Love on Top

When Beyonce Knowles revealed in the most spectacular way the news that she and Jay-Z were expecting a little one, reactions from the people were varied. Y’all can be mad funny actin sometimes…

In my house, there were smiles and squeals of joy for a happy couple. A happy, married, Black couple — a singer and a rapper, no less — who shared with the world news of the little life their love had created. Across the twittosphere, there was the snark and irreverence that we’ve come to expect. But also, there was glee and hosts of folks congratulating Bey and Jay, knowing full well that neither Bey nor Jay would ever even read their lil tweets o’love and congratulations. Those people didn’t care though. They seemed genuinely happy for these two. Genuinely happy for the seemingly solid relationship they’ve built and reinforced through creating life together.

Look how she looks at him. He's the only one she sees.

The “great reveal of 2011” was definitely a dope moment. In the beginning, I wondered why Beyonce The Silhouette Knowles would perform at the VMAs in all those clothes. Why wasn’t there more pyrotechnics and wind and more hair slinging? Why was she goin hard, but not nearly as hard as we’d come to expect from ol Bey?

Then she dropped the mic. And rubbed that belly, and it all made sense. And to top it off, there was the expression on her face.

This, my friends, is elation. You can’t take it away from her, and you can’t keep us from feeling it through the screen.

And there was Jay’s reaction, too.

Peep the salute.

This, my friends, is pride. Not braggadocio for a material thing whose luster will fade in time. This is Man acknowledging and affirming his Mrs., and their young’n.

As far as we know, Jay-Z and Beyonce have been together nearly 10 years, and married for 3. That’s married. Not engaged. Not something similar to marriage, but married. Wedding rings. Vows. “…forsaking all others” and shit. So there’s something to be said for that kind of longevity between two über-stars. Their star power individually is eleventybillion volts. Thus, sharing that kind of power could have spelled disaster early. But it didn’t. Because people who want to be together will eventually work it out, becoming a far more formidable force together, than they would be apart. Nothing’s perfect but its worth it…

I don’t usually get caught up in who’s marrying who, and who else is having Lil Wayne’s baby. But I admit to loving these two, and to loving watching their relationship flourish. They’ve been so private for so long, which probably is why they’ve been successful and seemingly happy as a celebrity couple. We don’t know everything, and we don’t need to know everything. We can share in their felicity, but we don’t have to live vicariously through them. For this reason, that they shared such an intimate gift so publicly felt like a *Jigga Salute* to fans, who have respected their space and rooted for them from afar.

Finally, let me disabuse this chauvinist assumption that Bey is now in the clear because she done landed herself a good, rich man. Lest you forget, like Shawn Carter, Beyonce Knowles is a brand. An enterprise. She was on her way before she began a relationship with Jay-Z, and her stock will likely continue to rise for as long as she does what she’s done to make good on her own name. See that?

She does what she’s done to make good on her name.

Beyonce is just about as self-made as her man. They are equally yoked. Even if there’s a hundred million dollar difference between them, she’s still in the hundred million dollar club. In other words, Jay may wear the pants, but she wears the pumps. It’s a perfect match. In fact, I don’t know that any other romantic situation is possible for these two. What single woman (I mean “single” woman as opposed to “harem” of women) could capture the attention and affections of a rapper mogul, but a femme mogul-in-the-making? Perhaps Kim Porter knows. Perhaps, but probably not.

Beyonce doesn’t “need” Jay-Z to take care of her; she doesn’t “need” any man to. She acquiesces because he captured her attention and affections too. Folks criticized “4” for being…I don’t know…I don’t know what folks expected it to be. What it sounds like to me, though, is a familiar Beyonce meme: celebration of womanhood. “Girls Run the World” sends a powerful message about the strength of femininity.

My persuasion can build a nation…

Boy you know you love it how we’re smart enough to make these millions/strong enough to bear the children/then get back to business.

I love that.

But “4” also succeeds in celebrating grown ass decisions about love and happiness. “I Care,” “1+1,” “I Miss You,” “Best Thing I Never Had,” and “Start Over” lead us lovingly into “Countdown,” “End of Time,” “Rather Die Young,” and finally, “Love on Top.” “4” definitely feels like Beyonce’s baby. And parts of it feel like a love letter to her husband. It really seems fitting that the only entity able to eclipse the Knowles-Carter shooting star would be the little fella or the little lady they created together. Talk about Love on Top.


About moniquealicia

M.A.G. is a doctoral student at Howard University. She resides in the Washington, DC metro area, and is passionate about her love of family and friends, politics and conversation, and the exceptional meal. View all posts by moniquealicia

6 responses to “Love on Top

  • Cora

    Great post.
    My favorite line: Jay may wear the pants, but she wears the pumps.

  • Yani

    I love this!!! Great Job! And the video snippets add so much!!! 🙂


  • Kevin E. Taylor


    Spoken with passion, clarity and conviction: NOW AIN’T THAT A WOMAN!

    Thanks for the break-up. Hopefully, somebody will get a breakthrough!

  • moniquealicia

    Thank you, guys! Thanks for seeing what I see!

  • A Guy With A Pen.

    I honestly feel as if this is a Russell/Kimora, strictly business type of marriage. The odds of becoming a star are ridiculous. The odds that you can have a successful marriage with another star, even more astronomical. The fact that Beyonce lacks a formal education and has the articulation of a 12 year old actually scares me. She’s stunted, in a Michael Jackson sort of way. …and she’s having a child? She’s essentially a baby making babies. I’ll be late for that..

    • moniquealicia

      As much as I respect a difference of opinion, yours seems unnecessarily pessimistic, and unjustly critical. Whether Beyonce and Jay-Z work out in the long run — whether any couple works out in the long run is difficult for any of us on the outside to say. They both seem genuinely happy to be together, and I respect and celebrate that. It’s enough for me.

      I adore this couple, but I have no problem calling a spade a spade. I’ve seen several of Beyonce’s interviews, and several videos of her speaking candidly and casually. The woman is more than articulate enough. To say she “has the articulation of a 12 year old” is just bad hyperbole. And with regard to her lack of formal education, I imagine it would be difficult to build a career as expansive and as successful as hers without a decent noodle, at the very least.

      The “stunted…baby making babies” quip is absurd.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion.

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