the Future of Music, and the Gendered Use of the Word ‘Genius’

I, like much of the country, watched #Lemonade this weekend. Beyoncé’s visual album is some next-level “take your pain and turn it into art” shit. I love how deep she goes, not only into her own pain, but how it connects to previous generations of women in her family, and to the pain of all Southern black women. It’s amazing. A thought occurred to me as I watched it that had more to do with the wider music industry, and the way in which women are received and talked about in it.

After the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, many have questioned whether there is anyone out there who would be their like again. Now, of course, each of these musicians was unique, and made indelible contributions to music, changing the face of it forever. But the word GENIUS is thrown about, and we act as though “music is dead.”

I think of women like Madonna, and I wonder how she’ll be hailed when she inevitably passes away. She’s arguably had as huge and as lasting an impact on music as either Bowie or Prince, and yet I wonder if they’ll be throwing the word GENIUS around. They’ll chalk her impact up to “good marketing,” or say she was a “savvy businesswoman” the way they do with all women who manage to succeed, never attributing it to anything like talent. Or, as if the only talent women are allowed to have is self-promotion (when we’re not criticizing them for seeking attention).

When Prince or Bowie played with gender or were sexually charged, they were pioneers. They were challenging. Prince could be a “Sexy MF,” while Madonna was expected to constantly apologize for being sexual. Now that she’s older, she doesn’t have to apologize, but she is expected to cover up and stop it already. I wonder if Madonna will be talked about the same way as Prince, or as Michael Jackson was. Will things like her artistic vision, her songwriting, her producing, her creativity, how she inspired and continues to inspire — will any of that matter?


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Reply Beyoncé’s Lemonade, the Future of Music, and the Gendered Use of the Word ‘Genius’ (Original post)
ismnotwasm Apr 2016 OP
Name removed Apr 2016 #1
SunSeeker Apr 2016 #2

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 01:06 AM

2. K & R

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