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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

[OPINION] When will the Next “Beyonce” Conversation Stop?

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Beyonce Knowles Carter is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of our time. Whether you are a fan of her’s or not, one cannot deny the impact she has made on not only the music industry, but on pop culture. Beyonce is 20 plus years in her career and is still breaking records. It is truly amazing to witness. Her ability to constantly reinvent herself and still continue to retain the same quality of talent since she bursted into the scene with Destiny’s Child in the 90’s is frankly one for the books.

Because of Beyonce’s impact, it is only interviable that people would try to create narratives insulating that any new black female artist that is on the scene that can sing and dance, is the next “Beyonce”. This conservation has been going on for years at this point, but I felt compelled to write a piece on this conservation after seeing the discord online to a viral tweet of a black female artist, Victoria Monet. The tweet consisted of bringing down other young black female artists such as Chloe Bailey and Normani, and stating that Victoria Monet is the true next “Beyonce”.

Reading this tweet made me realize, when will this redundant conversation come to an end? Why is that anytime a female artist that can sing and dance at the same time, and their hair blows in the wind when on stage is the next Beyonce? Why can’t they just be referred to as themselves? These are questions that are always looming in my mind when I read these tweets of debate on Twitter.

I spoke to a student at SRA who chose to remain anonymous about this topic. They said, “I think the conversation could have been genuine at first, you know.. But I think slowly, it has become a topic that brings in more negativity than positivity, it brings these artists down, and this tweet is evidence of that.”

To me, this conversation has run its course. Now, I can understand that when people are writing these tweets or articles, they may not mean any harm. But, what they don’t understand is these narratives tend to cause more damage than good because it pits these talented artists against an artist that has been in the game since the 90’s and has already established a lengthy career for herself. It also puts too much pressure and expectations on these artists. Take the artist Normani as an example of this.

Normani was part of the hit group, Fifth Harmony and when they separated, she went on to complete solo music. When her single, “Motivation” came out in 2019, the music video essentially broke the internet. But what was one of the conversations being discussed during that time? It was how we as a society have finally found the next Beyonce, as if Beyonce isn’t already still a prominent artist and still pumping out successful music till this day. Normani also clapped back at these comments and firmly stated that she was not the next anyone, but the first Normani and she will die being the first Normani. Normani’s frustration is one that makes sense in hindsight.

These comments make these artists be stripped away of their unique identities. From Victoria Monet, Normani, and Chloe Bailey, these women are all talented in their own right and they deserve to be themselves rather than being referred to as “the next ” anyone. They also simply put, deserve more respect. These artists worked too hard to be referred to as the next anyone, and not acknowledged for the work and talent they bring to the table.

A key part of an artist’s brand is to be seen for who they are and their unique personality. It’s these traits that start a strong and poignant fanbase. When we as a society pit artists against each other, it robs them of their individuality. It makes them feel like they are in constant competition with each other. This is especially apparent for black female artists. Every single black female artist should be able to coexist with one another without being seen as the “next” anyone. They should be seen as their own individual self, with their own identity remaining intact.

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About the Contributor
Danielle Okogho, Copy Editor
Danielle Okogho is a senior at Santa Rosa Academy. She joined journalism this year because of her love for writing and wanting to get involved with the school. Born and raised in the vibrant Orange County CA, she has been to London, Paris, Belgium, and Nigeria and wants to go to Italy. Her hope for college is to go to the University of San Diego. She likes to write, play basketball, watch movies, and listen to R&B and pop. Her favorite artist right now is SZA. She is a Marvel fan and loves Black Panther and X-Men.  Her favorite movies are The Dark Knight and Back To The Future. Her goals for this year is to make the most of it, maintain her grades, and keep it positive.
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