This year there’s only one place to start and that’s with Beyoncé. Beyoncé is a popular music artist with a big influence on social media, being the ninth most followed person on Instagram. With each album released, she receives support; it doesn’t seem that Beyoncé is dropping in relevancy any time soon, and her album sales and following online prove this. She seems to build her social media following up herself and understands how to promote through the best time to post on instagram to capture her adoring fans. Beyoncé dropped both a concert film on Netflix and a live album on streaming services, which document her historic performance at Coachella last year. Both should be required watching and listening. Beyoncé amazingly continues to outdo herself, blowing us away with every album, performance, and project – and that’s why she’s Queen.
Beyoncé’s performance is a celebration of historically black colleges and universities (“…institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community…because the overwhelming majority of predominantly white institutions of higher-learning disqualified African Americans from enrollment during segregation.”) and includes themes of black feminism and female power. It was met with critical acclaim and overwhelming support from fans and viewers. This is the preeminent performance of my lifetime (so far), and now we can enjoy and appreciate it over and over again.
To Beyoncé, we Bow Down.
There are two albums I specifically want to highlight: Assume Form by James Blake and Free Spirit by Khalid. Both are solid albums (not just a couple of hit singles) with relaxed R&B sounds. I’ve found Assume Form to be great to listen to at work and around the house, and Free Spirit feels like the right album to listen to as we look ahead to summer.
I also want to share two albums worthy of honorable mentions: Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You and Billie Eilish‘s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? Check out Tempo featuring Missy Elliott on Lizzo’s album. As for Billie, she’s exploding with the kids and I’m trying to figure it out.
- The Dropout
- “Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way?”
- I picked Bad Blood, on the same topic, as one of the best books I read in 2018. The podcast isn’t as good as the book but will give you a worthwhile overview of the story.
- Against the Rules with Michael Lewis
- “Journalist and bestselling author Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker, Moneyball) takes a searing look at what’s happened to fairness — in financial markets, newsrooms, basketball games, courts of law, and much more. And he asks what’s happening to a world where everyone loves to hate the referee.”
- The first couples of episodes were great, and I’m excited to see where this goes from here.
- Social media influencers. Rich millennials. A convicted fraudster. And one absolute disaster of a music festival.
- Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is on Netflix and Fyre Fraud is on Hulu. Both are worth watching!
Catching up on 2018 Movies
- Green Book won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and I really enjoyed watching it (though I didn’t learn about some of the problems people have with the film until after I watched it).
- BlacKkKlansman is great, and I really loved this film. It definitely exceeded my expectations and is worth watching!
- Bonus: both of these films are inspired by true stories, which I love.