Friday, February 16, 2007

All Your Bases Are Belong To Beyonce

Beyonce is everywhere. From the cover of Sports Illustrated’s no-longer-controversial swimsuit issue to the red carpet of whatever awards show is shutting her out this time. Miss B is gorgeous and talented and every-fucking-where. And it looks like she is blowing it.

Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” has topped the singles charts since the last BSB record (or so it seems) – so how can I say she is blowing it? She is fixing to marry Hova, right?

This piece was on Idolator Thursday, referencing how Beyonce’s dad, Matthew Knowles (manager of both Kelly and Beyonce) has decided to push back the release of Kelly’s new CD.

Now Kelly's album is once again being pushed back but this time to make room for the re-release of Solange's "Solo Star"

For Solange?!? Ouch! That lets Kelly know where she ranks.

This is just a rumor, but what a juicy one. I have heard that Kelly’s first single (with guest rapper Eve) has gone out to video directors for treatments – so Kelly’s album might be out real soon. On the other hand, Matthew and his Sanctuary Urban Records (hey, they manage the fat guy from D12) have pushed Kelly’s record before, but at least then it was for big sister B.

Maybe Beyonce and her father are pushing around the career of Kelly Rowland, but how is that “blowing it?” Well this latest “scheduling change” is just the latest in a line of decisions Sanctuary has made to “help” Beyonce stay on top – but this maneuvering might end up burning out the public’s interest in their star talent and sour the rest of the entertainment industry on working with them.

No one in Hollywood cares if the Knowles’s screw with one of B’s back-up singers, but movie folks definitely care if they mess up the careful marketing plans of major motion pictures. As of mid-February, Dreamgirls has still not broken $100mil in domestic BO. It was a pricey film to make and I imagine this financial performance is considered a disappointment.

The original plan was for Beyonce’s album to come out in March/April of ‘07 – well AFTER the release of Dreamgirls. That would have left the Autumnal months of 2006 as a Beyonce-free zone, whetting everyone’s appetite for B’s December appearances to promote Dreamgirls and the soundtrack of same. By the time the video for “Listen” came out in early December – viewers had already seen three Beyonce videos from her “B’Day” CD in the past 2 and a half months. Instead of eager, I bet most audience were burned out on B.

Dreamworks and Paramount were NOT happy that they were getting much, much less mileage out of the song and video from the movie since TV and radio were already saturated with Beyonce. There were some rumors of complaints from movie types, but no one came out to directly criticize the decision to move up the “B’day” release. Imagine how much more excited B’s fans would have been to see the clip for “Listen” if they had not already seen the videos for “Crazy in Love II”, “That Weird Basic Instinct Video” and “The One Beyonce Song Everyone Likes” so recently.

One of the main reasons a movie studio casts any star in a film is for promotional purposes. Brad Pitt does the cover of Vanity Fair and Leno to promote his new movie. That is part of why he gets paid millions to be in movies – because he gets the word out better than someone who is a good actor (Geoffrey Rush) but people don’t care about. The producers of Dreamgirls must have thought they were getting the same thing when they signed Beyonce. “She can sing like crazy AND she will get us major press.” Then she goes out and over-exposes herself on every TV show in the fall and much of that promotional value Dreamworks/Par paid for is lost by the time December rolls around.

It is it any wonder that the producers started talking about and hyping Jennifer Hudson so much? I bet that there were conversations at 5555 Melrose about pushing the “other” Dreamgirl to the forefront because of Beyonce’s lessened promotional value AND to punish her and her father for their hubris.

By releasing her own album in September 2006, Beyonce hurt her own value to the producers of her star-making movie “debut”, she made her cameos on Jay-Z’s record less interesting, she got less out of Jay’s appearance on her own “Déjà Vu” single, AND she messed with her “best friend” Kelly’s release date once again. Beyonce and Matthew just couldn’t wait and they choked the marketplace with too much of the one thing the should be keeping special – Beyonce. Sometimes you CAN have too much of a good thing.

Going forward, Beyonce will still be famous. She will sell many records over her long career. She will still be a great singer and a gorgeous young woman. She will still be way cooler than me. But, what Beyonce seems to really want is to be a movie star and after crossing up the promotion for a big-time holiday film, Beyonce will probably find it harder and harder to get what she wants out of the studios.

And now Beyonce is shooting a slew of new videos to create a multi-media re-release of “B’Day.” Talk about coming on strong. I’m gonna be seeing more of her than I do of my real-life girl. It might be time for an intervention. “Beyonce, you are hot and all, but I need my space. Let’s talk again at the end of the summer, okay?

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I like to thing Mr. and Mrs. Knowles drugged Beyonce or threatened her at gunpoint to do the Sports Illustrated shoot. You'll notice that most of the suits she wears are by House Of Dereon, which is the clothing line run by Beyonce's mom. Coincidence?

Say what you will about Matthew Knowles. Dude sounds like fun. Any man who can spend $32 million on hookers and blow is a superstar in my book.
Great piece man. That is all
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