Popular Culture

Did Jay-Z Cheat on Beyoncé or Do the Two Know How to Sell a Record?

Lemonade and the libertarian moment

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The release of Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade this weekend has stirred up a lot of online chatter about references to her husband, Jay-Z, cheating on her.

It's also apparently helped families talk about cheating and, of course, given race baiters an excuse to race bait. Lemonade has made the lemon emoji very popular and will likely boost sales of actual lemonade. (A reference to the Red Lobster chain in an album single released earlier this year contributed to a 33 percent rise in sales over one weekend.)

Lemonade was released first on Tidal, a streaming service owned in part by Jay-Z and Beyoncé and competing against iTunes and Google Music. Tidal is being sued for a promise Kanye West made on Twitter that his latest album, Life of Pablo, would only ever be available on Tidal. It is now available on iTunes and Google Music.

The boon Lemonade will be to Tidal—the album is now available for sale at other services but available to stream only on Tidal—has led some to question whether the infidelity mentioned in the album actually happened. It's reportedly making $3 million a day and could be single-handedly saving Jay-Z's business. Artists create fiction all the time, but the Tidal connection helps illustrate Beyoncé's power in the popular zeitgeist. Depending who you ask she's a feminist, feminist lite, or even anti-feminist. She's a voice for black people or for liberated women or for an entire generation. She's a cultural icon. Above all she's a global brand; she sells—a lot.

She is a product and master of free market capitalism. Rhetoric about not needing 18 kinds of sneakers doesn't leave space for a lot of artistic expression. Who needs Lemonade when there are starving children? All art is ideological and ought to serve the cause of "the people." It's not a caricature—it's the natural conclusion of what Sanders and his ideological fellow-travelers peddle as "democratic socialism."

The triumph of free markets is ultimately in their ability to improve conditions for everyone and creating the space for people to pursue whatever it is they want. The power of socialist ideas, democratic or otherwise, comes from tricking people into ignoring the increase in prosperity around them and where it came from. Albums, and phenomena, like Lemonade help illustrate the wonders of free markets, which operate for and benefit even those who say they don't believe in it.

Memes are the currency of millennials, that hard-to pin down group that says it hates capitalism but loves free enterprise, and I thought of all the memes surrounding Lemonade this one said it all:

via Instagram

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  1. what’s the millenial acronym du jour for “Are you fucking high why should anyone care please for the love of christ get a life people?”

    1. I’d answer your questions but I have to go twitter now.

    2. This must be some of that pandering to millenials I read about in a recent missive that arrived in my mailbox.

    3. dis shit basic af, stfu, idgaf

      whatever

      puhlease

      1. Omgwtfbbq!

  2. Another recent (or annual now) controversy/marketing scam is the Hugo Awards and Puppies.
    Best troll nominee: ‘Space Raptor Butt Invasion’ by Chuck Tingle
    http://www.thehugoawards.org/h…..go-awards/

    1. “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com)

      So now we know STEVE SMITH’s pen name. (Also can I get a ruling on whether the possessive “s” should be capitalized too?)

      1. SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)

        God is it good to see people fighting back against the madness.

        1. Vox Day is a piece of shit, though. He’s the last person you want on your side. He not only uses “cuckservative” unironically, he wrote a whole book about the brown hordes weakening the purity of the proud White race.

          1. Vox Day is a horrible person.

          2. I keep seeing Ann Leckie on these lists – any good?

            1. I haven’t read her. The praise of her work is fairly obnoxious and comes from dubious sources, but I try not to hold it against the work itself.

            2. I did read her ‘Ancillary Justice’ and, despite the SJW slobbering over it, it is very well written. Interesting point of view and world. Story could have used a little more meat but still solid.

            3. I read the trilogy, had a good time. Thought-provoking ideas.

          3. He not only uses “cuckservative” unironically

            Cuckservatives are so touchy. Truth hurts, don’t it?

            “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”
            ? Confucius

            1. ^Attention folks, we have an alt-right asshole on board: gas-masks are under the seats in front of you.

  3. I had really hoped this place would be a tiny oasis of sanity and not talk about this fucking album.

    1. You of all people should know that there are no safe spaces.

    2. I have been pretty successful so far in having no clue what this is all about.

      1. At least people giving her shit for it on there

    3. Krayewski is improving the world. For example, just about everything I know about Jay-Z, I learned just now.

      Doing the Lord’s work. This will be remembered, Ed.

    4. I saw some trailer on TV and thought it was going to be a science fiction movie.

      1. Be careful. Jezebel might accuse you of being “Becky with the good hair.”

        1. I prefer to be known as Miss Elizabeth, thank you

        2. Jezebel–and I’m not kidding, I just counted–has done 21 stories about this fucking album since it came out.

          1. Jezebel–and I’m not kidding, I just counted

            You scare me.

            1. He’s gotta do something to keep his mind that fucked up. It doesn’t naturally stay that way.

          2. Thanks for doing that so we don’t have to.

          3. this sounds like a challenge…

  4. “It’s also apparently helped families talk about cheating and, of course, given race baiters an excuse to race bait. Lemonade has made the lemon emoji very popular and will likely boost sales of actual lemonade (a reference to the Red Lobster chain in an album single released earlier this year contributed to a 33 percent rise in sales over one weekend.”

    ^ Every article you linked in this paragraph makes me think most Americans are too dumb to vote

    1. I mean:

      “”See, this is what I wish I could have done with my ex-husband when he cheated on me,” I tell my second (and last) husband, Pat Dixon, as he watches Lemonade with me (his first time, my fourth). “You see how angry Beyonc? is? Do you notice anything? She’s really angry, isn’t she?”

      Beyonc? is ripping it up onscreen, elegantly wielding a baseball bat in wicked style with a glint in her eyes: smashing windows, cars, security cameras, and, most of all, boundaries to what is stigmatized or what is too often left unspoken. And she hasn’t even gotten started on the monster truck yet.

      “It’s even more than the anger, though,” Pat observes as the visual album dazzles him ? how could it not? “She’s like Woman Jesus. She got cheated on for all of us.””

      1. Ah. Property destruction is the answer.

      2. The woman in that article is a fucking mess, and too stupid to realize it. She catches her ex-husband cheating on her, then marries another guy with a history of cheating. Then, as if she is entirely brain dead, she tries to womansplain to her new husband how bad cheating is.

        The fact that these people are actually capable of physically having sex without killing themselves is a marvel.

        1. The fact that these people are actually capable of physically having sex without killing themselves is a marvel tragedy.

        2. The woman in that article is a fucking mess, and too stupid to realize it.

          Well, I guess that depends on one’s standards and expectations. I have a couple of theories about why she *isn’t* stupid, nor is she a mess the way *I* would define myself as a mess.

          There is a whole slew of “urban romance” that isn’t the struggle for a man and a woman to work out a relationship, but for a woman to remain a thug’s top bitch OR for a thug’s side bitch to become the top bitch. Thug still has more than one, but who’s highest in the pecking order *is* the romance.

          I find the concept, um … yucky, but de gustibus non est disputandum.

          1. “De gustibus non est disputandum”

            i.e. Simultaneously the Millenial battlecry and reason we live in a fucking moral and cultural wasteland

    2. It’s also apparently helped families talk about cheating

      The album which hasn’t come out yet by the artist whose best work was probably 13-15 years ago can make families all over america talk.

      Its deeper than the superbowl halftime show, and wider than kanye’s ego.

      1. It’s already kind of come out in that they released the hour long movie version of it. I saw part of it well I was waiting for Game of Thrones to start.

        I thought it was pretty good, incidentally. I just don’t know why people act like decent pop albums are Super Serious Art these days and feel the need to write 700,000 articles analyzing the goddamn thing.

        1. Something tells me not every decent pop album gets this treatment.

        2. I blame al gore. publishing anything now is like air. no matter how much you want or need something if there’s no scarcity there’s no value.

  5. Who needs two alt texts? Me. I need two alt texts. This is why you have dropped in the rankings, Ed.

  6. She’s a voice for black people or for liberated women or for an entire generation. She’s a cultural icon. Above all she’s a global brand; she sells?a lot.

    She is also not as good as Rhianna. That’s right, I went there.

      1. “You can hold on to my full weight?”

    1. Yes she is. And Rihanna got cheated on AND beat up on by Chris Brown.

    2. I don’t care for either of them but Rihanna has a much better voice. Beyonce is just loud.

      1. Rihanna’s victim status points Beyonce’s victim status points.

  7. I once told a committed leftist that Jay Z is a complete hack as a rapper. She went bananas.

    1. Kind of a complete hack as the owner of the Brooklyn Nets, too.

  8. Play it backwards and it says:

    I’m Illuminati
    Yes I’m Illuminati
    I can be nice or naughty
    Cause I’m Illuminati

    1. Funny, when *I* played it backwards it said, “get a life, loser, maybe go outside once in a while.”

  9. I. barely know who these people are, and have zero idea about what this articles is discussing. I know Beyonc? has nice tits. That is all.

    1. My preferred takeaway is that they’re disingenuous, hypocritical assclowns, just like Bruce Springsteen and pretty much every other left wing anti-capitalism rhetoric spewing entertainment schmuck who ever lived.

      1. I don’t hear much about Beyonce and Jay-Z’s politics.

        1. Beyonce and Jay-Z’s politics.

          Che t-shirts, occasional celebrity-endorsements of bullshit causes.

          1. That’s pretty par for the course

            1. There was the Black Panther shoutout during the Superbowl…

            2. I remember when some thought that she was a closet Republican. I forget why, other than it had something to do with Dubya. And she’s from Texas. AFAIK she denied it.

      2. I’m more focused on her tits.

  10. WTF? In my Reason GET OFF MY LAWN!

    (Whatever happened to that whole generation who thought music was free?)

  11. Can anyone explain in which way Beyonc? brought up the cheating stuff? I’m not going to stream the album on Tidal.

  12. Michael Moore is another capitalist hero.

    1. His oreo addiction requires lots of funding!

    2. Capitalism for him, socialism for the rest of us.

  13. “You’re as faithful as your options” -Chris Rock.

  14. What’s with “Becky”? Don’t racist Black women say “Miss Elizabeth” anymore?

    1. I couldn’t find “Miss Elizabeth” in Urban Dictionary.

    2. Isn’t Becky one of the white women in the beginning of Sir Mixalot’s “I Like Big Butts” video?

      I wouldn’t know, I only watch the Boston Philharmonic.

  15. The craziest thing ever would be if some huge pop icon put out a virtual album full of nothing but songs extolling the wonders of capitalism and free markets, like a musical version of Atlas Shrugged.

      1. This is better.

  16. Is this why Rachel Ray got more hate than usual?

    1. Jay Z should find someone better to cheat with than a cooking show personality, even if she does have good hair.

  17. Didn’t Carrie Underwood already do the cheat on me song? How is this some type of breakthrough?

    1. Blacker and angrier?

    2. Didn’t Carrie Underwood already do the cheat on me song? How is this some type of breakthrough?

      Didn’t the HipHop/Rap world do an entire generation of music with wholly fabricated personalities, feuds, plot lines, subtext, and social commentary?

      I’m pretty sure they did. At least, I remember stealing a bunch of music like that.

  18. Who?

  19. *goes and plays “One Nation Under A Groove” to cleanse the palate*

  20. Lemonade has made the lemon emoji very popular and will likely boost sales of actual lemonade.

    Please let it break the Internet while it’s at it. I want to get off.

  21. Besides, I always liked Kelly Rowland better.

    YEAH, I SAID IT

  22. They’re analyzing this goddamn album like it’s the Zapruder film.

    “9 articles you should read to understand Beyonc?’s Lemonade ? from poetry to body art”

    Apparently you can’t understand pop albums anymore without reading 75,000 words worth of think pieces first.

    1. That tells you it’s not a very good pop album.

      If you can’t get your point across with your art, you’re a poor artist.

      1. The ideas in Beyonce’s album are not hard to understand. The problem is that certain people over-analyze pretty simple art so they can pretend that listening to Beyonce is Serious Business.

        1. they can pretend that listening to Beyonce is Serious Business.

          The only song I know by her is “Freakum Dress” – someone explain it to me please?

  23. Ima let you finish, but first I gotta say – Beyonce’s Album is the best ever an I ain’t even hearrrrd it yet. /Kanye

  24. And while we’re at it… WTF is a “visual album”?

    1. Long-form music video.

      1. I’d rather The Wall again. Not that cared for it much.

      2. Jay Z, Beyonce, Bernie & Trump go to Cuba…just a thought, and maybe a suggestion.

        1. If Jazy or Ja-Z, or whatever his name is, was Canadian he’d be JAY-ZED.

          1. Candian of Mexican descent: Yay-Zed.

            1. Jajajajajajaja

  25. Ed, does you contract require X column-inches per week? If so, before you do something like this again, contact me. I’ll give you the run down on how the gold fish fared this week; for more important.

  26. The one really awesome thing about getting older is being blissfully unaware of this kind of horseshit. Haven’t heard this album, likely will never hear it, and since I don’t waste my time with trash like Jezebel or Vox, I don’t see a million listicles and analyses of it. I have far better things to waste my time with, like watching hockey fights from the ’80s on YouTube while listening to the incredible 1998 Burning Airlines album Mission: Control!

  27. It was a popular drink. And it still is.

  28. Seriously Ed?

    Really Reason?

    Who thought ‘hey, let’s get in on that TMZish gossip bull shit between two people few around here give two shits about’?

    How does this remotely fit the objective of a libertarian publication with solid credentials (and an outstanding – ahem – community)?

    STOP DICKING AROUND WITH THIS RUBBISH.

  29. He did do a good job on his HG album.

    I just rather listen to Big L’s work than Jay Z, I can’t enjoy mainstream artists. Except for French’s first album… it got old though. I understand all the French Montana hate because I didn’t like him until around his album came out.

    French is like putting on big boy pampers before you start making money… and that, I can respect.

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  33. Yes of course it was probably planned. And dumb people fall for it just like they did with Kanye West and Taylor Swift. That bit of theater launched her entire career and helped his immeasurably as well.

  34. Even I, who generally don’t criticise the writers whose work provides the pretext for our comments, have to add my voice to the chorus demanding an end to these TMZ wannabe non-stories.

    Shit music and celebrity gossip has nothing to do with libertarianism. And even if it did, I STILL wouldn’t want to read about it.

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  36. Or do I care in the first place?

  37. Three out of every four people are tone-deaf, and many Americans have a poor grasp of consumer economics, or else everyone would call bullshit on Tidal. Jay-Z should buy out Neil Young’s share of Pono, just to see what happens.

  38. I figured people stopped listening to Jay-Z after he got owned by Nas in Ether?

    Not that any of these pukes know who Nas is anyway.

  39. i have a feeling that beyonce is one of those women that mentally you think will be amazing, and then you realize she has to learn how to have sex from a pop-up book. i would be willing to test this theory though.

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  45. RE: Did Jay-Z Cheat on Beyonc? or Do the Two Know How to Sell a Record?

    1. Who cares if A cheats on B.

    2. Yes, they both know how to sell a record.

    3. I wish them both more money, power and success.

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