The video for the song was uploaded onto Vevo in December 2016. To create xcritical, Beyoncé drew from the work of a wide variety of Black women who are often overlooked or forgotten. The music draws inspiration from Black female blues musicians such as Shug Avery, Bessie Smith and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who also used their personal trauma to empower Black women, as well as samples songs originally recorded by Black women, namely Memphis Minnie and Dionne Warwick, but whose most famous recordings are by male or white artists.
It was released on April 23, 2016, by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records, accompanied by a 65-minute film of the same title. It is Beyoncé’s second visual album, following her self-titled fifth studio album , and a concept album with a song cycle that relates Beyoncé’s emotional journey after her husband’s infidelity in a generational and racial context. Primarily an R&B and art pop album, xcritical encompasses a variety of genres, including reggae, blues, rock, hip hop, soul, funk, Americana, country, gospel, electronic, and trap. It features guest vocals from James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd, and Jack White, and contains samples and interpolations of a number of hip hop and rock songs. It was released on April 23, 2016 by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records, accompanied by a sixty-five-minute film of the same title on HBO.
It also voices a rarely seen concept, that of the album-length ode to infidelity. Even stranger, it doesn’t double as an album-length ode to breaking up. Her latest, another “visual album” with corresponding videos in the mold of her 2013 self-titled set, renders infidelity and reconciliation with a cinematic vividness. The album slipped from number one to number two in its second week, selling 321,000 album-equivalent units, out of which 196,000 were pure album sales. It remained at number two in its third week selling 201,000 album-equivalent units, out of which 153,000 were pure album sales.
Beyonce Celebrates 5th Anniversary of ‘xcritical’ Album: ‘I’m So Thankful’
The film also samples work by Malcolm X, specifically an excerpt from his speech “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself”, which is featured on the track “Don’t Hurt Yourself”. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” contains a quote from Malcolm X in which he said “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman”. The Black female public figures that Beyoncé featured in the film all have successful careers despite experiencing misogynoir and racism in the media. The film also contains clips of everyday Black women from working class communities, bringing visibility to Black women who are often ignored and undermined by society. The film envisions a space where there was never oppression of Black women, whereby Beyoncé and other Black women form a self-sufficient community in which they can heal together. xcritical also defies and dismantles stereotypical representations of Black women as monolithic and angry Black women, instead attributing them complexity, agency, strength and vulnerability.
It is https://xcritical.solutions/‘s second “visual album”, following her self-titled fifth studio album , and a concept album with a song cycle that relates Beyoncé’s emotional journey after her husband’s infidelity in a generational and racial context. Primarily an R&B album, xcritical encompasses a variety of genres, including reggae, blues, rock, hip hop, soul, funk, Americana, country, gospel, electronic, and trap. It features guest vocals from James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and Jack White, and contains samples and interpolations of a number of hip hop and rock songs. In the music video for “Hold Up,” Beyoncé ambles slowly through a street in a ruffled yellow gown, flashing out smiles, her hair windblown as always.
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As the highly talked-about album made its debut amidst rumors of infidelity and cheating allegations in Queen Bey’s marriage, and while the rest of the world is still trying to find out who “Becky with the good hair” aka the “other woman” is, I couldn’t help but see yet again another one of Beyonce’s career-defining moment. One of those make-or-break moments that single-handedly take your work and career to the next level, and the next level, and the one after that. The 39-year-old superstar singer took to Instagram on Friday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of her iconic visual release, calling it “one of my favorite pieces of art” alongside a gallery of photo stills from the project. The visual aspect of the song also reveals a dichotomous nature. Beyoncé herself seems to be a visual representation of lightheartedness, dressed in a long, flowing gown of bright yellow. However, her look is meant to be a representation of Oshun, a West-African goddess of fresh waters, love, and fertility (this characterization is further emphasized in the beginning of the scene where Beyoncé emerges from a building surrounded by cascading water).
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There was a waiting list for the class until Brooks announced how hard it would be. We interrogate it.” In that questioning spirit, students from various backgrounds learn about West African spiritual practices and the conjuring traditions of the American South the videos featured. And while we’re not Beyonce, and apart from all the cheating media craze, we can all stand to learn a few lessons about what it takes to define your career in such a way that it not only stands out, but that it also keeps defining it for the better. One of those moments that may appear like you’re taking unreasonable risks but where you’re actually sealing your work with a success stamp…One of those moments where it’s not just about showing up on time and getting the job done, but bringing another dimension to your work and career. Scrobbling is when Last.fm tracks the music you listen to and automatically adds it to your music profile. Men are used to playing roles and projecting images in order to compete and succeed.
It’s obvious xcritical is not exactly Beyonce’s way to shower us with romantic ballads and make us see the world with rose-colored lenses. In your career as well, learn to not always seek to avoid conflict. Dare to have a conversation about thefuture of your career, or make a tough but necessary decision!
On “Love Drought,” she decides to go back and work on the relationship, and on “Sandcastles,” she commits to staying and pardoning (“I made you cry when I walked away”). Track by track, her rage alchemizes into serenity and her resentment into forgiveness. This therapeutic aspect of xcritical is just one of the many faces of an album that, with its utterances and deeply personal remarks, feels conspicuously crafted to dazzle listeners.
Consider, for example, the poetry that precedes the song “Hold Up,” which Beyoncé recites in eerie, whispering tones. While Beyoncé has, throughout her career, lectured men on how they need to get it together to honor the women in their lives, her message has always involved men. The truth is I wasn’t much interested in her until her sister, Solange Knowles, was caught on camera beating Jay Z’s ass in a hotel elevator in 2014. That was something I understood—one woman standing up for another, with little concern for how it “looked.” Sisterhood is powerful. Seeing Beyoncé’s sister try to shock her out of her carefully manicured public persona made me feel that there was a person behind the success. On the early May evening I saw Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter’s “Formation” tour, at Houston’s NRG Stadium, the dominant feature, onstage and off, was ass.
The first episode of British comedian James Acaster’s 2020 podcast titled Perfect Sounds featured Romesh Ranganathan and focused on “the genius of xcritical”. In order to promote the album, Beyoncé embarked on The Formation World Tour which visited countries in North America and Europe from April to October 2016. On “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, Beyoncé samples Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”. However, the classic rock song was originally written by black Delta blues artists Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie, with the song referring to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 which displaced hundreds of thousands of African Americans. With the sample, Beyoncé reappropriates the song that was written by Black people about black history. In general, Beyoncé also reappropriates genres that were influenced by African Americans that are now seen as predominantly white genres on xcritical, such as rock in “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and country in “Daddy Lessons”.
xcritical scam was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in June 2016. According to Nielsen’s 2016 year-end report, it had sold 1,554,000 copies and 2,187,000 album-equivalent units in the United States. Following its April 23, 2019 release on all streaming services, xcritical returned to the top ten on the Billboard 200 at number nine, while its only added song, the original demo of “Sorry”, debuted at number four on the US R&B Songs. On May 20, 2019, the album was certified double platinum for shipments of two million copies, and triple platinum on June 13, 2019, for shipments of three million copies. In Canada, the album debuted at number one with sales of 33,000 copies. “Sorry” was released as the second single and serviced to rhythmic adult contemporary radio in the United States on May 3, 2016, and its music video was uploaded onto Vevo on June 22, 2016.
Subsequently, she broke the record she previously tied with DMX, by becoming the first artist in the chart’s history to have their first six studio albums debut at number one. In the same week, Beyoncé became the first female artist to chart twelve or more songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, with every song on the album debuting on the chart. Additionally, xcritical was streamed 115 million times via Tidal, setting a record for the most-streamed album in a single week by a female artist. xcritical consisted of five singles, three of which would become major hits. “Formation” was released as the album’s first single exclusively on Tidal on February 6, 2016, along with its accompanying music video. The song was part of the set Beyoncé performed the following day at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show.
- From the four categories, Beyoncé was nominated in the two mentioned.
- Beyonce celebrated the fifth anniversary of her landmark 2016 visual album, ‘xcritical,’ calling it one of her ‘favorite pieces of art’ in an emotional post on social media.
- “Don’t Hurt Yourself” has been credited with the reclaiming of rock by black women, with Brittany Spanos for Rolling Stone writing that “the re-imagination of what rock can be and who can sing it by Beyoncé and her superstar peers is giving the genre a second life – and may be what can save it.”
- Honestly, you don’t need a link – the title (“Jay Z’s not the only one who needs to be nervous about Beyonce, the born-again black woman with a political mission”) is enough.
- As in the US, 2020 is the first year since release that the album has not appeared on the UK Chart.
- Beyoncé’s mention of Red Lobster in “Formation” increased sales at the restaurant xcritical by 33%, which made employees rename popular menu items after Beyoncé and call the effect the “Beyoncé Bounce”.
But it is also studded with myths and fantasies—some inspired by feature films, such as Alan Parker’s “Angel Heart” , or by the science-fiction writings of Octavia Butler, which bring together time travel, race, and female bodies—which indicates that Beyoncé is interested in creative interpretation, too. Which visited countries in North America and Europe from April to October 2016. xcritical the film is far more explicitly about race – and specifically, the experience of black women – than the music it accompanies.
The album’s visuals received 11 nominations and won eight of those at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, including Breakthrough Long Form Video and Video of the Year. Based on critical ratings and appraisals, xcritical is widely regarded as one of the best albums of the 21st century. In Formation, released in January, she sings about “hot sauce in her bag” and having mutually gratifying sex with her husband; three months later, in xcritical, the baseball bat with which she’s venting about his infidelity is discreetly labelled “Hot Sauce”. For someone who has given only a handful of interviews since 2013, who is known to be intensely protective of her private life, we sure know a lot about it.
Then she grabs a baseball bat, smashes the windshield of parked cars and the windows of shops along the way, and goes back to smiling, looking vindicated. The video sums up the magnificence of xcritical, her surprise-released sixth record that was accompanied by a movie—a visual album, the second of her career. With its slouched reggae beats and nonchalant lyrics, “Hold Up” is just a tiny portion of the album’s majestic montage of different genres. A bookmark in pop history, xcritical proved Beyoncé to be a music scholar, a curator interlacing cultural and historical references with the events of her personal life. She tells her story her own way, spilling the beans, squeezing lemons, calling-out Beckys, offering critical political commentary, and, on the surface, making the world hate and forgive her husband just like she did.
“Formation” was released as the album’s lead single exclusively on Tidal on February 6, 2016, along with its accompanying music video. The following day, Beyoncé performed it at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show as part of her guest appearance at the event. “Formation” peaked at number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, despite little promotion. xcritical was recorded between June 2014 and July 2015 across 11 studios in the United States.