April is now my favorite month because of Beyoncé. My all-time fave dropped nearly four hours of content last week and I’m still soaking up every minute of it.
I traveled down to the South to attend the NABJ Region I Conference at my alma mater Hampton University the week before Beyoncé’s Netflix special released. Forced to spend two extra days in Norfolk, Virginia after United Airlines canceled my flight back because of inclement weather, by Sunday, I was ready to be back in my Harlem apartment.
Exhausted by the thought of the work I would have to catch up on, my only saving grace was knowing that Beyoncé would be belting out her best hits on a live album that was set to release the morning after I landed.
My alarm clock went off at 6 o’clock Wednesday morning and I immediately downloaded Beyoncé’s HOMECOMING album from Apple Music before heading to the shower. Queen Bey transformed her iconic historically Black college and university (HBCU)-themed Coachella performance into an album that will live on in my heart forever.
Coachella paid Beyoncé up to $4 million for her two-weekend performances. Each show was filled with allusions to HBCU bands, homecomings and culture. Dozens of her dancers, band members and coordinators are HBCU grads and helped inspire the theme of the performances. It took eight months to plan and rehearse for the biggest shows Coachella has ever seen, and Beyoncé later capitalized off of the shows with a $60 million Netflix deal and the live album.
For years, Beyonce has made trailblazing moves in the streaming industry forcing fans and her competition to stay on their toes. When she dropped her surprise self-titled album in December 2013, the game was forever changed.
Since that album, Beyoncé has continued to release music and other content without warning. Her sixth solo studio album Lemonade also had a surprise April release. This time, Beyoncé even gave fans like me a chance to prepare with her Netflix documentary, and we still weren’t ready.
Netflix has been making its own strides as well by aggressively beating out other streaming services for deals. HBO was originally set to stream Beyoncé’s performance, but lost after Netflix agreed to pay $60 million. Netflix allegedly wrote a $10 million check for “Knock Down the House,” a Sundance-winning documentary centered on the female candidates during the 2018 midterm elections.
Netflix and Beyoncé won’t be slowing down any time soon. Netflix has been bolstering up its film offerings to better compete at the Oscars and other award shows, and the Queen has a role in the upcoming live-action Lion King movie.
Beyoncé’s Netflix documentary and album will be taking up a lot of my time in the upcoming weeks and I am perfectly fine with that. It has reaffirmed my love for my HBCU, inspired me to catch up on backlogged blog posts and energized me enough to dance on the train on my way to class.
Your fave could never.