Yonce Taught me

4 Aug

SAM_2641Editor’s note: This recap is late as I went to the On the Run tour stop in Chicago a couple weeks ago. I’ve been in the middle of my own three-city tour, so I haven’t had time to write up a post about the show. Anyway, here’s what I learned from the Carters.

1. Traffic is stressful. What should have been an hour-and-a-half drive to Soldier Field ended up being three hours, two if which were spent in standstill traffic. It turns out when the Obamas want to see Bey and Jay, the rest of us have to bow down and wait for Secret Service to secure the area. The good news is that the show started late, so we only missed the first 10 minutes.

2. ‘Tom Ford’ is a great stress reliever. My friend and I were rightfully pissed to have to wait so long to get into the show, but somehow Jay Z telling us to “clap for a n—- with yo trappin’ ass” put us right on easy street.

Beyonce (and I) sang ‘Ex-Factor’…and it was everything.

3. There’s nothing like a sing along. Belting “Resentment” is great. Shouting it at the top of your lungs with 61,000 of your new besties is even better. Also, seeing what you look like when you’re belting one of your favorite songs is what Oprah calls an ah-ha moment.

4. Dance like no one’s watching. Sure, I was surrounded by thousands of people. But I’ve been practicing my Beyonce moves for a while and I got bodied with the best of them. As is always the case when I’m in Chicago, it was chilly. But my fellow fans kept the stadium nice and warm with all their dancing, too.

5. You can sleep and still grind. I’m thoroughly convinced that the Carters haven’t slept since 1998. They took the phrase “you sleep, we grind” too literally because it’s evident in the amount of work they put into the show. Of course, they didn’t physically do the lighting or the sound. They didn’t choreograph all the routines. But their stamps are imprinted on every minutia of the show. They’re the hardest working couple in show business and eventually they’re going to run out of juice. Don’t let that be you. Take time to enjoy what you’re doing. Work hard, but enjoy the fruits of your labor.

6. It takes a village. With that, recognize that they have teams of people helping them achieve their success. Temper your expectations when you tell yourself you want a body like Bey’s or Les Twins (her fine, French dancers). That takes a lot of time and will not happen over night.

7. Power of positive influence. One of the things I noticed is how much more toned Jay is. Most of us remember Jay of the ’90s. Lanky, but a little doughey. Modern-era Jay seems to be taking a keener interest in his health. He even went vegan for a month last year. That’s always nice to see.

8. One monkey doesn’t stop a show. Back in the old days of 2004, Jay-Z was on tour with R. Kelly. They had a falling out and R. Kelly left the tour. I had tickets to see them both, so I was a little concerned about what was going to happen. Right after R-uh left, Jay announced it would be him and friends. It was like a circus, with Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Bone Crusher, Lil Jon, Lil Scrappy, and a bunch of other Lil people. Jay told us he promised us a show and, “One m—f— monkey don’t stop no show.” I say all that to say the Carters are professionals. Whatever issues they’re having at home, people paid a lot of money to see them on stage together and they will honor that commitment. Anything else is none of my business.

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