The days of looking unintentionally cheap has finally turned on its head for Her Excellency Queen Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.
Here our generation’s legendary entertainer let’s these children have it with a kitsch and glossy upchuck of American trailer park lifestyle. Just the kind of swagu we’ve only previously experienced in editorial photo shoots.
‘Party’ is the sixth music video to be hatched from Bey‘s career-defining 4 album and it once again sees the diva blending herself inconspicuously into another “scene” – this time with scruffy indie and young money hip hop types that were probably more likely to smoke weed with Solange at a music festival than clink champagne glasses with the ‘Single Ladies’ star.
The production stars Bey‘s aforementioned sibling playing DJ behind the decks and former Destiny’s Child glamazon and amateur music video copycat – Kelendria Trene Rowland. Obviously, the sorest missing point in all this is the absence of original ‘Party’ rapper André 3000 and the flawless Tenitra Michelle Williams. Why they never RSVP-ed for this ‘Party’, I’ll never know.
While it looks wildly desperate for Beyoncé to be launching several singles/videos at a time, one can hardly complain if they all turn out as immaculate as this. The onslaught of new visuals in the last few months – ‘1+1’, ‘Countdown’, ‘Love on Top’ and now ‘Party’ – has done a decent job of sustaining interest in the 4 project while Bey lays off the promo trail to focus on being preggers.
Here are three things you need to know about this ‘Party’:
Big ballin’ in the trailer park.
When I first heard ‘Party’, I immediately pictured a cruisey summer cook-out on the roof top of some swanky hotel with cameos from Kanye, Jay-Z and Kimora Lee Simmons all sippin’ cocktails by the pool. The feel of this 70s soul slow jam was predictably big money but thankfully, Bey and her creative team flipped it all and pulled a production filled with youthful party goers in a trailer park.
In fact, the shock of seeing Beyoncé rubbing her billion dollar derry all over a trailer park kitchen surface and sitting on a dusty old couch with foils in her hair is almost too much. But unlike some pop stars’ vision to truly connect with the edgy and working class [read: Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ video], Bey‘s ‘Party’ is intended as an editorial vision of low-rent glam. It’s taking very ordinary, pedestrian settings and rendering it with furs, well-manicured appearances and colour coordinated props – serving an essence of fantasy and escapism that we all crave in music videos.
Your kitsch is driving me cra-zay!
Y’know, it costs a lot to look this cheap.
I am so in love with the various kitschy objects and Walmart items in this video – but more to the point, I like what it says about Bey finally doing a “deliberately cheap-looking” video as opposed to something she saw in her head as highly stylised only to turn out like a dime-store production. I don’t want to name names but y’all can look at ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Freakum Dress’.
There literally was a time – probably specifically in the B’day era – where Bey just looked tacky as hell but no one could put a finger on what exactly was making it appear so. I reckon it was the combination of greasy weaves and too many “fashion” decisions made by Tina Knowles. Y’know what I mean – cheap shiny fabric with some mirrors and rhinestones glued on and shit. Thank god for Bey‘s new creative A-team.
Now the American R&B megastar is drawing influences from different eras, European culture and particularly in productions like ‘Party’, you really see Bey take it to a new level with a convincing editorial feel. Speaking of which, fans would recognise some of these visuals as pieces from the singer’s wig-snatching Dazed & Confused magazine shoot and 4 album promo.
Where is Tenitra?
Michelle Williams has probably been waiting by the phone ever since she read on Rap-Up that Bey had invited Kelly to cameo in the ‘Party’ video. But did anyone care to so much text her an invitation?
‘Party’ deserves a nod for being one of a rather select few Beyoncé videos that’s actually fun and cute. It was such joy to see Kelly and Solange joining Bey in front of the camera but the icing on top is not complete without our girl Tenitra. The last time all three Destiny’s children and Solange caught up for a wiggle in Bey‘s video was back in ‘Get Me Bodied’. Was Michelle still busy shooting her comeback video in Ibiza at the time?
I hope these two scrags at least had the decency to keep her spirit alive on set by winding to ‘We Break The Dawn’. We can all stare at this gif and pretend, right?
Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ has to date reached #5 on the US R&B/Hip Hop charts and managed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 last week at #75.