The Interesting Thing About Beyonce’s “Video Phone”
What a difference a decade makes!
I recently reunited with one of my favorite singles from Beyonce’s 2008 smash hit, I am…Sasha Fierce, “Video Phone,” which was actually delivered a year later, but that didn’t deter its immediate popularity.
The video of the extended remix of the track, featuring newly-crowned Lady Gaga at the height of her career, who would go on to recruit Bey’s flawless skills for the infectious 2010 single “Telephone,” is quite a treat.
The vibrant aesthetics heighten those choreographed performances, and 10 years later, it’s hard not to be smitten by the early displays of Bey’s signature moves, that have since been exquisitely perfected with splashes of the seasoned sophistication and primed endurance that compelled her epic masterpieces; Lemonade and Homecoming.
But the notable aspects of Beyonce’s “Video Phone”has to be the glaring passages of time, and how that produces the uncontrollable tendencies of nostalgia that tend to collide with the polarizing forces of pesky updates.
Back in 2009, having an iPhone felt akin to winning the lottery on a much smaller scale. The giddiness of being a distinguished part of a worldwide phenomenon was an honor beyond compare, except for when I gifted myself a sturdy 2008 MacBook for Christmas.
The guy I was having an affair with bought me a refurbished iPhone 4 for my birthday, and he didn’t even have to convince me that his more modest purchase was as just as good as the real thing, because the solid shell of perfection echoed the vibes that we were both aiming for.
Apple could do no wrong and that sentiment was shared by the cultish followers who transferred those habit to the platforms that were specifically curated for the task of exacerbating the habits that relentlessly poke at vulnerabilities.
We are greeting a fresh new decade with the weighty residue of old shit that are incrementally captured on those trusted video phones.
And that’s why “Video Phone” serves as the interesting witness of that very brief period of innocence, when we had no clue what was to come in the arena of viral video clips showcasing the brutal truth of our bloody existence.
Video phones were becoming the must-have item that arms you with the creative freedom of an auteur, documenting the fun stuff or the private moments that can admit a willing participant or two.
Beyonce seductively expresses the momentum that builds when the lenses are targeted on the right spots, and why elevating the art of flirting requires more than words.
On your video phone
Make a cameo
Take me on your video phone
I can handle you
Watch me on your video phone
On your video, video
If you want me you can watch me on your video phone
Fast forward to the present, and the advancements in technology and the online game of dating has been both astronomical and deadly.
Bey’s roster of gems has also increased substantially which is a good thing because she won’t be pressed by the fact that “Video Phone” won’t be transferable, outside of that killer beat.
We are fully grown in this era of “wokeness” in more ways than one. And the cutesy back-and-forth that used to be applied to self-loving via selfies and the filming and sharing of movements that make recipients beg for extended play, has been repurposed in accordance with consequences of over-exposure.
You a cutie
You should let me put you in my movies
Do shoot into a star of your own hit song
We can shoot the video right here on my cellphone
I never seen a smile so pretty
I need to know I’ll always have you wit’ me
So take your picture on my video phone
Our over-priced devices aren’t just weaponizing our bank accounts and credit scores, but the accumulated data is causing misery through blackmails of hackers who understand what celebrities are worth, and the eeriness of White people being filmed during their hate-filled episodes of notoriety.
Black folks spent an entire summer under the mandated assault of a reckless media, as reputable outlets callously persisted in their quest to capitalize on the profitability of Black pain with the never-ending parade of video clips that graphically capture the triggering view of domestic terror.
How lovely it would’ve been if you could’ve been spared the worst traits of humans, that absolutely become inflamed when gawking observers increase their tolerance for blood, guts and gory.
So, now we’re left with remnants of vivid proof that owning a video phone was a delightful addition for the stimulation of imagined romance, that comes to life when your cellphone obeys simple commands.
Our current climate of hysteria and expensive abuse is a lot more complex and demanding, and those nagging updates won’t let up unless we dismiss the “video” from our phones.
But who wants that?