I, like most people in the universe, am a die-hard Beyonce fan. I am also a long-time fan of Jay Z. You might assume that music artists that have been around for so long, would be dying out or moving on to other careers. But this powerhouse couple in still filling stadiums and spilling out hits. While, there are many reasons to love these two, I’ll share the top 5 reasons why I love Beyonce and Jay Z:
They represent the beauty of black family life.
Bougie Blacks have a tendency of forgetting their roots. Famous black male athletes and actors, upon striking it rich, leave the chick with the extensions in her hair, bamboo earrings (at least two pair), around the way girl, for the barbie-like Becky with the good hair. You need examples? Google them yourself, because there are far too many to name. But as for The Carters, these two have remained a beautiful paradigm of Black love, and Black family ideals. We all know their story, their struggles; infidelity, failed pregnancies, family fights on random elevators. But in the end, their commitment to one another was strong enough to bring them through the drama and the pain. They didn’t throw up their hands and chuck their duces in the air, they made it work. We could all learn a lot from their love, commitment, and forgiveness of one another. My parents just had their 41st wedding anniversary, and they’ve been through their own struggles, but they are a beautiful example of black love and what it takes to make marriage work. After 41 years of marriage, their love for each other is still obvious. I can see Beyonce and Jay Z, ages from now, with their grandkids and their big Christmas tree, still enjoying those billions and just as happy as ever. Keep it up, Carters. You, the Obamas, and the Smiths give us reason to rebuild our own “sandcastles”.
They are unapologetically Black.
From Formation to 4:44, Jay and Bey have been letting you know that they are Black and Proud. Beyonce shocked some of her fairer skinned fans when she showed up with her Super Bowl squad, rocking a Black Panther inspired wardrobe equipped with fabulous fros. Jaws dropped, and black girls everywhere were emotionally elevated. When she said those magical words, “I like my negro nose, with Jackson 5 nostrils,” black people everywhere simultaneously shouted, “Yesssss, Bitch!” Because despite our unending love for the Jacksons, we never really forgave them for cutting away the features that made them look like us. We always loved Michael’s original nose the best, and apparently so does Bey. So, we could relate to her in that moment, and fell in love with every lyric, and every power fist that struck the air. Bey is about blackness, and womanhood, and self-love. And she proves it with her all girl band performances and the optical perfection of blackness displayed in every video. From her New Orleans inspired Lemonade visual masterpiece, where she showed us that our Black is more than beautiful, to her recent HBCU themed Coachella/Beychella experience, where she paid homage to the long powerful legacy of Black college life, Bey stays representing this exquisite brown skin.
Jay Z had a different approach, but just as important. In his album, 4:44, Jay Z is really taking us to church. He’s preaching from the pulpit for the souls of black folks about money and politics, Black unity and family units. The Story of O.J. has so many life lessons in it. Just like the book of Proverbs, you can’t listen only once. This knowledge requires you to take notes; insert your name here and apply it to your life. In his song Family Feud, he schools a generation about building and supporting Black owned businesses, Black wealth, and being faithful to his wife and kids. My favorite line? “What’s better than one billionaire? Two. Especially if they’re from the same hue as you. Y’all stop me when I stop telling the truth.” Preach, Jay, Yes! Get your weight up, not your hate up. As a bonus, the videos are full of amazing Black actors and actresses. There is literal liquid gold throughout this entire album.
They’re honest about their struggles.
Many of us hide past mistakes, instead of sharing them with others in hopes that they may be inspiring. Beyonce and Jay Z, while still a very private and classy people, chooses to express their pain and experience through art; much more constructive than stuffing yourself with cannabis edibles. Their candor gives us permission to be vulnerable and open in our own lives. I’m sure there were plenty of women who were too embarrassed to share with a friend, stories of infidelity and insecurity. But when Lemonade dropped, most of us said to ourselves, “well, damn, if Beyonce can get cheated on, he must be the problem, not me!” It almost gave us a weird sense of relief, that it could happen to anyone. And then with the release of 4:44, Jay Z openly rapped about his mistakes as a husband and his strong desire to be a better man to his wife, and father to his children. He’s like a breath of fresh air. During a time when many brothas feel justified in walking away from their children and cheating on their wives, hopefully more rappers like Jay Z will emerge and change the narrative.
They are continuously evolving.
I’ve liked Beyonce since, No No No; which is still my jam. I remember jamming to Jay Z on my way home from work, bumping The Blueprint. I was much younger then, and so were they. But now, I’m in my late thirties and I’m married with a kid. I’m doing grown ass things, like starting businesses and buying property. So, even though I bop to Bodak Yellow, I relate to more to Freedom. If Bey and Jay were still talking about the same old stuff from 15 years ago, then I probably wouldn’t be as interested. But just as I have evolved, so have they. They’re talking about grown people “thangs” like marriage, babies, making money, family and community. I appreciate the glow up that comes from growing up. And because we’re all mature adults in the prime of our lives, I can always vibe to their vibrations.
They show us that that Not even the sky is the limit.
Neither of The Carter’s were born filthy rich. Beyonce’s family was an upper middle class typical American family. Jay Z grew up in Marcy houses where boys die by the thousand. But many many years of hard work later, they are now Black billionaires, royalty, legends the midst. This type of success sometimes seems impossible to us commoners. Beyonce, has an otherworldly beauty about her, and Jay Z is a mogul and self-made millionaire. Their life looks beyond amazing. Every vacation photo we see, we wish we were there. And who wouldn’t love to trade places with Blue Ivy or the twins? But, sometimes when I look at Beyonce, I also see an around the way girl, who likes to eat and drink and have a good time just like the rest of us. The real difference between her and everyone else, is her work ethic and her intensity. Most of us have dreams, but how many of us are willing to put in the work to make it happen? Plenty of us have a hard time with simple goals, like eating healthy to lose weight. I can only imagine what The Carters have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice to fulfill their destinies. These are true self-actualized people, without any doubt. What gives me hope, is knowing that, with time and discipline we can all become our greatest selves too.
And that’s why I love The Carters.