Beyonce Is Here To Save 2017

Call it divine intervention. Call it Destiny’s Child(ren). But for sure call it TWINS.

Yesterday, February 1st, Beyonce dropped not a new album, but rather baby news that made the world stop…

CARRY ON.

Actually, no. We, as a world, could not carry on. I will forever remember today as one of the most important days of my life. I work in a newsroom specifically for entertainment and we have one of those open floor plans where you can basically hear and see everyone. Someone sent through an email with the subject line: “Beyonce is Pregnant” along with the link to her Instagram picture. Sure enough, you could hear gasps and screams from throughout the office  – did I mention it’s a predominantly young-ish female environment? About 30 seconds later, someone said, “Wait did you guys notice she’s having twins?” UM NO, WE DID NOT SIR, WE WERE DISTRACTED BY THE BELLY BUMP, FLOWER WALL AND MESH VEIL PLACED UPON HER HEAD. TWINS?! WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED TWO TIMES OVER. What happened next was something I wish I had on camera (but I was still too shook to do anything). The screaming continued, people were congratulating and hugging each other as if we ALL were pregnant with twins.

meeting cancelled

And you know what, this is the type of communal excitement we need with this sham of administration tearing the country apart. Each morning, I wake up thinking, “Ah, what fresh hell is awaiting me today?”. But on this first day of Black History Month, Beyonce reminded us that despite the fact we’re surrounded with dumpster fires, the world is still spinning and new life is created, just like it did pre-January 20th (November 8th).

So now that Bey is prepping for The Carter 5, I feel like we as a society are a little bit better in the state of the world knowing that love is still on top. Yes, she’s a celebrity that a majority if not all of us will never be BFFs with, but in dire times like these, it’s exactly why the idea of stardom and artistry are important. It gives us a moment of distraction away from the insanity happening in politics and lower our blood pressure just a tad knowing new, talented life is being made. Just how will she save 2017? Here’s what we’re hoping Bey & these two little nuggets will do for all of us in the coming year:

  • She’ll have two more girls and start Destiny’s Child: Part II
  • DC:P2 will wear matching/coordinating clothes designed by Beyonce, just like Miss Tina designed for DC3
  • She’ll have a boy and a girl, and they becoming mini-Bey & Jays doing a rap/sing combo
  • She’ll have two boys and they’ll only wear the RocaWear baby collection Jay has secretly been hiding in their underground bunker for years
  • Bey’s mere appearance at the Grammys next Sunday will show off her belly and give us VMAs 2011 feels all over again
  • Bey starts a new trend of pregnancy announcement photos in lingerie, a veil and a flower wall. (It gets old fast)
  • She’ll be the fiercest pregnant performer ever to take the Coachella stage
  • But she could also lit’rally sit on a folding chair in the middle of the stage and it would be the best thing the world has ever seen
  • Bey letting us in on how Blue will be as a big sister
  • Blue wearing a “Big Sister” shirt
  • Bey and Jay have dinner with Mariah and Nick Cannon for advice on parenting twins
  • Instead of Who Is Becky With The Good Hair, B’s biggest mystery is WHY THE VEIL
  • Jay drops a surprise album on Tidal the day the twins are born all about his kids
  • Makes Tidal free. For one day.
  • Beyonce drops another surprise 5 track EP, one song is just the twins cooing
  • Just all the maternity outfits. All of them.
  • Anything Taylor Swift tries to do in 2017 will never be as good as this
  • To reiterate, this is not just one child, it’s TWO. TWO MORE BEY/JAY BABIES THIS IS A MIRACLE AND SHOULD BE REASON ENOUGH

Solange Wore A Cape To Her Wedding And We Can All Stop Trying

Solange Knowles – sister to Bey, aunt to Blue Ivy, daughter to Tina, kicker to Jay Z – tied the knot to music video director Alan Ferguson yesterday in New Orleans. Because nothing is private, pretty much their entire weekend was documented, including the happy couple rolling up to the wedding venue in style on white bicycles.

Unlike her sister, Solange decided to share her big day with us peons, releasing exclusive photos to Vogue of her and her bridesmaids (yes, including Queen B & Miss Tina & a very happy Janelle Monae) of her all-white wedding that would make Billy Idol proud. I have so many things to say about this but I don’t think it would be appropriate for the entire post to consist of emojis that look like this:

IMG_1009.JPGSo I’ll try to use my words instead. Solange wore three different outfits for her wedding, the first being the cream Stephanie Rolland jumpsuit as seen in the pre-ceremony transpo pic above. This is probably my favorite look out of the three, because it gives her a feel of class with the cape (praise hands with palms facing out emoji) but a feeling of fun since she’s in a jumpsuit and ready for anything. Also, it’s backless. IT’S BACKLESS! For the actual getting married part, she opted for a dress designed by Humberto Leon for Kenzo, and lawd help us all she looks like a freaking vision. Like an angel in a cape sent from heaven to let us know that all our style sins have been forgiven. Paired with those gold stacked bracelets, I would imagine Solange wearing nothing else on her wedding day. Finally, Solange, hubs, fam & friends took to the streets of Nawlins with a celebratory band and dancing and now I know what I want to do for my own wedding. The third look was the more fun reception style, back in a jumpsuit by Stephanie Rolland but this time the cape had more ruffle to it.

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Of course, there are more photos featuring all of the wedding party (yes, flower girl Blue Ivy) smiling and laughing and having the time of their lives. But as we all know, weddings are usually a lot about the bride and what she’s wearing, so I’m gonna go back to her for a sec.

Solange has become a fashion maven over the past few years whether you have paid attention or not. I mean there’s a reason why she shared her exclusive pix with Vogue. Solange has never been one to be afraid to wear a certain color or style or trend, in fact if I were to sum up her fashion style, it would be fearless eccentricity. She dares to be different and doesn’t give a shit if you like it or not (but if you have an semblance of taste, you will).

Of course, a penchant for fashion and style runs in the family, with Bey as the Instagram model for every outfit she wears and Miss Tina – well we all know Miss Tina used to design the Destiny’s Child outfits back in the day, and back then they didn’t seem as ridiculous as they look now. BTW TINA KNOWLES SLAYYYEEDDD AT THE WEDDING. ok end caps.  So with fashion in her genes (jeans?), it makes sense that Solange is a style savant and a woman with enough balls to wear not one but three capes to her wedding. If you need a refresher of how all her past looks have led up to this glorious day in all white everything, here are just some of her best looks. Praise Solange and her infinite style wisdom and cape.

 

Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

You can tell me that we graduated 10 years ago, but I still have a difficult time convincing myself that that much time has passed since I last used a locker and attended a gym class (note I didn’t say ‘participated’). And when looking back at pop culture a decade ago, it’s hard to believe that some of these things happened so long ago. Here’s a list of just a few things that happened in 2004 that will make you want to pull out your Sony Discman and blast Blink-182 in an attempt to reclaim your youth.

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.

Nipplegate/Boob Bowl

February 1: Ah yes, the floppy breast that all Americans young and old were exposed to during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As we know, JT ripped off a piece of tear away material covering Janet’s (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) right boob, and in their defense they deemed it a “wardrobe malfunction”, but conservatives called it “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”, while others just said to “calm the fuck down”. The legal ramifications from the FCC and subsequent lawsuits seemed to be never ending – in fact as recent as 2012, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the FCC over the $550,000 fine on Nipplegate.

Kanye Drops College Dropout

February 10: Kanye West releases his debut album, The College Dropout, which hits the top of the charts and receives critical acclaim. It’s hard to believe there was a time when we ALL liked Kanye because his music was so good, but then he started talking too much and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift, etc. and he became one of the most polarizing artists in music. But no one can deny just how freaking good this record was. Even the weakest track on the album was better than most of the rap songs released that year.

You Go, Glen Coco

February 20: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was the first of two leading roles Lindsay Lohan had in 2004, which is considered her breakout year. After appearing in Freaky Friday in 2003, Linds landed another Disney movie with the teen musical that pitted her against a young Megan Fox.

April 30: You know it, you love it, you wear pink on Wednesdays. Mean Girls was released and became a defining teen comedy of the 2000s and launched LiLo into superstar success.

May 1: Luckily, Lindsay had connections at Saturday Night Live thanks to Tina Fey/Mean Girls, and hosted the show for the first time, AKA the show with the most epic (and first) sketch of Debbie Downer.

June 5: Linds becomes the youngest host of the MTV Movie Awards at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, I think I was busy “studying” my Sparknotes for my AP English exam.

December 7: Lindsay’s first album, Speak is released and surprisingly gets certified platinum. I’m not going to lie to you, she has some pretty catchy tunes that may or may not have been downloaded via Napster. But seriously though – Over?!

Jimmy Meets World

May 15: Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, closing out his six-season tenure with a rousing all cast musical rendition of Grease’s Summer Nights, with his leading lady, Tina Fey.

You Can’t Be Sirius

May 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban hits theaters. I admit, I was such a late bloomer to HP. Like I didn’t start reading until the day the 7th book came out :\ I hang my head in shame (And I also blame my parents who I’m convinced believed that reading the books legit made you some kind of witch frreal). Anyways, the Alfonso Cuaron-directed installment grossed a total of $796.6 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing in the whole HP film series, but still ranks it the 44th highest-grossing film of all time. Whatever. This was my favorite movie up until the last one, and arguably my favorite book.

I Believe In Miracles

May 26: Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol in one of the most memorable and dramatic reveals in all of television history. Reminder that this is the same year Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson placed seventh and Diana DeGarmo was the runner-up. (Sidenote: I just saw Diana and hubs season 5 Idol alum Ace Young in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tour and like a fine wine, her voice has just gotten better with age. Ace, maybe not so much. They’re cute tho. Go go go Joe!)

Closing Time

Our beloved Friends came to a close (which you can reminisce over at our Friends 10 Week tag), while shows I was too young to watch (Ed, Sex and the City, The Practice) and shows I was too old to still be watching (Lizzie McGuire, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog) also met their demise. RIP Lizzie + Gordo, forever in our hearts.

Meet Michael Phelps

August: The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece and the main takeaway is that America came out with a new sports legend in Michael Phelps. At just 19 years old, he won 8 medals, 6 of which were gold, the other 2 bronze, well on his way to becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history. In the video above, Michael wins his 5th gold of the games in the 4×200 relay, helping his team edge out Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe and the Australians by a hair. UGH I miss the Olympics.

Pieces of Me

October 23: Ashlee Simpson gets caught lip synching on Saturday Night Live and I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.

Beyonce Realizes Her Full Potential

November 16: Destiny’s Child releases their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. This record is not as solid as The Writing’s On The Wall (but really, which DC3 record is?), but it has one of my all time favorite Destiny’s Child Songs, Girl, as well as Cater 2 U. It’s fine, they all did well after the breakup. Right, Michelle?

Ken Jennings Makes Jeopardy! Event Television

November 30: Ken Jennings’ 74-consecutive win streak finally ends at the hands of competitor Nancy Zerg. He’s won a total of $3,196,300 from the show, which is… a heck of a lot of money and knowledge. Question: Where is Nancy Zerg now?

BriWi Takes Over

December 2:  Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News after 22 years at the desk and is replaced by Brian Williams. Love ya Tommy B, but if you didn’t retire, we would have never been able to get MC BriWillie out of his shell.

 

Class of ’04: Celebrity Superlatives

Wasssuupppp?! This week we’re reflecting back to 2004 – aka the year Molly & I graduated high school. It’s been exactly 10 years this month ::insert quarter-life crisis freakout here::  since we received our diplomas and officially became “adults”, and while it seems like it happened just yesterday, it equally feels like lifetimes ago. All this week we’re looking back at pop culture, fashion, and all things early 2000s, but also fast forwarding a decade and reflecting on our 2004 selves with our 2014 selves. We’re putting it all out there, folks.

Today, I’m kicking it off with one of my personal extracurricular activities in high school: Yearbook. I know, hard to believe right? ‘But Traci, you’re so cool and hip, it’s hard to imagine you were in something so academic and somewhat nerdy like the Yearbook Club!’ You’re right, reader. Not only was I in choir and did theatre, I ALSO was part of putting the yearbook together.

In the spirit of my infinite coolness, here are some superlatives from a faux celebrity yearbook for the stars who took over Hollywood between 2000 and 2004 when we were impressionable teens and TRL ruled the world. Put on your sparkly flare jeans and let’s get started!

Best TV Host

Carson Daly

If there’s one show that will define our generation, it’s TRL. I rush home every weekday and obviously vote non-stop for BSB to be number one on the countdown. True story: I was the TRL fan of the week in 2002 and Carson showed my picture on TV AND he said my name!!! So maybe I’m a little biased, because we’re best friends, but whatevs.

Best Dressed

Paris Hilton

 Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!

Most Likely to Succeed

Beyonce of Destiny’s Child

Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!

Biggest Prankster

Ashton Kutcher

The guy from That 70s Show has his own TV show about pranking celebrities, so basically nobody else deserves this title but Ashton. I mean, he got away with punking Justin Timberlake – that’s epic enough.

Best Couple

Britney and Justin

Speaking of Justin, I’m still not over the fact this perfect couple broke up in 2002, so let’s just pretend they’re still together, okay?

Favorite Celeb Couple On & Off-Screen

Adam Brody & Rachel Bilson

If Seth and Summer isn’t your favorite couple just turn around right now. The geeky loner guy gets the popular girl? That never happens. AND IN REAL LIFE TOO?! Stop it. (PS that pic is from a Halloween party where Adam was an astronaut and Rachel was a martian (?) and they’re with The OC creator Josh Schwartz & Summer Cohen’s mom, played by Melinda Clarke. I mean…)

Best Hair

Chris Kirkpatrick

Obviously.

Class Clown

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy is totally hilarious on Saturday Night Live. Even though he’s leaving the show (which will never be the same without him) I know he’s gonna be a huge movie star. He even has a movie coming out with Queen Latifah that’s supposed to be really funny!

Most Athletic

Apolo Anton Ohno

Molly & I are probably a little too obsessed with America’s golden boy. Literally golden boy because he’s physically incapable of not winning gold medals at the Olympics. Also he’s so dreamy. Who knew short track speed skating could be so exhilarating (not me. didn’t even know it was a sport)?!?

Most Attractive

Heath Ledger

With The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale, Heath and his flowing hair are the stuff dreams are made of. And to top it all off – he’s Australian!!! That means he says things like G’Day and Vegemite!!! I’m not even going to admit how many posters I have of him on my wall…

Most Changed

Lindsay Lohan

lilo pt to mg

From Parent Trap to Mean Girls, I can’t believe Lindsay Lohan has grown up so much! It’s also hard to believe we’re the same age. But remember how cute she was in The Parent Trap and now she’s hanging out with Tina Fey and Lacey Chabert from Party of Five (still one of my fave shows). Hopefully this is a rollercoaster that only goes up for Linds!

14 Times Beyonce Proved She Owns Us All

How’s everyone’s Beyonceday hangover going? Still in the haze that is Queen B? As you probably know, Mrs. Carter dropped a surprise record on Thursday night, exclusively on iTunes, complete with a visual album that included music videos for every single track.

I feel like it’s going to be one of those events where you ask people, ‘Where were you when Beyonce was released?’ I was sitting on my couch watching Parenthood, looking at the Scandal live tweets on my iPad, and checking Instagram on my phone (yes, I’m insane) when I noticed B had posted a video with a caption that said ‘Surprise’ and included footage I’d never seen before. Then I went on social media. Slowly but surely, my feeds were being filled with the word BEYONCE, and people were going nuts.

A few things about this release that fascinated me:

A) How did she even get away with recording/filming all these without anyone leaking it?

Apparently only the people who needed to know (producers, songwriters, studio execs, etc.) knew about the album, and it also went under a code name called ‘Lily’.  There was a shifting deadline and she didn’t even finish recording until the week of Thanksgiving. As for the music videos, a lot of the dancers are her own dancers from her tour, but for example in XO, she’s clearly in an amusement park with fans and I wonder if they thought they were just being filmed for fun? Or because it’s Beyonce they didn’t care as long as they got a pic of her?

B) She most likely made more  off this album than if she actually marketed and promoted it.

Besides Grown Woman and Bow Down, which are bonus video clips, all these tracks are brand new to our ears. None were released as singles, which is obviously the tradition in which artists sell their upcoming records. Beyonce is so ‘Beyonce’ that she knows she doesn’t have to pre-promote her album, because people will buy it anyways. It’s the definition of a Bad Bitch. She also explained the whole

“I miss that immersive experience. Now people only listen to a few seconds of a song on the iPods and they don’t really invest in the whole experience. It’s all about the single, and the hype. It’s so much that gets between the music and the art and the fans. I felt like, I don’t want anybody to get the message, when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

After I read that, I was like, wow that is so true. I judge whether or not I’m going to buy the album based on if I like the single or not. It’s never about the package as a whole, which is how I think most *true* artists want you to intake their music. They’re not out there to make just one song, they’re making music for you to hear an entire story.

Same goes for the music videos she made – I watched it in order, like it was a Beyonce movie and it totally changed the way I listen to some of her songs. It’s exactly what she said  a ‘visual album’. My current fave song is Blow (which is apparently going to be the first single), and after seeing her on roller skates, it hard not to picture it when listening to the song, but it’s the perfect vibe for it.

C) She’s changed the music industry

B single-handedly changed the game. She revolutionized it. She essentially proved that as long as you have a loyal (and large) fanbase that can spread the news quickly, artists don’t necessarily need to spend months doing promo and releasing a single, etc. in order to sell thousands of records. This tactic obviously wouldn’t have worked even 10 years ago. Example: It’s 2003, midnight EST, 9pm PST, Beyonce announced on her MySpace page that she has a new album coming out when the doors to your favorite record store open the next morning, so go and get it. And then tell all your friends. No it wouldn’t have worked. But Beyonce is the first person – and person with enough clout – in this new era of technology and social media and iTunes to come up with the idea and actually follow through. It’s genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if other artists try to attempt something like this from now on.

Alright, enough with the logistics (can you tell I was a marketing/PR major in college?). Is all the hype even worth it? I say yes, yes it is. And here are the reasons why.

+ Her blatant Benjamin Button-ing.

Like how is this woman getting older yet not aging? I really don’t understand. There are shots in these vids where she looks like she’s a teenager. Even in the Grown Woman video where she and Kelly are recreating home videos, it just looks like she got taller. I need your secrets, oh wise one.

+ Being boss enough to get the best people in the biz to work on the album

List of artists who wrote, produced (or both), directed on this record include but are not limited to: Jay Z (obvs), Justin Timberlake, Miguel, Ryan Tedder, Sia, Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell and Timbaland. I’ll just pick those names back up for you.

+ The ability to look sexy without looking slutty.

In the music video for Partition, she basically dresses up as a stripper for her Boo, in this case, Jay Z, who is actually in the vid playing her paramour, but they barely show his face. The fact is, her butt is literally going up and down a velvet rope type apparatus and not once did I think it was disgusting.

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+ General ability to make any pose or dance move look really cool and not stupid

Let’s be 1000% honest with ourselves here, folks. If any of us tried to do this pose on half a chaise lounge, we would fall flat on our face and possibly/probably injure something obscure like a pinky, because that’s just how you landed.

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+ Everything about the song ***Flawless

The two previous bullet points being said, all in all, don’t confuse Beyonce for a submissive woman. She is a ‘grown ass woman’ who is in actuality a feminist who just happens to have a husband. She doesn’t need him, she does good enough on her own.

In this song, B includes audio from writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s ‘We should all be feminists’ TED talk.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but no too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. A marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

+ Throwing shade at Skeleton Crew

In the same ***Flawless video, it starts off with a short clip from when B and Kelly (and former DC member Lativia) were in a group called Girls Tyme, which lost to a white group of male rockers named Skeleton Crew.

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Girls Tyme ended up getting a 3.00 in this competition (view the performance here) but the fact that Bey even decided to put this clip of them losing is everything. Skeleton Crew, what do you have to say for yourselves now?

+ Featuring her 13-month-old daughter on a track

We all know B & Jay are usually on the low about their private life, especially when it comes to Blue Ivy. But this time, Beyonce not only dedicated an entire song to their daughter, but had Blue sing/speak on it too. For the record, if this album wins any Grammys, Blue will be a Grammy winner at the age of like 3. Blue says something to the effect of, “Hold on to me, hold on / Been-say / Been-say / Mami, mami, mami.” We get it. You’re cute.

+ Making roller skating look awesome

Not since Jessica Simpson’s Public Affair had this kind of influence on me and my desire to go put on some skates and dance around the rink with my besties and some hot pants on. The Blow music video is everything I could ask for and more.

+ Possibly probably being actually drunk for Drunk in Love

The classic B/Jay duet on the album, Drunk in Love, features Beyonce dancing and rolling on the beach, and Jay shows up with a drink in hand and it’s amazing. It’s like a TV bottle episode where they only use one set and all the magic happens there. I hope they were actually drunk, because you know, method acting.

+ Dancing with actual supermodels and still being the flyest of them all

In the gangsta track Yonce, B recruited models Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, and Chanel Iman, but all I kept looking at was Beyonce and her grill and the red .. what seemed to parts of a Herve Leger dress but made into faux swimsuit.

+ Just generally being sexy

It is absolutely absurd that a woman can have this kind of effect on straight men, straight women, gay women AND gay men. She’s defying the odds. Rocket, probs the sexiest song off the record, provides a look into her boudoir – and guess who wrote this jam? None other than the sex singing god himself, Miguel.

+ Guerrilla style filmmaking and freaking fans out

In the XO vid, it looks like she basically ambushed an amusement park (or possibly the Santa Monica pier?) and walked the streets and got people’s natural reactions. You’ve been hit by – you’ve been struck by – a smooth criminal.

+ The art

When Beyonce says she has a visual album, it’s a visual album. The entire album is aesthetically pleasing, but especially in the video for Ghost. The stark quality makes you focus on what she has to say, instead of any other hoopla, and boy does she have things to say.

+ Guest stars galore

Not only does the song Superpower feature Frank Ocean, there’s a small DC3 reunion happening and it’s so subtle that only a few people are talking about it. Pharrell also appears in the same video, and in the first track, Pretty Hurts, Harvey Keitel (movie mobster, also Vince LaRocca from Sister Act) shows up randomly as the beauty pageant host.

Playlist of the Month: Songs by High Schoolers

It’s back to school time for all you kids out there! However, the last September that we headed back to high school, Mean Girls was in production and I was the first person I knew to go back to school with side bangs.

So, it was a while ago. And while our memory of high school isn’t as crisp as it used to be, we can be sure that we were not internationally-known recording artists. As if we didn’t feel old enough during this, the Tenth Anniversary Of Our Last First Day Of High School, here is a playlist comprised entirely of tracks by young artists who were still in high school at the time of recording.

Check out the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

Name: Lorde
Song: Royals
Age of release: 16

If it seems like Lorde came out of nowhere, she did. New Zealand to be more exact. She released this song in her home country back in March, and months later, US stations began picking it up and now here we are. I can’t believe how great of an artist she is and how her voice is so unique and distinct. If you like this song, check out her new one, Team.

Name: Birdy
Song: Skinny Love
Age of release: 14

I feel like Birdy was hoping to be what Lorde is becoming now. A teenager from England, she covered this Bon Iver song and blew up shortly thereafter. She also earned her first Grammy nomination thanks to her awesome song with Grammy darlings Mumford and Sons, Learn Me Right, from the Brave soundtrack.

Name: Aaliyah
Song: Back and Forth
Age of release: 14

Despite the fact that R. Kelly was the first one to mentor her in the music industry and they were rumored to be dating, Aaliyah and R. Kelly made a classic 90s R&B song that kicked off her too short of a career. I don’t think anyone’s really been able to create the same magic since her, and this was the song that started it all.

Name: Destiny’s Child
Song: Say My Name
Age of release: 18 (all 4 members were 18!)

Listen, guys. Say My Name is probably my all time favorite DC3 song. And to think that if we went to the same high school, I’d be looking up to them as they were Seniors, being all cool and making hit songs and shit. Seniors in high school don’t make classic records like Writing’s on the Wall – they are too focused on getting into college and acting like the own the school and stuff. I guess Beyonce & co. owned pop music at the time, really.

Name: Michael Jackson
Song: Ben
Age of release: 14

Oh Michael. Little black Michael. Ben was the first song he recorded as a solo artist, but was still in Jackson 5 at the time of the release. It was the title song for the 1972 movie of the same name, and even though it’s essentially about a rat, it’s still a good song. Just forget about the rat part.

Molly’s Picks

Name: Jake Bugg
Age of release: 18
Song: Lightning Bolt

Back in June, I almost put Lorde on our summer playlist. Then I thought “I don’t know, this song has been out for a while. It’s  great… but it’s probably on the way down.” That song? Royals. Clearly I don’t know anything. So take this with a grain of salt: I think this kid is really good and might be going places.

Name: Brandy and Monica
Song: The Boy Is Mine
Age of release: 19 (Brandy), 17 (Monica)

Everything about this is awesome. In an awful way. Who could forget the probably fake drama that was concocted between the teen singers?  While not a technically good song, The Boy Is Mine is fun because it seldom comes up alongside the other cheesy 90s R&B tunes, so it’s always a fun surprise when you hear it. It’ll make you want to wear tims and head-to-toe Tommy Hilfiger like you wanted to in the late 90s.

Name: Hilary Duff
Song: Come Clean
Age of release: 16

I’m really embarrassed by how long it took me to choose between Come Clean and So Yesterday. Feel free to include both on your next Playlist Of (no) Shame.

Name: LL Cool J
Song: Rock The Bells
Age of release: 17

Before LL Cool J was a man with a hardworking publicist… before he guest-rapped on a track about a skinhead having a conversation about race in America with his barista… before he was the tough yet dad-ish agent on NCIS, LL Cool J was a teen rap phenom.

Name: Laura Marling
Song: New Romantic
Age of release: 17

Even when she was 16-17, Laura Marling was writing wonderfully clever lyrics. The difference is that in those first years some of her music had more of a Lily Allen, Kate Nash vibe than it does now. This and Ghosts were released around the same time and it was almost as hard as choosing between So Yesterday and Come Clean.