As you may have heard or read, musician Jay Z was recently physically attacked by pop music sensation Beyoncé’s sister Solange.
Some of the happiest folks on earth this morning must be the staff of Parkwood Entertainment.
For those not in the know, Parkwood Entertainment (PE) is the public relations arm of the Beyoncé Knowles empire, and let’s just say there is lots of overtime on horizon.
To bring you up to speed, TMZ released footage allegedly of singer Solange Knowles, little sister of the Grammy winning superstar, assaulting Beyoncé’s husband, rap icon and business mogul Jay-Z (ne’ Shawn Carter) in an elevator of New York City’s tony Standard Hotel:
The grainy video, ostensibly leaked by hotel security staff, shows Beyoncé, Solange, Jay-Z and a bodyguard in the elevator. Beyoncé enters first, followed by Solange, Jay, and the bodyguard. Immediately upon entry, Solange takes an aggressive posture, suggesting spillover from a dispute in the adjoining hall. Within seconds, the blows ensue, Solange punching and then kicking Jay until the bodyguard grabs her from behind. Beyoncé, standing just beside Jay, does nothing to intervene.
While holding Solange, the bodyguard appears to press several buttons. Speculation is that he pressed one of the emergency stop buttons to protect privacy. After a minute or so, the bodyguard lets go, but remains in between, but steps to the door as it opens. This leaves an opening for Solange, who after exchanging a few words with Jay, resumes the attack, prompting the exiting parties to re-enter the elevator. At that point, Beyoncé does step in between the two, albeit gingerly, and after the bodyguard. Eventually, all three exit.
Arguably the most influential female artist of her generation, Beyoncé has been the Heroine of Hypergamy, from clarion calls for cuckoldry (“Jumpin, Jumpin”) to aggressive, unvarnished shaming anthems (“Bills, Bills, Bills”), to iconic, cheeky kiss-offs (“Single Ladies”, “Irreplaceable”). Ironically, the creator of the decidedly un-feminist “Bow Down Bitches” couldn’t get her own sister to “Fall Back.” That may reveal more than Beyoncé intended, as the optics now place her as a metaphor for the feminist indifference to men as victims of domestic violence.
“Hitting my husband? No big deal, go ahead. GRRRL POWER!”
Some questions and observations in the immediate aftermath:
- In the aftermath of the video, Twitter exploded, the most popular hashtag being #WhatDidJayZSayToSolange. The subtext is the tried and true trope of divergent gendered inquiry; if a man hits first, it’s “what an abusive jerk!” If a woman hits first, it’s “what did that jerk do/say to cause her to hit him?” The conversation of a clear unprovoked assault is still framed in a fem-centric manner; if the victim has a penis, let’s first look to his culpability before we “pass judgement.”
It seems karma has paid a visit to the Knowles family. A decade after her watershed thug-love anthem with Destiny’s Child, “Soldier,” defined a man by his willingness to “stand up for me,” Mrs. Carter was quite tepid in standing in the breach for Mr. Carter in the face of an assault by another woman. Moreover, the irony is rich that the sister of the woman at the forefront of the “#BanBossy” feminist campaign has provided a textbook object lesson in the sort of “bossiness” that has infected the American Black Community for two generations running; that even the most minimal failure to defer to a black women entitles them to strike physical blows.
CNN’s Don Lemon spoke Tuesday morning about seeing women in his family “acting up” in family gatherings. It’s as if he took a page out of M. Night Shyamalan (“Those Whom We Don’t Speak Of”) with his euphemisms. That said, Chris Cuomo’s steed must be exhausted at the amount of laps he took to rescue Solange, from qualifiers about whether it was “really her,” to the “we don’t know what he said to her” fallback excuse. (See transcript from CNN.)
- Keeping to that narrative, this “attack privilege” has begun to trickle to other communities. Will we start to have this conversation about standards of behavior for women, or will men defending themselves continue to serve as helium for the World Star Hip-Hops and other Super Giant Stars in the online universe?
As testament to how the Red Pill has penetrated popular consciousness, many on Twitter are asking why no incident report was taken, nor any arrests made, including ESPN’s VAW Crusader-In-Chief, Jemele Hill.
And the most important question in the imminent is, will Solange Knowles be cited, or will some contrived narrative arise to minimize the attack, such as the trickling rumor that Jay-Z somehow provoked the attack by “doing something” to Beyoncé? Indeed, there is talk of a criminal investigation–of the hotel’s security staff!
The situation continues to unfold, and merits monitoring. But one thing remains certain; Beyoncé and Solange, you got some ‘splainin’ to do, and your house PR firm may or may not be able to protect the “family brand” this time.
But for Jay-Z, we suspect this is a Moment of Clarity:
Editorial note: article title photo used under Creative Commons License from Wikimedia Commons.–DE