B'Day Anthology Video Album B'Day Anthology Video Album
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10 Years Later: A Definitive Ranking Of Beyonce's 'B' Day Video Anthology Album'

Before she wowed us with her self-titled visual LP and 'LEMONADE' HBO release, Beyonce had already set the wheels in motion with 'B’ Day Video Anthology Album.'

After she changed the game with the digital drop of her surprise visual LP BEYONCÉ, followed by flipping HBO (and the world) upside down with LEMONADE, many tend to forget that Beyoncé had already set the wheels in motion. Ten years ago, on April 3, 2007, the singer released the B’ Day Video Anthology Album, the first of her discography’s three visual albums. Partnered alongside the deluxe re-release of her 2006 sophomore effort, B’ Day, the set featured music videos for 13 of the album’s tracks.

At the time, the music video artform was starting to die out a little, as the shift in the industry’s focus was the ringtone and the skyrocketing impact of digital downloads. In her ambitious spirit, Beyoncé filmed nine new music videos in the span of two weeks to accompany those of B’Day’s previously released singles. The project quickly became a team effort featuring high profile directors Melina Matsoukas, Jake Nava, Anthony Mandler, Cliff Watts and Ray Kay. The songstress did most of her own hair and makeup, while stylist Ty Hunter coordinated the outfits that Tina Knowles spent countless hours making for the leading star and her backup dancers. In addition to its high profile style moments, the Anthology is best known for its choreography, which Beyoncé and her team of choreographers mapped out in a matter of hours (even in the case of “Beautiful Liar,” 45 minutes) before filming took place.

Every visual—with varying filming techniques ranging from vivid colors to black and white to Super 8 film—embodied the liberation present on the sound and lyricism of B’ Day. In a way, the singer went full actress mode, channeling the many sides of a strong, black woman who's in control of her own situations. The dance instructions of “Get Me Bodied” showcased her fun, energetic side. “Green Light,” “Kitty Kat,” and “Freakum Dress” highlighted the diva’s sex appeal as a weapon. “Flaws and All” offered a side of softness as each individualized portrait peeped a window into the star’s human side. As each video played out in sequential order, they unpacked the complexities of the ups and downs of relationships and how women still manage to be bosses in their own rights. All in all, the project became a celebration of womanhood and various aspects of femininity.

Always pushing the envelope, Beyoncé found the perfect opportunity to fulfill her dream of making a music video album. The music videos from her days in Destiny’s Child and her solo debut, Dangerously in Love, made the case for Beyoncé as an emerging music video maven, but Anthology—and the drive behind it—placed her in a high tier lane with the likes of her biggest inspiration Michael Jackson. Similar to the King of Pop, the Queen Bey wanted to make a collectors item that her fans could cherish forever. Instead of having the BeyHive go to YouTube and tirelessly search for the videos, they were all available in the one set. Now those fans wish she would have made a visual for every song, including the heartbreaker “Resentment” and the punny, deluxe jaunt “World Wide Woman.”

B’ Day Video Anthology Album must be heralded as an important pop culture artifact. As expressed before, it’s the birther of Beyoncé’s passion for providing fans visual sequences they need to tell an album’s story. Imagine a B’Day without its Anthology—although the go-go and funk infused tracks already made an impression upon audio listens only, the visuals made the record pop to life. Without a test run for the first visual album, who knows if BEYONCÉ or LEMONADE would have actually held up to its standards of filming mastery. Here is a definitive ranking of all the project’s music videos from least favorite to absolute standout.

13. “Listen”

The Diane Martel-directed cut comes from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Beyoncé most likely featured the video on the set, as a bonus treat for fans to remind them of her role as Deena Jones in the 2006 film adaptation of the Broadway musical.

12. “Still In Love (Kissing You)”

As this video’s YouTube description says, “she is serving up in this video.” The black and white visuals of the singer frolicking on a beach in a two piece bikini is a pleasant sight to see. Well maybe not for “You Gotta Be” singer, Des’ree, who sued the singer for covering her 1997 ballad without her permission. As a result, only those that own the initial pressings of Anthology have the video on DVD.

11. “Flaws And All”

In 2007, Melina Matsoukas told MTV that the Cliff Watts directed flick utilized Super 8. Beyoncé “emulates” classic Hollywood actresses Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Barbra Streisand in black and white portraits that highlight a woman’s complexities.

10. “Suga Mama”

With a country twang and go-go swang, the singer caused a commotion with her solo dancing. Using a pole and mechanical bull to tantalize her lover, Beyoncé manages to still exude a southern charm in it all. The song also inspired the name of her all female band, the Suga Mamas.

9. “Kitty Kat”

It’s a shame that this visual only lasts for less than a minute—granted, it’s just the opener for the more powerful “Green Light” music video. The Neptunes-produced track is actually three minutes and 55 seconds long. This video deserves props for the cheetah print “Katsuit” and eye shadow which made the singer stand out from the huge black cat. If only we would have received a visual for the rap breakdown that happens towards the end of the song.

8. “Irreplaceable”

We all know the chorus, and we all know the fingernail filing and subsequent hand gesture that goes along with it. Playing out almost every lyric to literal interpretation, “Irreplaceable” will forever remain one of the singer’s stand out videos for a single. The buzz behind it helped the song stay number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, and propelled the longevity of B’ Day.

7. “Beautiful Liar” feat. Shakira

On the streets, the dream pop/R&B collaboration everyone hoped for was Beyoncé and Shakira. The Colombian became a pop culture mainstay when she released her number one hit, “Hips Don’t Lie,” the same year Bey released the standard edition of B’ Day. The two divas were arguably the hottest dancers on the music block, so when they united, it was massive. For the double trouble video—which manages to play mind tricks with just one blink of an eye— Shakira taught Beyoncé how to belly dance for the ending scenes.

6. “Freakum Dress”

Think about asking your mother to make you eight ready-for-the-club dresses in order to make your man jealous. Most would say no, but never Miss Tina. Oh oh oh... There’s a barrage of outfit changes in this fast paced visual which features an incredible hand motion at “get ready to freak um, freak um.” And don’t forget the dance sequence during the final verse, which starts with, “When you put it on it’s your invitation/when they play your song get on up and shake it!”

5. “Upgrade U” feat. Jay Z

Flashy images of golden Rolexes and a creme interiored Rolls Royce don’t even beat Bey’s impersonation of Jay. The rapper was running late to set, and due to her time crunch, the singer had to embody her future husband’s swag. At the end it all paid off for one of the pair’s best joint visuals.

4. “Déjà Vu” feat. Jay Z

For the first single off the standard edition, the singer dug into her Creole roots to make a striking visual. Bogged in the steamy New Orleans summer, the chemistry between the lovers is undeniable. The video gained notoriety for its fashion and one suggestive dance move after another. Surprisingly, her fans were “underwhelmed” by the video and demanded a reshoot. Thankfully, they kept everything intact.

3. “Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix)”

Swizz Beatz track, check. Solange joining the Destiny’s Child trio, check. The grand Beyoncé entrance prompting a “who is it?” sequence before she replies, “it’s me, Bey,” check. An extended dance workout: simply priceless (especially the scissor leg)!

2. “Green Light”

Beyoncé endured “battle scars” for the hardest video to film in the two weeks. They were worth it. A mixture of slow motion and real time mixed in with sped up visuals, set the formula for future videos such as “Countdown.” The video’s pacing goes along with the funk inspired track. The latex outfits are to die for. The Suga Mamas come to life as an incredible backing band, and Beyoncé’s attitude leads the way. Simply put, “Greenlight” is the fiery heart of the Anthology.

1. “Ring The Alarm”

Any video that successfully pays homage to Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct character Catherine Tramell deserves first place. Beyoncé not only performs the part, she executes it. From the Manolo Timb-inspired booties to the creme trench coat that she still performs in today, the style was more than on point. And although Beyoncé is visibly enraged, that anger is the proper amount of turn up to a Swizz Beatz club banger.

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J Stone Talks Touring, Nipsey Hussle, New Music And More

It was all good just two weeks ago. On Thursday (March 12), I headed downtown to meet with West Coast rapper J Stone, who was set to make a comeback performance at the legendary SOB’s. Little did we know, COVID-19 was on the cusp of shutting the entire country down, let alone the city that never sleeps. Earlier that day, New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his decision to ban gatherings of 500 people or more.

I enter the doors of the popular music venue a little after 6 pm and see J Stone on stage for soundcheck. Twenty minutes later, he greets me with a hug and we head downstairs to the green room. He asks me if I want anything to drink and I reply, “Vodka with a splash of cranberry, please.” He kindly comes back with drinks in hand and our interview begins.

I curiously ask him if the Coronavirus has affected his #LoyaltyOverRoyalty Tour and he immediately responds, “Not until today. It’s starting to affect me today. They’re telling me only a certain amount of people can come into buildings.

"They already canceled one of my L.A. meet-and-greets," he adds. "Yeah, it’s serious.” We continued our conversation talking about The Marathon Continues (TMC) and Puma collaboration, Nipsey Hussle, new music and much more.

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Afro Nation

Women Of Afro Nation On Evolving Dancehall and Afro-Pop Connections

Last summer, thousands of music lovers of African descent gathered on the sands of Portimao, Portugal, waved their beloved countries’ flags and witnessed performances from the best in afro-pop, reggae, and hip-hop at Afro Nation, the premier traveling beach festival unifying music of the African diaspora. This was a euphoric scene for acts who had never performed for a large Black festival crowd, Afro Nation co-founder and U.K. music industry veteran Obi Asika tells VIBE. Nigerian promoter Adesegun Adeosun Jr., aka SMADE, and business partner Asika saw a need for a space to celebrate African music in Europe and created a globetrotting festival as the answer. Most of the featured acts have been from Nigeria, where the music industry is rapidly growing, the U.K., and Jamaica. As the festival evolves, Afro Nation will feature more artists of African descent from Europe, Central Africa, Latin America, and more.

“I want this event to be reflective of all African people,” Afro Nation co-founder and U.K. music industry veteran Obi Asika tells VIBE. “I also want it to pay homage to the countries that the events are in,” he adds. Afro Nation is expanding to reach fans of the diaspora in more regions. In December 2019, the festival was held in Accra, Ghana. In March, Afro Nation was scheduled for San Juan, Puerto Rico, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The four-day line-up would have featured 30 artists representing afro-pop, dancehall, soca, and hip-hop. Afro Nation still has festivals scheduled in Portimao, Portugal, in July, and Baja California, Mexico, in September. There are plans for at least one more location in the future, Osika says.

Afro Nation’s platform thus far reflects a global moment in which musicians across the African diaspora are blending sounds in new ways that are changing popular music. Connections between Afro-pop and Jamaican dancehall are especially evolving according to artists on Afro Nation’s line-ups, such as Jamaican dancehall artist Shenseesa, South African rapper Sho Madjozi, and Nigerian pop artist Teni the Entertainer. “Afro Nation is major for the continent, the culture, and the commonality that we share no matter how far we have all drifted into different parts of the world,” Teni, who performed at previous Afro Nation events, wrote in an email.

For Women’s History Month, VIBE spoke to the three sensations about their latest music, why Afro Nation is a game-changing platform, the evolving musical connections between Jamaican and African artists, and their women inspirations in music.

SHENSEEA

Shenseea, a versatile singjay, deejay, rapper, and singer, grew up in Jamaica’s capital city Kingston. The 23-year-old broke out as dancehall’s most promising star in 2016 with the flirty “Loodi” featuring Vybez Kartel. Since then, she has released a steady stream of energetic records, showering each riddim with conviction and lyrics of self-reliance that speak to women and girls like “Shen Yeng Anthem,” “Trending Gyal” and “Blessed.” Shenseea is inspired by fellow Jamaican dancehall artist Spice, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna, who she calls “a complete boss.”

Thus far, Shenseea has collaborated with dancehall veterans like Sean Paul, and internationally with Trinidadian soca star Nailah Blackman and American rappers Swae Lee and Tyga. American hip-hop and Jamaican dancehall artists are common cross-cultural link-ups. But now Shenseea says there are more musical connections between popular Jamaican dancehall artists and African-based artists too. “I feel like it has been going on, but more so between the reggae artists,” she says. “Now it's evolving more between dancehall artists and African artists.”

Here is a quick history. Popular music in the Americas, including Jamaica’s biggest musical export reggae, is rooted in West African music. Reggae has several influences including Jamaican folk music mento and American R&B, and its predecessors ska and rocksteady. During the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, enslaved West Africans brought their rhythms to Jamaica and subsequent generations reimagined the sounds that circled back to Africa. Late reggae legend Bob Marley, a Pan-Africanist, and The Wailers toured the continent in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During this era, artists like Ivorian musician Alpha Blondy created a marriage of their traditional sounds and stories of home with the socially-conscious riddims birthing African reggae.

As technology digitized music production, dancehall music evolved out of reggae and dub music and  defined a younger generation in Jamaica. It would also inspire African artists, too. In the 2000s and 2010s, dancehall influenced “Afro-dancehall” artists Shatta Wale and AK Songstress of Ghana, and Patoranking and Wizkid of Nigeria. Ghanaian hiplife’s soft synths and dancehall’s percussion are said to have influenced the popular Nigerian sound “pon pon,” in 2017, according to OkayAfrica. DaVido’s inescapable “If,” is the most commercially successful “pon pon” track. Mr Eazi’s “Banku” style also borrows from Nigerian and Ghanaian pop and dancehall. With this has come more collaborations across the genres. Like Jamaican dancehall hitmaker Popcaan enlisting DaVido for “Dun Rich” in 2018, and Burna Boy collaborating with Serani and Jeremih on “Secret” in 2019.

The marriage between these sounds is impacting how Black fans experience music worldwide, which is especially pushed by second and third generations of people who migrated from Africa and the Caribbean to the Americas and Europe. In major cities, you’ll find Afro-Caribbean parties, where DJs play music across the diaspora. Afro Nation takes it to the next level by bringing these artists together on a bill.

The innovation of this sound is a diaspora-wide project. In the mid-to-late 2010s, UK, British artists J Hus and Afro B popularized the fusion of Afro-pop, dancehall, American and British hip-hop, and R&B music, in new genres known as “afro bashment” or “afroswing.” In 2019, Jamaican-American DJ Walshy Fire’s 2019 Abeng brought together afro-pop, with soca, and dancehall artists. Shenseea has some diaspora link-ups on the horizon. She already worked with Shatta Wale, the African dancehall king, on “The Way I Move” in 2018. Recently, she recorded an unreleased track with Mr Eazi and is in talks to work with Patoranking and Davido, she tells Vibe.

TENI THE ENTERTAINER

Teni is also tuned into these evolving connections between the Caribbean and Africa. “You can hear it in the drums and melodies,” the 27-year-old singer and songwriter says. “We love to have fun and dance and that extends into our music.” In 2019, the New York Times dubbed Teni a member of the new guard of Nigerian musicians. In October, she released her Billionaire EP which showcases her afrobeat fusion. The title was inspired by her time in Los Angeles. "I saw all these great cars and I just imagined a world where we can all afford things we like no matter the price," she says. On the Pheelz-produced afrobeat, she croons her wealthy ambitions. On the earnest “Complain” she singraps over JaySynths' afroswing beat.

Teni’s entertainment career began with her comedic viral videos. Her breakout hit was the 2017 “Fargin,” which spoke out about the harms of rape culture. Teni admires African music legends Brenda Fassi, Angelique Kidjo, and Mariam Makeba. Them "using the power of their music to influence governments and shape economies is beyond incredible,” she says.

In the future, Teni wants to experiment with more Caribbean artists. “I have gotten into the studio with Kranium and I'd like to still do a lot [more] with him,” she said of the Jamaican singjay who fuses dancehall and R&B. “I'd love to do something with Koffee. Her music is amazing,” she added.

SHO MADJOZI

Koffee, a Jamaican reggae artist who won over the world with “Toast” last year, and is the first woman to win a Grammy for best reggae album, is on South African rapper Sho Madjozi’s wishlist too. For generations, South African artists like Lucky Dube and NC Dread have embraced reggae and dancehall. The 27-year-old wants to contribute to this tradition by recording with Koffee and rising reggae singer Lila Ike. "The song would be about the fact that our joy does not come from having no problems,” she wrote via email. “It comes despite going through tough things.” Bringing her pain to the studio has proven to be viable for Madjozi.

On her biggest hit, the viral “John Cena,” named after her favorite WWE wrestler, she raps over a hard-hitting gqom beat, the popular South African electronic dance music, about heartbreak. On her 2018 debut album Limpopo Champions League, which is dedicated to the northern province she hails from in South Africa, you can hear more of her sonic influences which include the high-energy gqom on "Wakanda Forever," trap on “Wa Penga Na?” and R&B samples on “Going Down.”

Although Sho Madjozi and fellow artists are fusing the diaspora sounds in their music, she sees the Afro Nation platform as a necessary space for people of African descent to share these cultures in person. In these moments, “we notice how strong we really are" and "how powerful this gift of culture is,” she says. Hip-hop queen Lauryn Hill is her icon and inspired her to stand firm in her truth. Madjozi’s realness shapes her assertive lyrics and her vibrant style. She performs in “xibelani” skirts to pay homage to her Tsonga heritage, a group of people native to Mozambique and South Africa. She adorns her hair with her signature colorful Fulani braids. “My whole statement is to be free,” she says. “I hope it shows Black girls everywhere to not be shy or small. This world is ours as much as anyone else’s.”

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Courtesy of Universal Music Latin Entertainment

Karol G On The Magic Of "Tusa," Working With Nicki Minaj And New Album

Karol G's devoted intentions have kept her ahead of the history books.

As Women's History Month comes to a close, the reggaeton titan solidified her position just weeks prior on Internation Women's Day as Spotify included her in their list of the Top 10 Most-Streamed Female Artists. Others included were Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande in addition to iconic women of color like Nicki Minaj. But Karol's presence on the list proves just how she's been able to bridge the gap between Latin and pop music as the only woman on the list who primarily performs in Spanish.

It's something Karol, born Carolina Giraldo Navarro, has done since coming up in the male-dominated reggaeton scene. While plenty of her hits over the years have earned a coveted spot in the hearts of millions, it was her recent recording with Nicki Minaj that reminded everyone of her power.

"I grew up listening to her and we were sitting at the table across from each other," Karol says of "Tusa" and its insanely popular video that has 669 million views and counting on YouTube. "That was an iconic moment for me."

The song's title is Colombian slang for heartache after a breakup. On the regal reggaeton bop, Karol has Minaj rapping in Spanish as they promise to one another to eliminate those feels on the dance floor. The Tusa-terminators made history in late 2019 with the release as the song is the first collaboration by women to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

On the all-genre Hot 100 chart, "Tusa" impressively peaked at No. 42. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, self-quarantines in Panama were recently singing the song together from their balconies.

¿Cómo lleva el #ToqueDeQueda Panamá? Pues que más que con @karolg y #Tusa #COVIDー19 #PTY #QuedateEnCasa pic.twitter.com/jSNsEeaoUW

— errol (@erscr) March 23, 2020

For Karol, success like this has been over a decade in the making since signing her first contract in 2006 under her G stage name. At that time, reggaeton music was reigning over the globe thanks to Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina" setting the movement ablaze in 2004.

The música urbana genre was very much a man's world with a few women who were able to rise to the level of Yankee like Ivy Queen, someone Karol cites as an influence. "With the urbano music I wanted to do, there were not a lot of women," she says. "I love urbano rhythms. They've always fascinated me."

In the early steps of her career, Karol took advantage of the art of collaboration with Nicky Jam on 2013's "Amour de Dos," Ozuna on "Hello" in 2016 and a budding rapper by the name of Bad Bunny on 2017's "Ahora Me Llama." Her method was mindful and direct as she gained new fans in every pocket of reggaeton's wide-ranging cloth.

"They had a big audience and following," she says. "The way I got my opportunity as an artist and was able to be heard more was, in part, thanks to them." Later that year, Karol's debut album Unstoppable landed at No. 2 on the Top Latin Albums chart.

As she became the feature queen in her own right, Karol dropped "Mi Cama" in 2018 which led to her winning the gramophone for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammy Awards that year. "I love to sing in reggaeton, but it's not the only thing I do," she says about her diverse palette. The spirited 2019 release of Ocean showcased the vastness of her artistry with urbano, reggae, and pop influences.

With "Tusa" previewing her third album, VIBE VIVA spoke with Karol about her musical journey so far and what's coming next.

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VIBE: On physical copies of Unstoppable, there's the #GirlPower stamp. What inspired you to include it? 

Karol G: I have that tattooed on one of my arms as well because for me, it was a frustration that people in the media were telling me, "You're a woman. You don't have anything to do here. You can't enter here." There are women that can achieve things around the world. That's where my motivation comes from: to show that we, and myself as a woman, can do it. That was important for me to put on the album to show my support for this movement.

"Mi Cama" became one of your biggest hits without a featured artist. What's the story behind that song?

I loved that song because it has the attitude that I feel right now. It's a song about a woman talking to her ex-boyfriend who left her for someone else. It has the attitude to keep going, to keep dancing, or perrear (a twerk-like dance associated with reggaeton). In Mexico, I was in a press conference and a female reporter said, "I don't respect how you as a woman are singing about your bed making noise. You have to think about the children." I said, "This isn't music for children." It's a song that's exaggerated. I'm not swearing on it. I always tell that story at my shows and people love it.

How did you feel to win the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist?

That's one of the top five moments in my career. I dreamed of that moment since I was a little girl. When I was nominated, that was huge. I didn't think I was going to win. When I won, my mind went blank. I took my dad on stage with me because he's been supporting me since the beginning. After winning the grammy, my mindset has been what else I can do in my career that's even bigger.

You have recorded a lot of music with your fiancé Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA. How do you like working with him?

We're a super team. We complement each other well. We understand each other well because we've enjoyed many great moments together. We've gotten to travel together. We did a tour together. It's a beautiful thing. We keep each other focused and motivated with our feet on the ground.

What do you think about the reaction and all the memes around "Tusa"?

I felt in my heart the song would be successful, but I never thought that it would be a global hit. It opened doors for me in markets where I've never had songs hit before. It's charting in countries that don't speak Spanish like France, Italy, and Sweden. Seeing all the memes from the people has been muy brutal (Puerto Rican slang for "beyond awesome"). It's been incredible to see so many men connecting with it. To see all the people dancing and singing to it has been a surprise. I hope my next single will be like that, but for now, it's nice to enjoy what's happening with "Tusa."

Speaking of men, many gay men been bumping "Tusa" too. I was wondering if you had a message for your fans in the LGBTQ+ community.

I love having part of my following from that community. I love people who can go out into the world and be fearless. I'm very proud of that because the world really lacks people like that: people with personality, attitude, and a strong will. That's something I admire very much from that community. They have a beautiful energy.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

I'm happy because I'm working on a lot of music. I've gotten great invitations to work on projects with other artists. Right now I'm collaborating with artists in the Latin and Anglo markets. There are songs that are coming out very soon. It's a year for expanding and globalizing my name. We have a tour in Latin America and one in Europe again. We're going to end the second semester of the tour in the US with the release of my next album.

What do you see for the future of women in reggaeton music?

There's things I hope to evolve a little more, but I feel like we knocked over the door. That we've come through and people are hearing us. People are coming to our concerts. Artists are inviting us to their shows. We're here. I try to stick up for myself more as a human being. We're all talented in our own ways. I feel like women are demonstrating that. It's an era where women are taking chances and going for bigger things.

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