To slay (verb): killed it, succeeded in something amazing. I can always count on the Urban Dictionary to come through in a pinch. Well, Beyoncé has indeed slayed again with her new album Lemonade and Formation Tour and she is showing no signs of stopping here. She is unapologetically killing the game and continues to slay nearly two decades into her career.
Last week I attended the opening show of Formation in Miami and it was for lack of a better word, magical. I’ve been to more Beyoncé concerts that I can keep track of, but this one was special. I believe all of her tours had sold out before but this time she sold out stadiums, as opposed to concert halls and arenas. After performing her newest single Formation, for which her tour is named, she expressed a genuine excitement and giddiness about the fact that as a little girl she had dreamed of this day… the day she would perform at a sold out stadium full of fans that had come to see no one but her. I caught the magnitude of that and found myself almost tear up 5 minutes into her show. Now before you judge me, I should clarify that I’m not one of those crazy people who cry or faints at just the sight or sound of their favorite artist. This was an inspiring moment for me. I too have a big dream that others might deem impossible and I long for that feeling of having big dreams realized.
You may not like some of Beyoncé’s lyrics or how much skin she shows or even perhaps the sound of her voice, but there are a few things you have to respect about her. She is a brilliant business woman with a stellar team behind her and she is one of the hardest working entertainers out there period. Her work ethic and drive towards her purpose are undeniable. Even after by all traditional standards most people would say she’s “made it,” she continues to push envelopes and break barriers in the entertainment industry and beyond.
I don’t want to ruin it for those who may be attending her show, and have paid big bucks I might add, but I do want to point out some critical things that stuck out for me. One, just as any Beyoncé experience, and that is just what it is… an experience, you will get nearly two hours of nonstop entertainment. As an entertainer, I study and appreciate other entertainers. I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone perform like she does for nearly two hours – dancing (full-out), singing (and not that lip synching many entertainers resort to because, granted it’s hard to both sing and dance full-out, sorry J-Lo and Janet), and enduring six costume changes and making it look easy. I know for a fact, it isn’t.
Two, there are no other brands advertised but hers (or her hubby’s), and there are many. If I could earn a dollar for every time I saw the branding for her new Ivy Park fashion line, I would be rich. Hey, I can’t knock the hustle. As my mom and I were heading to our seats, we noticed they were selling t-shirts that said “Boycott Beyoncé”. We both looked at each other with these puzzled looks on our faces like who would ever sell a t-shirt with such a negative message against their brand? Later we heard on a radio station that when police officers were threatening to boycott Beyoncé because of perceived negative messages against the police in her Formation video, her brand team said if this is going to be a thing, let’s profit from it. That’s gangsta! Lol again, you’ve got to respect the hustle.
Last but certainly not least, I was mesmerized by the fact that she could drop an album on Saturday and by Wednesday, her fans knew literally all the lyrics to the songs that hadn’t even been released on the radio yet. Beyoncé herself was even taken aback by how loyal her fans are, which by the way spanned across multiple ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations. The look of amazement and gratitude on her face when she pointed her golden mic towards the audience and heard them singing her words back to her was priceless.
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who have invested in seeing her Formation experience, you will not be disappointed. I assure you Beyonce makes good on her promise to always slay.