If you want to be BALLIN, you have to BE-ALL-IN.
That’s according to celebrity trainer and wellness guru, Corey Calliet, whose training philosophy is founded on the premise of three rules: Don’t Be Late, Don’t Be Late and Don’t Be Late.
From being described by association through her involvement in Destiny’s Child, to going it alone with her “Dadda-ger’s” well-established surname as Beyoncé Knowles to crafting an unmistakably uniquely defined solo career that had the stand-alone “Beyoncé” launched trough an unpresidential silent album release to simply being identified by her face for her latest offering, Homecoming: The Live Album, Beyoncé Knowles Carter’s career is thebar for what it means to BE-ALL-IN in a manner that results in wins that are never too early, never too late but always on time.
In an unprecedented deal with Netflix, the current go-to platform for content worth closing off the world for in favour of the comforts of home, Beyoncé through the carefully woven strategy by her management and entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment, has managed to yet again set thebar for the delivery of entertainment through the leveraging of Netflix’s unique tv, film and documentary platform offering.
In a nutshell and barring the obvious, what Beyoncé is brilliant at is innovation – emancipating the perspective of what is in order to create what is not…yet. The cliché “everything has already been invented” refers to everything but the will of Beyoncé and the additional strategic minds she surrounds herself with. She outlines this quite aptly in Freedom, her iconic dedication to black women on which she collaborated with another pioneering Pulitzer-Prize winning free-thinker Kendrick Lamar, when she sings, “Tryna reign, tryna rain on the thunder, tell the storm I’m new; I’ma walk, I’ma march on the regular, painting white flags blue; Lord forgive me, I’ve been running, running blind in truth; I’ma rain, I’ma reign on this bitter love, tell the sweet I’m new”.
From leotard clad performances which in themselves have emancipated women as a whole and female performers from having a standard perception of acceptable beauty, to employing female only band members, silent album releases that leverage brand name power and visual albums as a multimedia approach to entertainment that incorporates the elements of documentary and film as equally as those of the music and performance, Beyoncé’s ballin plug is that she B All In for doing things differently, the first time around. In doing that, she has emancipated society’s perception of what it means to be a woman, a leader, an entertainer, a documentary film maker, all the while being black and having that be a celebratory aspect, quickly met against it being a discriminatory one.
In a moment during Homecoming, Beyoncé says, “As a black woman, I used to feel like the world wanted me to stay in my little box and Black women often feel underestimated. I wanted us to be proud of not only of the show but the process. Proud of the struggle. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history and rejoice in the pain, rejoice in the imperfections rejoice in the wrongs that are so damn right. I wanted everyone to feel grateful for their curves, their sass, their honesty. Thankful for their freedom. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a pain”
The business of Beyoncé is to go beyond strategy and create a new model for what it means to be unapologetically excellent. The President and Chief Operating Officer of Beyoncé’s management and entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment, Steve Ramon, is ex JP Morgan Chase, NFL, HBO and McKinsey. His depth of experience is evident in the execution of brand Beyoncé, as indicated by lawyer and social commentator Kyle AB’s observation. In it, AB indicates that Pamon has carried through the roll-out of the Beyoncé brand in true assassin style. “One month. Zero hiccups. All execution”. On April 4 – The Ivy Park X Adidas deal was announced, on April 17 Homecoming X Netflix was released along with an “added value” surprise album, on April 23 Lemonade was finally released on Spotify, 3 years after its exclusive release on TIDAL. In under 4 weeks without making announcements or taking premature victory laps, Parkwood Entertainment rolled out deals with 4 major brands – Adidas, Netflix, Apple and Spotify.” Her reference to her relationship with Spotify made the case for her level of brand power awareness even more evident in Everything Is Love’s “Nice” when she sings, “Patiently waiting for my demise; ‘Cause my success can’t be quantified; If I gave two f*&$s, two f*&$s about streaming numbers, would have put Lemonade up on Spotify”
Judging by this trend of silent work that has resulted in loud wins, Beyoncé’s success reminds one of the saying by Ghanaian author Ernest Agyemang Yeboah who said, “We only shout when we neglect what silence can do”. Her silence speaks to something more. It speaks to the largely unknown practices that Beyoncé incorporates into her work and strategies. Practices which are based on carving out a plethora of opportunities from each single platform created. Such as a production team that captures her day-to-day experience at certain intervals of her life which becomes content that weaves together the performances for her world tours, amongst many other platforms. Or the Coachella appearance worth an initial $4 million performance fee which has developed into a $60 million deal that encompassed the Homecoming Netflix documentary showcase one year later, the surprise live album and the next phase as we know it now – a showcase of her Formation World Tour, three years after it kicked off and ‘WHERE IS THE FWT DVD’ teaser merchandise.
The beauty of this deal is in the way that Beyoncé yet again, developed a new model of business for entertainment artists – one which incorporates tv, film and documentary effectively. In a conversation that could have been carried through her previous documentary’s traditional television platform, HBO, Knowles Carter chose the road less travelled – one of defining a new way to use the platforms of tv, film and documentary in a way most accessible to as wide a global audience as what the traditional USA-centric platform offered initially.
In 2 Corinthians 3:17 it is written, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” More than anything, the business of Beyoncé and all its elements of emancipating innovation are driven by pure intention, by Spirit. Through Homecoming and much of her 2019 wins, Beyoncé has managed to give audiences access to her mind, heart and work ethic and in doing so she’s given permission to interrogate the possibility that we too can be the best of ourselves at a moment’s second of us making the decision to be so. As an avid longtime fan myself of the founder of Beychella, I too have been inspired by her ability to make one want to be more of themselves. She’s done this purely by committing to becoming her best self, irrespective of the backlash and way in which she would be misinterpreted. In order to pull off the documentary film masterpiece that is Homecoming, Beyoncé tapped into Beyoncé essentially. She followed her true north as opposed to conforming to the road most travelled of pleasing the world at the expense of her own Spirit’s freedom. One gets a sense of this when during Homecoming, she talks to the team at the end of a late night before her wedding anniversary dinner, and she frankly shares her concerns with the progress towards show-day in
a manner that communicates a woman aware of the responsibility she holds for the name she carries – a brand that lives beyond her, already.
For Beyoncé to have reached this level of self-actualization, my personal observation is that she would have had to go through a series of tests that would force her to carve out the best perception of herself, often at the worst of times. It becomes more and more evident that what drives this is the idea that Beyoncé was never the obvious choice – for the definition of what a beautiful woman is, for what it means to be successful, for a woman “good enough” for the greatness of Jay Z, Beyoncé was never the obvious choice. She was considered too big for Destiny’s Child and not as pretty as her counterparts as yellow-boned as she was in comparison to them, she’s also been attacked for thick southern accent and assumed to be lacking depth, perspective and intelligence. At some point, she decided differently for herself, she saw herself differently and grew into that renewed definition of herself, true to one of the many hard-hitting quotes in Homecoming which states, “You can’t be what you cannot see”.
If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to take a moment this weekend to engage with what the real message of what the documentary film Homecoming is – an invitation to be truly emancipated, by coming home to yourself.
Beyflix and chill beloveds…