Hold Up (”Rare Demo”) - Ezra Koenig & Diplo, 2014 (submitted by radiobey)
Ezra elaborates on helping Beyonce write and record Hold Up from Lemonade:
“People get really hung up on who wrote what. In some ways I served as like, the middle ground between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Beyoncé, but it’s funny to think about — what does writing really mean? Of course I’m like, proud. I think I wrote a good hook, I think I had a good idea to like, riff on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But now when I listen back to the demo, it sounds different because she contextualized the song. She made this great video where she’s like, bashing windows and stuff. When I wrote that, it wasn’t directed at anybody, I was just songwriting. There are Vampire Weekend songs that have deep meaning to me, that are personal, but that one I was kinda songwriting. Like, ‘oh, this is a good hook.’ I wasn’t thinking about anyone in particular, and the idea that those words are now contextualized by this album, that video, by her as a performer and a curator—I like it! I think it has deeper meaning. Of course I feel some sense of ownership over what I did, but it doesn’t feel like my song. She really did bring a different resonance and meaning to it. It’s a very modern way of a song coming together… 99% of the world will hear those words and associate them with Beyoncé now.”
Kylie Jenner can literally draw on lips and there are other youtubers who admit to drawing and plumping their lips, but SZA can’t draw on freckles? There are more important things to worry about than a black girl enhancing her aesthetic. People were so mad at SZA and claimed she “lied” about her life. That is so minor, it’s ridiculous. Who cares if her hair isn’t naturally big and 4A and she doesn’t have freckles? She’s still beautiful, so why are you mad unless you’re just upset you can’t find many black women who fit your unrealistic standards of beauty.
Y’all pretend Beyonce is such a rare beauty that no one else looks like but plot twist: PLENTY of black girls look similar to her. People get mad when a black girl says she resembles Beyonce because you are so misogynoiristic, you pretend no black girl can be that “pretty” unless they’re mixed or light-skinned. I have a darker skinned cousin who looks similar to Beyonce in the face. I have light-skinned girlfriends who look close to Beyonce with blond weave. Like, you act as if Beyonce’s aesthetic is rare for black girls. It’s not anymore rare than Kelly Rowland’s or someone like Lupita. Beyonce is a visibly black woman with lighter brown skin and a narrow nose. You get mad at Blue Ivy for looking like Beyonce as a child but then wish Blue looked more like Beyonce. Does that make sense to you?
Nicki Minaj’s ass looks no different than a lot of black girls I went to middle school with. At their age, their butts were just as big as Nicki is today in spite of having small bodies. Any other time y’all would make fun of girls like that for being “disproportionate” but because now big butts are in due to benevolently racist Kardashians, y’all want to change history and act like it is not common for black women and girls to have a body like that. You would have shamed someone like Nicki Minaj if she came out in the early 00′s along with Lil’ Kim, but now y’all act like you never saw a black woman with an ass and body-type like that. It is possible to be at one time skinny and straight-bodied and suddenly grow hips, boobs and an ass in your mid-twenties. It is common for black women to suddenly gain weight and curves during their later years. So using photos of Nicki when she was 19 to when she just started becoming mainstream in her late 20′s is senseless. You forget Nicki Minaj isn’t that young and wasn’t that young when she broke into the rap industry. People dragged Nicki for “lying” about being younger than she was. Although I don’t think Nicki ever lied about her age. People just assumed she was in her early 20′s instead of born in 1982 in 2010. Nicki Minaj’s ass may have had work done like a lot of women get for their breasts or butts to make it more “proportioned” but I find it hard to believe Nicki couldn’t have just had spurt of curves as she got older.
I just don’t see why people try to pit Nicki and Beyonce against regular black girls when Nicki and Beyonce look just like those regular black girls only they’re famous and wear make up (not shaming make up but a lot of black women look like that in makeup). People try to lie about black girls being aesthetically “ugly” due to misogynoir and if they finally admit we’re not ugly, it has to be if we look like Bey or Nicki with their skin tone. But even the darkest and most Afrocentric black girl gets asked if she’s “mixed” if she’s pretty, so anti-black beauty standards is erroneous. And I think many black men and non-black people are realizing that “black girls are ugly” trope is a lie due to the internet, so they reach for straws by calling dark-skinned girls ugly when it’s clear they’re not or resorting to, “Well, it’s your attitudes I don’t like. Never said you were ugly.” I’m sorry, but saying I have an ugly personality is the same as calling me ugly inside and out.
This album is just so so good. I just want to scream. I feel like anyone who hasn’t heard this album yet is missing out in a huge way. There are no words. Every song tells a story then she provides us with this 1 hour visual to help with painting the picture.. what an artist is supposed to do. I have seen social media rejoice in this project like never before and so many celebrites - actresses, actors, news anchors, radio hosts, singers - you name it, they’re all saying how brilliant and innovating this album is and it’s overwhelming for me as a huge fan of hers to see so much love and out pouring for this project, because it’s THAT good.
So I can only imagine how Bey feels.
I’m so very proud of Bey and I’m proud to call her my fave, she dropped the surprise album/visual in 2013 and had everyone doing the same and she has now OUTDONE what she started by dropping LEMONADE setting the bar even higher. Prince told Beyoncé
if she learns the piano the skys the limit.. she learnt the piano and it seems like she’s only going up.. up.. and up..
She outdid her only competition. Herself.
What I got out of the album is that this journey we call life isn’t easy, we all go through it yet, Beyoncé has been given so many lemons, (talent, love, family) to name a few and she’s made lemonade out of it, (a career, a huge fanbase, her own family).
Life has handed each and every one of us our own lemons.. it’s just what we choose to do with them.