[EDIT] A mere half-hour after this article was published, the “BEYONCÉ – Platinum Edition DVD Box Set” was announced. Pre-orders have begun ahead of its November 24 release.
The 4-piece CD/DVD set will include the original 14 songs plus 2 new ones, “7/11″ and “Ring Off”, along with four new and unreleased remixes: “***Flawless feat. Nicki Minaj“, “Drunk In Love feat. Jay Z and Kanye West“, “Blow feat. Pharrell“, and previously-scrapped song “Standing On The Sun feat. Mr Vegas“.
The DVD will feature live footage from the year-long “Mrs. Carter World Tour” and a mini version of the 2015 Beyoncé calendar.
It may be obsolete, but this article is still fun to read, I promise.
Beyoncé. Stop. Can you not.
Don’t play with my heart like that. One cardiac arrest a year is about all I can take. It hasn’t even been a whole year.
Now would you mind explaining this?
BEYONCÉ platinum edition track list. pic.twitter.com/KmlDjWDllg
— Beysus † Godga (@GagaLovesBey) November 1, 2014
Looks familiar? Well, it’s been making its rounds on the Internet these past few days. Twitter, to be exact. You know, that little site that you’ve visited all of four times?
Although a Twitter user claims that the tracklist was fabricated, the track “DONK” featuring Nicki Minaj has reportedly already been registered with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). That track with Rihanna? Rumours of a remix collaboration to the innuendo bonanza “Blow” have already been swirling about for months now. Dreamboat Justin Timberlake was one of the producers of “BEYONCÉ“, so it’s not too far-fetched to imagine him sneaking in a track as part of his paycheck.
You don’t understand how hard I’m biting down on my tongue right now, trying to stop myself from screaming “YAAAAAAAAAS MAMA!!!”.
All bias from the #Beyhive aside, this whole rumour has been made even more believable by a few instances of suspicious behaviour within the music industry of late. Let’s review the evidence for this case:
Exhibit A: The Vol. 1 Delay
The original “BEYONCÉ” visual album was first scheduled for release in early 2013, but was pushed back month by month until June, when the entire project was rumoured to be “ordered scrapped” by Queen B herself. While the album’s 17 videos made for a strenuous shooting schedule, you wouldn’t think Bey would need an entire year for it, would you? Maybe she was busy recording something extra?
Also, Beyoncé’s planner for 2014 was probably ridiculously packed with tour dates from her massive(ly successful) “Mrs. Carter World Tour” and joint tour with hubby Jay Z, “On The Run“. Unless Blue Ivy was sent to a boarding school for infants I don’t see where she could find time to swing by a recording studio.
Exhibit B: “Mrs. Carter? Ms. Maraj and Ms. Fenty are waiting in the lobby”
12.15.14 THE PINKPRINT A video posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on
Enter Nicki Minaj. Her third album “The Pinkprint” was originally scheduled for release on November 24. After a whole year of half-hearted promotion (“Anaconda” was an exception, alright) and watching Iggy Azalea make herself at home, she oddly decided on pushing the album back three weeks to December 15. Traditionally, Christmas and Nicki Minaj do not go together (can you imagine how she would interpret “Jingle Bells“). Is she waiting for something? Or someone?
Enter stage left: Rihanna. Fresh and revitalised from a year off music, @badgalriri (she’s back on Instagram, guys) has been teasing her eighth album for almost half a year. Just two weeks ago, this document leaked on Twitter, finally giving a name to the #R8 teasers:
“Official release date: November 25, 2014”? Looks like someone’s gunning for a late-November release as well. Coincidence?
Exhibit C: Blow/Cherry
Basically a few months back some industry insider took a peek in the ASCAP data and found the disco-tinged track with its performers mysteriously labelled “BEYONCE/RHIANNA”. After reeling from shock at seeing Beyoncé’s name written without her áćúté accent and poor RiRi’s name spelled wrong altogether, I started salivating at the perfection of a Bey x RiRi collab (see below). Too good to be true? Maybe then. Now? Totally Bey-lievable.
Exhibit D: 7 Habits Of A Highly-Successful PR Team
Save for the outright document “leak”, Team Beyoncé has done this before. How did the “***Flawless Remix” come about? With a supposed “PR nightmare” preceding it. Rich woman attacks even-richer brother-in-law in elevator while breadwinner sister watches. All publicity is good publicity. Team Beyoncé doesn’t make mistakes, only “mistakes”.
It’s also fun to note that after the “million dollars on an elevator” incident, Beyoncé’s dad and ex-manager Matthew Knowles called the whole thing “a Jedi mind trick“. The whole fracas was, apparently, a PR stunt. He claimed that Solange Knowles’ album sales went up by 200% after she landed two kicks on the music mogul, while ticket sales to Jay and Bey’s “On The Run” tour were boosted considerably. Cute.
Now just take a step back and look at the past month: TWO of the biggest stars in Pop having their unreleased album tracklists leaked online within weeks of one another? Really?
But all Beyhiving aside, this rumoured “Beyoncé Vol. 2” release is significant for many reasons. We all remember the impact of last year’s surprise release (which we fangirled about), where Beyoncé moved ONE MILLION digital copies in the first 24 hours alone. But what makes a “Volume 2” any more special? Will it *gasp* bomb on the charts? Do people need a break from Beyoncé (quite impossible, I know, but just maybe)?
1) An Album In Less Than A Year?
It seems unlikely that an entire album can appear just like that, especially with Beyoncé’s penchant for perfection. What is she trying to prove here? If anything, JT could have persuaded her against attempting a two-part album, seeing how his 2013 dual album “The 20/20 Experience” spawned massive hits like “Mirrors“, and “Suit & Tie” from its first disc, but was ultimately burdened by its unsuccessful latter half, which was almost totally ignored. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice with a two-part album? Let’s not go there.
From Bey’s perspective, it definitely worked for her iconic third album “I Am… Sasha Fierce“, but “BEYONCÉ” kinda lacks a theme concrete enough for a two-piece album to sell as well. Personally, I wouldn’t want this “Volume 2” to happen. Why? If the peasants saw their Queen every other day, even when she’s not at her best, wouldn’t her mystique diminish?
2) Jay Z’s Ultimate Fantasy
If we rounded up all the Beyoncé/Jay Z/Rihanna love triangle rumours online and arranged them in a row, the line would probably end up slightly longer than a ticketing queue for any one of their arena tours. Ever since the Barbadian bombshell debuted on mainstream charts with her Jay Z-assisted track “Umbrella“, the Internet has been quite convinced that B and R
hate dislike one another.
Just like how a collaboration with Lady Gaga (“Telephone“, “Video Phone“) elegantly welded two very strong and very vocal fandoms together, working with Rihanna can only be good for both artists (and very good for Jay Z).
Speaking of Jay Z’s rumoured love interests, maybe Rita Ora‘s next?
3) More Grammys! More awards! More free performances!
She already has an incredible 17 Grammys, so what’s one more? After her hubby’s famous quote at the 2014 Grammys, it’s clear that the power couple have too many of these little gramophones sitting in their storeroom.
That said, a release date that late in the year isn’t exactly the best strategy for capturing awards. The cut-off date for Grammy nominations hovers around 30th September each year; which means albums released in the fourth quarter of 2014 need incredible staying power (or just a LOT of singles) to be among the next year’s nominees. Being stuck in Q4 also means that artists have to compete with a slew of Christmas albums and their makers (as a tradition, Michael Bublé hibernates for for the other nine months), though demand is usually higher due to the holiday season.
But album or no album, the inevitable equation of More Albums = More Nominations = More Appearances = More Red Carpet Fashion + Live Performances still stands today. And who wouldn’t want to see Bey perform live I mean, come on.