‘Orange Is the New Black’ Teaches Life Lessons Beyond the Bars #31WriteNow

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I’m tardy for the party, but I couldn’t go another day without writing about Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series has taken media by story, and rightly so. I had no idea what OITNB was, let alone that it was based on a memoir by Piper Kerman. A couple of weeks later, I went into watching it blindly, only a segment from the Melissa Harris Perry Show as a prompt that it was worth a watch. Best decision ever. I’m halfway through the season (Sorry, I can’t binge watch TV).

Piper Chatman, a quirky ex-lesbian, finds herself in jail for 18 months after being convicted of involvement in a drug ring.  Up until that point, she’d been engaged to her boyfriend and living a very upper middle-class life full of iPhones, iced coffees and Toms.

Without any spoilers, here are a few reasons I love this show:

Everyone has a story.

More than the main character, the series focused on each woman character and her story leading up to her imprisonment. The women who are mean, guarded, happy, even though they’re stuck in prison all had lives before they entered those doors. What happened to them to cause them a stint to the Big House wasn’t always their faults, but merely a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they willingly committed a crime, but for good reason. There’s a motivation and reason behind everything we do and everything we become. The same rules apply for us outside of the prison.That person who you think is the most awful person on the planet, or the coldest wasn’t always that way.

You can’t escape rites of passage. 

Piper’s life was a living hell the first few weeks in prison. No matter how much the women tried to show her ropes to make the transition easier, she made a mistake anyway that she had to learn from. Sounds like life to me.

You can bounce back if you’re innovative. 

Piper used her smarts to make her life in prison better than what it was. There, no one cared about her education, her upcoming body care line or whatever. She had to adapt to her situation and change her way of thinking to come up with a way around her obstacle.

When someone spazzes out in mid-sentence, you’re dealing with a real one.

No background needed. Just fall in line or stay away…Hey Crazy Eyes.

The line between selfishness and being true to yourself is almost invisible sometimes. 

Sophia, one of my favorite characters was honest to a fault. In her quest to become the woman she always wanted to become, she embarrassed her family and But she was still honoring her true self. Well, not really…just watch it.

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Things I Learned from Beyonce’s Documentary

beyonce-life-is-but-a-dream-the-jasmine-brandLike almost everyone else, I watched Beyonce’s anticipated documentary, Life Is But a Dream this weekend. You’ll notice that I’m not even addressing the Oprah interview because well, it was a wash. Too much eye shifting and conversation cut-offs for me. As for the documentary, I’ll say up front that I don’t feel any “closer” to her as a fan. She didn’t spill the tea, as some of you would say, and I didn’t expect her to. Instead, she talked as openly as she chose to a camera on her laptop.

Remember the MTV show, Diary? It reminded me of an extended version of that: a glimpse into the life of your favorite star, produced and edited perfectly for public consumption. I knew that was going to happen, but seeing as how Mrs. Carter’s interviews have always left much to be desired, I guess we needed this to feel like she was letting us in on her world. Aside from having a million dollar endorsements, being married to a husband equally as successful as she and having the ability to look fresh-faced and dewy at all times of the day , she’s really just like us.

I did learn a few things though.

She calls Jay-Z, “Jay” like everyone else. In the recent years that she’s even began to refer to her long-term boyfriend, now husband by his name, she doesn’t call him by his government name. I just knew that she called him Shawn. Maybe because I always think of a lyric to his song, “Jigga” where he says, “All I gotta do is let ‘em call me Sean, they glad.”I don’t know her life though. For we know, he could be “Sean” or even “Bae.”

She names songs by the hook or most prominent line like everyone else—even her own. Let’s be real, black folks are notorious for this. We never know the official title for songs, just the lines we like, and we refer to them as such. We’re such special people. During one of her “confessionals,” she says she wants to listen to “Make Love to Me,” and make love to her husband. Wait. Did you mean “1+1,” Bey? Because that’s the real title. Cool.

She curses…like everyone else. For whatever reason, she used to blame her foul mouth on Sasha Fierce’s nautiness. She jokingly screamed out “Aww shiiit!” after a vocal flub in the studio, then during her live cover of “Resentment” took a bitter left turn as she ad libbed the lyrics with “…like that wack bitch could!” Hurt much?

But lest we forget these classes curses from “Diva” and “Ego” on her 2008 I Am. Sasha Fierce album respectively. “How you gon’ be talkin’ shit? You act like I just got up in it” and “Ego so big, you must admit. I got every reason to feel like I’m that bitch.”

It’s okay, Bey. Shit happens.

She really is dangerously in love. Look, we all knew that, but the footage from Jay’s birthday dinner sealed everything

She still uses sponge rollers. Talk about revealing secrets! That’s what I’m talmbout, Bey! When I saw she had that hair tightly coiled on the pink sponge rollers, I thanked God I was born in the 80s. That’s how she looked so fresh and vibrant in those Blue Ivy welcome pictures. I’m not even mad. Not even.

Everyone has a right to privacy. She really didn’t have to tell the world she had a miscarriage, you know. As the Internet Age rolls on, we’re made to believe that we have a right to know everything going on in someone else’s life. She agrees, saying we’re “brainwashed.” Yes, for some, there’s always been an obsession to get to know celebrities beyond whatever it is they do. What’s their favorite song? What makes them cry or what’s their greatest fear?

Briefly, I was annoyed because she didn’t share much, but why does she have to? As a fan, I’m only entitled to good music and what she leaves on the stage, and even that is on her terms. People don’t owe us anything.

I loved her awareness and thankfulness to God. No, I won’t appease and say a “higher power.” I’ve always thought that people who are wildly successful—the Beyonces, Micheal Jacksons and Oprahs of the world (and there aren’t that many) know their lives are such because of God. What else is there? My favorite quote from her has to be during the nature footage when she says, “Thanks be to Jesus.” Indeed, Bey. I’m sure she brought many Behyhive souls to Christ with that one. LOL

I’ve got to get to that tour. Nah, I don’t have tickets, but it’s not for a lack of trying. I don’t want to know her life, when she makes love to her husband or how she puts an awesome light show together for a performance, I just need that music and the energy. The performance footage got me sooooo hype! I can’t wait to shake a tail feather with her. It WILL happen.

School Daze Turns 25

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How time flies. Yesterday, 25 years ago, one of the best movies ever made (in my opinion), School Daze was released. If you don’t stop whatever you’re doing to watch this classic film when it comes on, I’m definitely giving you a side-eye.

I was seven years old when it was released, and I don’t recall my first time seeing it, but it my crash course for HBCU college life. It was the predecessor to Drumline and Stomp the Yard, and even gave Hillman College on A Different World a run for its money. To me, it was a perfect depiction of life on a Historically Black College campus, and I wanted in. When I was younger, the best parts of the movie were acting out “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Tonight” (I know all of the choreography) or singing along to “I Can Only Be Me.” It wasn’t until I attended college at Southern University, a HBCU, that I fully understood what was going on in the movie

Fifteen years later, the same things shown in the film were still happening campuses across the nation: colorism and hair issues between African American students, pledging fraternities and sororities, relationships, social activism, compromise of morals and yes, major partying. My college experience looked very much like School Daze. I realized after it was over that you really did a learn about yourself during those formative years. You grow up—hopefully.

Everyone knows the iconic end of the movie—Dap, played by Lawrence Fishburne, rings the bell on the yard of Mission College and screams “WAKE UP!!!” as people file out of their dorms in their pajamas. With humor and real life stories, Lee wanted us to get our heads, not just our beds, and see the bigger picture. How much of ourselves will we compromise to be in the “in crowd”? Just how far were we willing to go to be loved or accepted? How long will we base our self-worth on our complexions and hair? How long will be servants to self, instead of others?

By now, I’ve gotten the lessons from the movie, so I’m free to going back to the childlike state whenever I pop the DVD in and revel in the music and performances. Thank you, Mr. Lee, for giving us School Daze. It will always be a treasure to us. Now, excuse me as I pretend to be one of the Gamma Rays on the homecoming stage.

The Best Man 2…Is It Too Late?

 

While perusing my usual daily sites, I stumbled across a headline. According to “the innanet and blogs,” Malcolm Lee, the producer of The Best Man, arguably a classic released during the era of black romance comedies in the early 2000s is creating a sequel to be released in November 2013. After we have watched it repeatedly on BET, TVOne and premium channels and mimicked our favorite lines (“Hugo Boss…prestigious law firm? Need I say more?”) for years on end, part two is finally on the way. Now how do we really feel about that?

It’s unnecessary. The length of time since we all packed the theater to see the original is a factor. It was released 14 years ago in 1999. Do we still care about what happened to the group of college friends enough to cosign a full production?

 

Then, the characters were around 28-30 years old. That means in the sequel they should be anywhere between 40 and 45 years-old. Not to say that getting older isn’t interesting or sexy, but it takes a bit more creativity to spice up a story about individuals who are no longer living for the chance to sleep with a would-be flame during a wedding weekend in their 20s. You remember the lackluster reviews for Sex and the City 2 once “the girls” gave up the chase and all settled down (I was flabbergasted when I realized Samantha was “fifty-fucking-two.”)? What’s good now that the gang as grown up?

Let’s take Bad Boys 2 as an example of a sequel released much later than the original. Released eight years later, it still hit the mark for action, storylines and comedy. So much so, that we’re still crossing our fingers for part three today and a green light was given for production almost two years ago. Unlike The Best Man or Love and Basketball, Bad Boys 2 was based on the series theme, rather than what happened next with the characters’ story lines. I’m not so interested in seeing another “Best Man,” unless Quentin finally marries Shelby. Now, that would be comedy.

My point is: sequels are very tricky. Sometimes the movies we love shouldn’t be tampered with. If you’re going to bring a black all-star cast together like The Best Man’s cast again, how about producing a new movie altogether on a different subject matter? Lord knows, we are due for some new stories, even if they are with the same go-to actors. Le sigh.

Since it’s definitely going to happen, I’d like to know if Harper and Robin ever really get married, or did he back out at the last minute? Did he really become a bestseller or even a Christian? Is Jordan in a relationship and/or a mother or is she still career-driven and “one step away from lesbian” like she was portrayed? How did Lance cope with Mia sleeping with Harper in the long run? I’m curious to see how they will answer our questions and create new drama packed with valuable lessons like the first. Then again, that’s what writers are for.

So, I’ll be in the theater with my box of Lemonheads (brought from home) ready to see what the producers and writers have in store, but this time, hopefully, I won’t think Taye Diggs is “self-serving, backstabbing bastard,” and I definitely won’t let out a loud scream when Morris Chestnut enters the room. The thrill is gone.

‘Sparkle’ Barely Shines, But Teaches Timeless Lessons

I didn’t care for the remake of Sparkle. *insert sad face here*

I know. I can’t believe it myself. It was glossy and fresh with a new story line, a star-studded cast and even Whitney Houston lent her beautiful voice to scene (of course, I cried a little.). All of that, and I still wasn’t impressed. There was a little shine, but not enough sparkle for me.

I should tell you first that Sparkle is one of my favorite movies. It’s another that my mama made me watch as a child (look at the others at Ebony.com). I’m in love in with eras of the past and how we looked and lived in them. Lonette McKee as Sister, to me, was the real star of the movie even though Irene Cara as Sparkle, the film’s namesake, was the one who struggled to keep her dreams alive while falling in love for the first time and nurturing a “sick” sister.

Salim Akil’s Sparkle was stripped, too clean and lacked that “vintage” feeling, despite the costumes and sets reminiscent of old Detroit. I didn’t see the dirty pain that Sister went through with Satin Struthers in the original. Mike Epps is a great actor, but not believable as a villain. I couldn’t really follow the story either. I couldn’t figure out if seeing the original or not seeing it would have made the adaptation better. It was set in the 1960s, but for a while, it seemed to be set in today’s time. Overall, the original premise was there, but there was a completely different twist to each character.

Here’s what I liked: Jordin Sparks was excellent! We need more music from her, and she should totally consider acting as another gig. Derek Luke really embodied Stix. He has a great ability to act in these encouraging “You can do it” roles opposite women. The ladies’ clothes were gorgeous, but the choreography? Eh. I’m probably being petty though.

Here’s where I went wrong though. I didn’t do my homework on the adaptation first, so I went in expecting the original movie. All I saw were three ladies in pretty dresses singing those old Aretha Franklin songs I loved so much, so everything else from the original movie should have been there, too. Not true. Had I read early reviews or even visited the website, I would’ve known that T.D. Jakes produced the film. He’s done some great movies (Jumping the Broom, Not Easily Broken) that address relevant issues in relationships, from infidelity to guilt, but with a Christian spin, without hitting you over the head with it.

Taking that into consideration, there were several themes in the movie that now, I can see: forgiveness, faith, love and using your gifts for good. If Sparkle doesn’t do anything else for you, it will teach a lesson about following your dreams, even if you have to go against those you love. Faith in your gift to succeed is really faith in God, and that’s what matters.

Go see it if you need something to do for leisure. As long as you let the original Sparkle concept go, you’ll be fine.

 

Thoughts While Watching Love and Hip Hop

I didn’t watch LHHA with my Twitter family. I was too busy taming the beast that is my hair. I should probably watch it again because I’m sure I missed a few things, but here are a few thoughts I had while watching. Of course, I shouted them to the tv as if they could talk back to me, but since they didn’t I might as well share them with you.

Mimi says she wants 20 percent of Stevie J’s business? Fair enough. Apparently, she might as well get paid in exchange for her grievances, but really isn’t she doing this to keep an eye on him and possible wreck Joseline’s career (if there’s one to be wrecked)?

Why in the WORLD did this girl take a pregnancy test in a public bathroom?? Did she not want her spot to be on camera? A PUBLIC bathroom? She could’ve gone to the restroom in the studio for all that.

Why were the cameras all in the bathroom with her?? Reality television doesn’t believe in privacy, and neither does she.

Did she really put a pregnancy test in her bag? I mean, didn’t she urinate on that thing? I didn’t see her use hand sanitizer, drop it in a plastic Ziploc bag like it’s evidence on CSI or anything. She just pulled it out of the bag, like, “HERE!!” LOL. Stevie J’s face was priceless.

I didn’t know any better, I’d think I MIGHT COULD like Rasheeda’s song, “Marry Me.” Cast ye not the first stone…

Rasheeda is beautiful.  Always has been since her days with Pastor Troy, but ummm, lose criss-cross braids, ma’am.

This Karlie chick is playing both MiMi and Joseline. She’s all about self, and she will be exposed soon enough.

Lil’ Scrappy’s thick Atlanta accent will never NOT be funny. Nothing to add here.

Stevie J can’t lie with a straight face if his life depended on it. Nothing to add here.

Lastly, he’s talented, like really. I almost fell for the piano and song. I’m sucker for music, so it infuriated me that he’s doing the most, yet makes such beautiful music. I mean, he wrote this…

Le sigh. Damn you, Stevie J! Damn you!!!!

How played did Joseline feel when he responded to her pregnancy test? Basically, he suggested that she abort the baby. That should’ve been taken care of “off the rip.” (Thanks Stevie! I added that to my vocabulary. I guess you’re good for something other than good music.)

What’d I miss?

Lessons from Love and Hip Hop

For the past two months, reality television buffs have been engulfed by the second season of Love & Hip Hop —whether we’ve wanted to or not. The original cast of girlfriends, baby mamas and singers-to-be were joined by three more ladies to serve up what we hate to love: DRAMA. From knock-out fights to more drink-throwing, this season held no punches, possibly topping the foolishness of Basketball Wives and Real Housewives of Atlanta. Like clockwork, essays and commentary about how the show falsely represents African-American women swirled around the media. They’re not even married to these men in hip-hop. In fact, this season focused on heartbreak more than love. How about calling the show These Girls Goin’ Through It, instead?

Weekly, I, along with millions, joined in on the Twitter discussion. It went something like this: Where do they find these women?  I mean, us college-educated, employed, “independent” women, we don’t know women like these, right? Wrong. We do. We might one of them. These designer label-wearing glamazons might have gone the extra mile by throwing a blow or some expletives around, but you know someone who’s stayed in a relationship that should’ve ended eons ago. You know someone who has issues in her professional life. You know someone who has “Mama and Daddy issues.” So as much as we’d like to throw the entire cast and producers under the bus, we could learn some universal lessons from these chicks. Feel free to add to the list.

Never mix business with pleasure. Ahem Yandy. Unless you’re in business with your SPOUSE serving up ribs and over the top affection like the Neely’s, feelings and money don’t mix. A friend recently told me that feelings are defined as “an unreasoned opinion or belief,” so many of our emotions can be based on pixie dust, which results making irrational and hasty decisions. You could be left with no money nor honey, all of which is a very bad thing. Sometimes it’s better to use your mind than your heart.

A man will always go to bat for his woman over his homegirl. That is, unless he realized the woman is schizo and needs a way out. Otherwise, no matter how well you “hold him down,” make a way for him to provide for himself and family or be that shoulder to cry on behind closed doors, remember, he sleeps with his woman (even if he sleeps with you, too). She may be crazy, but in some way, she takes care of him and even better, he likes it and loves her. Sorry, honey, but you’ll have to the “L.” It is what it is.

Maturity does have a number. At no point in your 40s (or 30s and shoot, 20s) should you be scrapping like a 7th grader in middle school. It’s just not…sexy. If you  stand on being a real woman, jumping on another woman should be the last option in settling any disagreement. In the end, you look stupid, your makeup is smeared and you probably lost a track or two and one of those earrings you love so much. And we all know having only one earring in a pair is earth shattering. ALWAYS act like a lady.

There’s a fine line between holding on to dreams and being stupid. How many of us have dreams we’d like to fufil, but we know realistically that we have to start from scratch? *raises hand* Yeah, I’d love to quit my job and write full-time, but um, I got bills. I’m a proponent of “stepping out on faith” and not settling, yet, I have to make ends meet, so I pound the pavement Monday through Friday. Also, if an opportunity presents itself, why not show you can rise to the top standing on small beginnings? It beats standing on nothing at all, and the story is much sweeter in the end.

A sense of entitlement will have you looking crazy, but hard work will pay off. “Hey, look at me. You have to sign me to a bomb-ass deal because I sang hooks and put out one song back in 2002. I deserve this!” Sound familiar? Yeah, we can swindle our way out of blessings we think we deserve so much based on old stuff. While you’re complaining and producing mediocre results, that chick up the street is hungry for YOUR (old) spot and is putting in work to get it. (Reference: See Olivia vs. Somaya)

Your issues will deal with you if you don’t deal with them first. 

Everyone’s got atleast one. Some run deeper than others, but if abandonment, self-image and neglect issues haven’t been addressed as early as possible, you could be headed down a dark road. Who knew that seeing mama and daddy fight as a kid could affect your choices in men and how you begin/grow a family? Yes, there is a point where we must take personal responsibility for how we live our lives. Stop blaming others for our mess-ups. However, in doing that, it’s impossible not to figure out why you do what you do. In other words, get some counseling. No judgement here.

Peace of mind is better than lifestyle.

How many women have stayed in relationship to their detriment for fear that if they leave, they’ll be  scrubs (again)? I’m sure zillions, from lily-white multi-millionaires to rap stars and your run-of-the-mill dopeboy around the corner. Comfort does that to you. That job you have is killing you softly and affecting your family life and relationships, yet you stay because of the pay and benefits. Your car note is breaking you,  but driving a Benz feels so…exotic. Same thing with relationships. You can wrap yourself in minks and jewels for the onlookers, but you’re tore up in face from crying. At some point, a clear mind and light heart must win the game. If not, at least you can suffer and look good while you’re doing it. Make a choice.

Be careful who you talk to and who you call “friend.”

Newsflash: Everybody isn’t your friend, and they aren’t concerned about your story as much as they are in simply hearing it. So what, both of ya’ll were latch-key kids and ate cornbread and cold Pop Tarts every day? Just because two people share a common struggle doesn’t mean one won’t use your information against you or broadcast what was supposed to be confidential. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your experiences, as they can help someone else, but choose carefully who you share them with.

Relationships aren’t cookie-cutter.

Shoot me, but I think Chrissy and Jim will get married (eventually). I felt basic as ever as I shed tears when he proposed (I was probably emotional anyway at the time). The next day, his proposal was scrutinized because he didn’t put the ring on her finger, he didn’t get down on one knee, etc. And? That wasn’t his style. Know the person you’re dating and how far they’re likely to go. They’ve been together, and they still haven’t married, so he probably won’t. Huh? Says who? Let’s all do what works for us individually. Hell, some folks like shacking up. Who am I to judge?

Sometimes friends have to remain separate.

Remember that time you tried to hang out with your friends from high school and your new friends from college? Or your friends from work and your friends from around the way? How’d that work out for ya? Actually, in my experience, I didn’t have problems, but the lesson is it’s not our job to be Super Friend and bring everyone together. This is real life, not a “We Are the World” video. We are different things to different people, and realistically everyone won’t like everyone. So, if you must bring two separate groups together, if you sense friction, don’t do a do-over. You’ll be the one the headache, not them.

Why This Black Girl Isn’t Offended by “Sh*t Black Girls Say”

Last week was a week for the books in 2011 for me. I wasn’t feeling like myself and secretly wished someone would give me a cape so I could jump of my second floor window of my office. If I could snap my fingers, I’d be anywhere but at work doing mail-outs, but my #1 wish was to be in my bed. Alas, none of that happened, and I had to grin and bear it through the day. I logged onto to Clutch and clicked on the video for “Sh*t Black Girls Say,” a spin-off of “Sh*t Girls Say,” (which I hadn’t seen yet, but it’s funny, too.). I. DIED.

I sat at my desk shaking trying to hold back the tears of laughter.  I immediately forwarded it to my girls, and we sent back our favorite questions and catch phrases that we thought Billy Sorrells (the actor) should add for the next episode because there HAS to be another episode. The shit was FUNNY.

Apparently, not everyone has our sense of humor though (you don’t know what you’re missing). After a few days and over a million viewer hits, I began to see posts suggesting the video was offensive. Come on, people. Really? To whom? Last time I checked, I’m a “black girl,” and while I don’t rock weave or wear shades with the connecting chain (I do know someone who has them though.), I’ve said quite a few of those phrases. “Delete, delete, delete”  and “It’s hot in here!” being my favorites. Am I suggesting that every black girl is the same, has the same conversations with her girlfriends and significant others? Nope. We’re all different as a result of our upbringings and experiences. Somewhere, there’s a black girl who doesn’t “get it” at all. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn’t mean it’s offensive.

Do I need to get on these “Neo-blacks” again? Why is it okay for us to laugh at “Sh*t Everyone Else in the World Says,” but not ourselves? No, it’s not a 100 percent representation of us, but are any of the others? It’s fun and it’s lighthearted so why are we soooo uptight? An important lesson to learn is just because it’s not YOUR reality doesn’t mean it isn’t someone else’s. Where were you when John Singleton released Baby Boy, two hours filled with baby mamas, bootlegging, profanity and violence? Talk about someone who couldn’t relate. I watched the movie for the first time my jaw dropped pretty much the entire time. Now, it’s one of my favorites. It’s not offensive to me because someone lives that life, and who am I to judge? Where were you when In Living Color was the most viewed comedy sketch on network television? The cast made fun of everyone. People were offended then, but if you can watch “Men on Film,” you can definitely watch “Sh*t Black Girls Say.”

There’s truth in humor. That’s what makes it so funny. Is that what you’re afraid of?

Next, Benita Miller, founder of The Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective, was quoted in the Huffington Post’s story, “Sh*t Black Girls Say” Video Goes Viral, But Offends Some Black Women”  as saying  to the Daily News,”While those images are funny to those of us who are well-educated, some young people don’t know how to filter the message”

No offense, Ms. Miller, but of all messages for our young girls to filter, you think this one is target worthy? How about some of Nicki Minaj’s videos, these provocative series about sex and drugs on MTV or any of the countless reality television shows that are shown every half hour (hello Erica Mena and Kimbella). Parents and “the village” should talk to girls about whatever they deem acceptable or not. Point blank, period.

So, in closing, much success to Billy Sorrells and the writer, Lena Waithe (a black woman *gasp*) for making millions us of laugh.  For those who are clutching their pearls over this hilarious video, I’ll leave you with some sh*t this black girl says:  Girl, bye!

Beyonce’ and the Smarty-Art Syndrome: It’s Not That Deep

I haven’t written in over a week, mainly because there’s nothing I care to share my thoughts on, and unlike those who’ve taken the bravest step to freelance, published stories aren’t my bread and butter. I’ve been on mute until I  saw commentary on Beyoncé’s new promo photo for her new single, “Best I Never Had” yesterday.

Upon first glance of the picture I thought simple thoughts like, Go Bey! That’s different. Love the whole lipstick writing on the mirror concept. That never gets old.  NecoleBitchie.com later posted “Beyonce is Calling Herself a “King.” What’s the Problem?” Apparently, people have taken issue with Mrs. Knowles-Carter. Why does there have to be a problem? Maybe this is another alter ego she’s yet to let out of the closet. Let the girl do her thing. She’s promoting an album, for God’s sake!

People, stop with this Smarty Art Syndrome. (Please, tell me you’re familiar with my reference to Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain stand-up.) Maybe I’m not using my intelligence to its fullest capacity, but why are we making Beyoncé’s comeback so deep, let alone a promotion photo? First, it’s questioning if she’s now a feminist because she release “Run the World (Girls),” now we’re on to discussing gender roles because she wrote “King B” in Wet ‘N Wild Bubblegum Pink on a mirror? Use that brain power to work a math problem.

As far as her allegiance to women’s issues , she co-wrote “Independent Women” (throw your hands up at me) and gives us ladies the best divalicious and men-bashing anthems ever. Maybe she is a feminist, but so what? Above all things and issues you may think she stands for, what Beyoncé is a marketing genius. She and her team know just what to do to keep the stans continuously uterus-riding.

A friend pointed out that it’s all about reinvention. In just eight years as a solo artist, she’s dropped from ceilings, done the Josephine Baker fandango dance, made wearing leotards and J-setting fashionable again, created an alter ego and shitted on cheating men with just six words (“To the left, to the left”) all for the sake of giving Beylievers what they want: empowerment, bomb live performances and a certified club banger. This go-round with “4” will be no exception. You thought the “Girls” video was wack or lackluster, she gave you a killer performance on the Billboard Awards. You said she couldn’t sing, a video of her performance rehearsal was released. The girl just knows what to do. Am I saying that she really doesn’t think girls run the world or that she lacks substance? No, not at all. I’m #teamBey all day.

I’m simply asking these over-thinkers and Smarty-Arts to give it a rest. Why are you pondering shenanigans when Bey hits the scene? When you blast Bey’s music you should be doing one of two things: nursing a break-up, feeling yourself or p-popping with the best of ’em. Why? Cuz Bey taught you.

Now shut up and DANCE!!