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August 15, 2018
February 27, 2017
When I visited her loft in Hollywood recently, Matsoukas opened her rose-gold laptop and pulled up the video. The brassy opening beats began as Beyoncé crouched on the roof of a police car, wearing a red-and-white blouse and a matching skirt: evocative of the rural South but made by Gucci. Matsoukas, who is tall and thin, with dark hair and high cheekbones, radiates a disconcerting hyperassurance. (She’s a Buddhist, with a fluctuating practice.) She is, as she says, “very loud and New York,” but her apartment projects an almost hermetic cool: Africanist art, a golden skull on a shelf, a tar-splashed vanity mirror.
After Matsoukas agreed to direct the video, Beyoncé invited her to her house in Los Angeles, and explained the concept behind “Lemonade.” “She wanted to show the historical impact of slavery on black love, and what it has done to the black family,” Matsoukas told me. “And black men and women—how we’re almost socialized not to be together.” This was a fraught subject for Beyoncé. She and her husband, the rapper Jay Z, are among the most famous couples in the world, and they had long been surrounded by rumors that he was unfaithful. Beyoncé considers herself a feminist, but for black women feminism can be a tenuous balancing act—advocating for women’s rights while supporting black men against racism. Black feminists have often been forced to pick between being politically black or politically female. “It’s an unfair struggle that only black women can understand and relate to,” Matsoukas said. With the “Lemonade” album, Beyoncé was publicly calling out the men in her life, an unexpected and, to her fans, thrilling decision.
January 21, 2017
In the January issue of Interview magazine, Solange is interviewed by Beyoncé and waxes lyrical about how their mother “always taught us to be in control of our voice and our bodies and our work.” Last June, when accepting the fashion icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Beyoncé dedicated it to her “fabulous and beautiful” mother.
And in November, when Solange appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” a backstage video posted on Instagram, showing the singer carried by Mom and Big Sis, caused the internet to let out a collective “aww.”
Ms. Lawson, 63, now finds herself in a newfound role as an artistic bridge between two of 2016’s most critically lauded albums: “Lemonade,” Beyoncé’s fiery visual album that is up for nine nods at the Grammy Awards next month, and “A Seat at the Table,” Solange’s spare and poetic R&B record, which topped Pitchfork’s best-album list last year. In October, her daughters made history when they became the first sisters to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the same year.
January 10, 2017
There are some great cameos on A Seat, too (Lil Wayne for the win), but it's the restraint that creates drama throughout the record. Excepting the interludes of mini-monologues from Solange's parents and from Master P (!), the tracks on A Seat, each written and co-produced by Solange, are as tight and polished as cue balls. It seems notable that, in a year full of unparalleled turmoil and tragedy, when sexuality, race, gender, and identity politics were the slowly moving, if molten hot, tectonic plates of American culture, the tenor of A Seat at the Table is one of extraordinary, almost chilly poise. There is a severity in Solange's seeming serenity, as she sings on "F.U.B.U.," for instance, about commercial and cultural appropriation of black culture; there is a rigor to her composure. But that anaerobic tension makes for all the more seductive a re-listen and re-listen and re-listen.
November 1, 2016
In the piece, Adele mentions that Beyoncé has been a big part of her musical life since the age of 11, when she heard "No, No, No" by Destiny's Child. "She’s my Michael Jackson,” Adele told Vanity Fair. Beyoncé offered her own kind words for Adele: “When Adele sings you can hear that it’s coming from an unfiltered honesty and purity. She creates songs that go deep and expose pain and vulnerability with her soulful voice. She takes you places other artists don’t go to anymore—the way they did in the ‘70s.”
“It is so easy to talk to her and be around her. She’s funny as hell and her comebacks are legendary. The most beautiful thing about Adele is that she has her priorities straight. She is a gracious woman and the most humble human being I’ve ever met.”
September 12, 2016
April 5, 2016
January 23 was a normal day for Beyoncé. On the docket:
1. Showcase new athleisure line, Ivy Park
2. Plot launch of new music label
3. Prepare to dominate Super Bowl 50
4. Polish off top secret "Formation" video
5. Gear up for all-stadium world tour
When "Run the world" is your business plan, your day starts early.
April 4, 2016
These days, the superstar-turned-supermogul is slaying—pop charts, music-industry standards, societal labels, and now, the athleticwear biz—all on her own.
This article originally appears in the May 2016 issue of ELLE, available digitally on April 5, on newsstands in select cities starting April 6, and nationwide on April 19.
In this worldwide ELLE exclusive, Beyoncé gives a rare in-depth interview, in which she speaks candidly about how the first Destiny's Child album helped her discover she had real power, why she approached Topshop to be her 50-50 partner in Ivy Park, the true meaning of feminism, what she wants to accomplish next, her "Formation" message, and much more.
Here, a sneak preview of Beyoncé's conversation with Tamar Gottesman in the issue…
How important was the ethos of the brand—the idea of self-love, of girls and women coming together?
"It's really the essence: to celebrate every woman and the body she's in while always striving to be better. I called it Ivy Park because a park is our commonality. We can all go there; we're all welcomed. It's anywhere we create for ourselves. For me, it's the place that my drive comes from. I think we all have that place we go to when we need to fight through something, set our goals and accomplish them."
February 12, 2016
February 6, 2016