When Beyonc� conquered Coachella last year in essence, rebranding the Indio, Calif., festival as Beychella she came to school the predominantly white masses about black culture.
Instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella, says Beyonc� in Homecoming, the new Netflix movie and surprise live album that documents her two historic performances at the festival, which is currently between weekends. Of being the first African American woman to headline Coachella, she quips, Aint that bout a bitch?
But Bey being Bey, she used the opportunity to stage a rousing revolution, transforming Coachella into a homecoming celebration in the HBCU (historically black college and university) tradition. You feel the spirit of Morehouse and Spelman and Howard University taking over the desert in waves of black girl and boy magic.
I always dreamed of going to an HBCU, says Beyonc�, who also dropped another surprise LP, Homecoming: The Live Album, to go along with the movie premiere early Wednesday. My college was Destinys Child. My college was traveling around the world, and life was my teacher.
Now the Twitterverse is buzzing like a Beyhive over the “only woman who could actually upstage the Mueller report drop.”
And “Homecoming” does not disappoint.
When Beyonc� goes from her powerfully, politically charged Freedom into Lift Every Voice and Sing, known as the black national anthem, her voice is not only piercing the California sky, its piercing the minds of some who might not have have ever heard the song by brothers James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson. And its a moment that will fill African Americans who already know Lift Every Voice and Sing with so much black pride.
From the moment Queen Bey struts to the main stage with an army of dancers to open with Crazy in Love, her 2003 debut solo hit, she is representing the black experience. Beyonc� hones in on the HBCU theme with marching band arrangements throughout the show, a drum line and some Balmain gear emblazoned with the letters of her own sorority, Beta Delta Kappa.
Some of the most thrilling dancing on bangers such as Sorry and 7/11 comes straight from the stepping school of black fraternities and sororities. On the party jam Get Me Bodied, you can feel the communal power of over 200 people moving in unison on a stage filled with rafters shaped into a pyramid. Behind-the-scenes footage also shows you all the work that goes into making such wow moments.
In the best of the cameos which include Beyonc�s husband Jay-Z and a reunited Destinys Child Solange joins B onstage for a sister-versus-sister dance-off during Get Me Bodied. When they collapse into giggles at the end, you can feel all the love.
The Love on Top finale is dedicated to my incredible Beyhive, as an a cappella Beyonc� gives way to a joyous singalong. She came, she conquered, she schooled.