Posts Tagged ‘Beyonce’


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Without warning, Beyonce shocked us all and crashed the internet when she surprise-dropped her 5th studio album on Friday the 13th.

The reaction thus far has been immensely positive, with many calling the completely-out-of-nowhere move game-changing, and others referring to the self-titled release as her best, most mature body of work. While I agree that visually and artistically, this is her best album to date, I have hesitations considering this game-changing simply because most artists do not have the massive fanbase, marketing budget or resources to pull off this feat. I applaud her courage and innovation in taking a risk to release music in a way that is unheard of, yet I recognize this monumental undertaking will be nearly impossible for a majority of artists who stand on the lower prongs of the music industry ladder.

With that aside, I specifically wanted to address the track Pretty Hurts. In a sea of shallow bullsh*t, Beyonce has once again dived into the deep end – this time covering the topic of mainstream beauty and the pressure for girls to be beautiful physically above all else. The video depicts Beyonce playing a beauty pageant queen who is criticized harshly for her outer shell, stumbling through tiaras on a journey to discover that harsh universal truth: That happiness can’t be found in bodily perfection.

Mama said, you’re a pretty girl / What’s in your head it doesn’t matter / Brush your hair, fix your teeth / What you wear is all that matters … Pretty hurts / Shine the light on whatever’s worse / Perfection is the disease of a nation / Pretty hurts / Shine the light on whatever’s worse / Try’na fix something / But you can’t fix what you can’t see / It’s the soul that needs the surgery.

The video treatment is imperfectly flawless.

In a time in pop culture when twerking is on everyone’s lips, this track and the substance behind it are completely and utterly refreshing. And dare I say, game-changing? Music is more than sales and remaining ahead of the game — it’s about reaching people — and Beyonce has always understood that, connecting with fans and critics alike in a way that’s authentic and heartfelt.

Watch Pretty Hurts (directed by Melina Matsoukas) below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Beyonce shows her halo on new track God Made You Beautiful, an ode to her little one, Blue Ivy Carter. A sneak peek of the inspirational song first appeared in the trailer for her HBO documentary, Life Is But a Dream, but the full-length version has now emerged with the release of the film’s DVD, which dropped over Thanksgiving.

Listen to the understated gem below.

#BEYourself #GodMadeYouBeautiful


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A few months back, I wrote about R&B newcomer Luke James and his rise to stardom as an opening act on Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Show tour. At the time, his single/video combo for I.O.U. was creating waves and noteworthy in its own right.

Today, James has premiered a new music video for his single Oh God (featuring Hit-Boy), and it’s pretty cool. Directed by Sarah McColgan, the clip is cinematic, classy and oh-so-chic. Three labels that also seem to fit James as an artist.

Luke’s debut album, Made To Love, is set to drop later this year.

Watch the just-released video for Oh God below.

[Related Post: Luke James Comes #Beyoncé-Approved]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Last year, Jay-Z rode the New York subway and bumped into 67-year-old Ellen Grossman, who charmingly had no idea who he was.

After the clip of the encounter went viral, it’s safe to say that she’s now become a new-found fan of the iconic Brooklyn rapper. In fact, she’s digging the rapper’s latest LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and offered her opinion on his latest body of work.

Grossman told MTV News: “It sounds like he’s really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame. He’s saying that the money’s nice, but there’s life beyond that, that he’s exploring. I picked that up from the papers but I felt it in the man too, when I met him. That he had a depth to him.”

With regards to the track Holy Grail (featuring Justin Timberlake), she said: “It started out as a complaint about lovers and relationships. It was pretty mellow and you could go with it… but when Jay-Z came in and he was talking about Kurt Cobain, [he was saying] ‘OK, fame has its price.’ And even someone very famous and rich is capable of suicide. It really hit you hard and the soundscape was just exquisite, so it was pretty amazing.”

Grossman also offered two thumbs up when dishing on the track Part II (On the Run), featuring Queen Beyonce.

“It was very sexy. I heard Jay-Z refer to himself as an outlaw and I think [Bey’s] response seemed to be that she would embrace it all. There’s a real connection and real willingness to show their vulnerability… It was pretty awesome.”

Grossman, a visual artist (visit her website HERE), even shared her thoughts on Jay-Z’s aesthetic choices for the new album: “He does a lot of the glamour stuff — the lights and the good clothing, or even the casual clothing, but incredible lighting, strobing and audience reaction but I wonder, since his album seems something of a shift, if he’ll go somewhere else with it.”

Magna Carta Holy Grail is out now.

Footage of the subway encounter/interview below + new Jay track following.

I love this woman! So cute!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Summer Set have debuted their new music video for Boomerang on VEVO, and I’m instantly hooked! The addictive track is off the band’s latest release, Legendary, which is available now via Fearless Records.

Besides releasing fun summer jams, the band also recently won the 2nd annual Macy*s/iHeartRadio Rising Star competition, which gives them the opportunity to perform alongside music’s biggest stars at this year’s 2-day iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 20th & 21st.

Make sure to catch The Summer Set live this summer, performing on all dates of the Vans Warped Tour!

Video for Boomerang below.

[Related Post: On Heavy Rotation: The Summer Set]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Beyoncé is ruling soundtracks lately. First came the smooth cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black for the Great Gatsby soundtrack, and now Queen B has contributed the inspirational track Rise Up for the animated film Epic! Not only is she providing material for the soundtrack, she also voices the role of Queen Tara in the film.

(I’ve seen the film and it’s awesome. Aziz Ansari made the movie for me.)

Written by Sia and featuring production from Hit-Boy and Chase N. Cashe, the beautiful song features blissful harmonies backed with touching lyrics: “Some people try to drag you down/ Take it from me, stand and be proud/ You’re a warrior/ You’re my warrior/ Be who you are.”

Listen to Bey’s Rise Up below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Beyonce’s opening act for the European leg of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, R&B crooner Luke James. This isn’t his first time at the rodeo though. The New Orleans-based artist actually joined Queen B onstage once before, opening for her in Atlantic City last year.

Getting his start singing background for Tyrese, and later, writing songs for the likes of Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Keri Hilson, and Justin Bieber (among others), Luke signed with super producer Danja and released his mixtape, #Luke, in 2011. His mixtape single I Want You earned him a Best R&B Performance nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Recently, Luke released a track called I.O.U., which serves as the second single off his forthcoming Made To Love disc, which drops later this year.

Video for I.O.U. below.

I suspect big things from this dude!

(That sounded dirty, and for once, I totally didn’t mean it that way!)


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Related Post: Beyonce Can Saaang]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This just in! Not only did Beyonce fake-sing, she also fake-scalped. Yes, you read that correctly. The same with the faux singing, what appeared to be real, luxurious hair coming out of the top of her head was actually strands of locks taken from an Indian tribe in the Far East and inserted into — get this — a weave!

Oh, the horror!

Leave. Beyonce. Alone.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

For every douchebag out there, there’s a song that can get you through the situation. This unknown, unreleased Bey track is one of my personal favorites: “I got the new haircut, the one you said wouldn’t look no good… Took that job you said I could not get, wore that dress you said I’d never fit in.”

The more you know…


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com



By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

God bless Beyonce! Talk about a heart of gold…

In conjunction with World Humanitarian Day, Beyonce will release a video for her stunningly beautiful ballad, I Was Here. Ahead of the release, she’s encouraging fans to spread the positive message and to take a stand at

The video will premiere on World Humanitarian Day (August 19th), and was shot in front of a live audience at the U.N.’s General Assembly Hall.

Says Queen B: “We all see the headlines, and we think, what can I really do to help? World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a difference. This is our time to leave our mark on the world and show that we were here and we care.”

Watch Bey’s inspiring World Humanitarian Day campaign video below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ok, not to be THAT person, but I’ve been a Frank Ocean fan long before his coming out made him appear on everyone’s Facebook newsfeed over the past week… To prove my point, check out THIS post that I wrote forever and a day ago, properly titled ‘Frank Ocean, I’m In Love With Chu’. I mean, hello. And although, I thought I couldn’t love him more, the R&B singer/songwriter took my borderline obsession to a whole ‘notha level with the bravery he exuded in his coming out letter.

In case you’ve been living under a rock/are a Southern Baptist (ha), Frank Ocean posted an open letter on his Tumblr page, where he admitted to the fact that his first love was actually a man. Since his painfully honest blog post (which, let’s face it, could change the face of hip-hop), Frank Ocean has received an outpouring of support from friends like Tyler, The Creator, Russell Simmons, fans/family, and now Beyonce herself.

Beyonce and Frank Ocean first developed a friendship when working together on her stunning song I Miss You. To show love + support to Frank for his brave and beautiful decision to be open about his sexuality and life, the always-classy Miss Knowles wrote some simple yet touching words and dedicated them to Frank; covering the words over a black and white shot of Frank Ocean, she wrote: “Be fearless. Be honest. Be generous. Be brave. Be poetic. Be open. Be free. Be yourself. Be in love. Be happy. Be inspiration.”

Beyutiful! (Ok, that’s corny. But f*ck it!)

Frank’s forthcoming LP Channel Orange is set to drop on July 17th.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

i-D online recently spoke to pop singer Cheryl Cole and confirmed her love for two things: Beyonce and men with tattoos.

Said the beautiful Miss Cole: “I love Beyonce. I just think she’s such a beautiful person inside and out. Aside from what she does on stage — which is just incredible — I like her as a woman. She’s empowering.”

The UK pop starlet also spoke on how she’s attracted to men with ink: “It’s like body art, and I think it’s reflective of somebody’s personality. I don’t know what it is. I’m always attracted to people with body art.”

Um, hello! We’re practically the same person!

Saucy new track Make You Go, available on A Million Lights – Super Deluxe Edition, out today in the UK! + the above-mentioned interview following.