Written by Minou Itseli (@mdaixo_)
Home is where the heart is.
Home is the place where you feel in control. She exemplified this with her work ethic and leadership style.
Home is your space and time. What is a home without your loved ones there? Her home had guest appearances from her husband, Jay-Z, and her sisters; Solange, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland.
Home is your secure place. She wanted "us to not only be proud of the show, but the process. Proud of the struggle. Thankful for the beauty that comes with a painful history and rejoice in the pain...We were able to create a free safe space where none of us were marginalized."
Home is where you are from. Beyoncé stated, "It was important for me that everyone that had never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us,"
Beyonce’s home is the stage. This is the same home we have seen her on for the past 22 years.
Your ‘home’ will always be the place when you feel the sincerest affection, no matter where you are.
"Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." - Robert Frost
But, is it really a homecoming, or is this Beyoncé welcoming us to her ‘home'?
Rather than Beyoncé is 'returning home', which homecoming implies, it's more of a celebration, where Beyoncé takes possession of a house - Coachella.
Just like a housewarming party, the host must prepare the home and entertain the guests, right? Beyoncé prepares her 'housewarming' with her four-month training, and restless rehearsal plan, so her 'home' can be just right.
You are invited to Beyoncé’s home. Are you ready?
Beyoncé moved into a new home. She turned one of the most popular festivals- Coachella – into her home. Her home is the result of years of artistry, professionalism, and talent. She spent some time settling in since yearlong maternity leave. Yet, this housewarming is significant considering she is the first black female to headline in the ‘neighbourhood’.
From the first moment you enter the home, you notice a drum major signal the start of the housewarming party. Every guest, including yourself, is on the edge whilst waiting on the hostess. The entrance says it all, the atmosphere of the new home filled with anticipation. The vibrations of “Do Whatcha Wanna” by New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band clutches every guests' attention. There is Beyoncé with an Egyptian Queen Nefertiti-inspired outfit gracefully marched towards the long grand bleacher style pyramid structure. As you walk into the home, the hallway is furnished with such homage to the culture, of historically black colleges and universities.
As she embraces us to her home, we notice the decoration of all of the odes to black culture, from the outside and inside of her home. We were all “Crazy in Love” about the house setting, some of the guests noticed artwork pieces along the corridor. Art pieces from Juvenile’s 'Back that Ass Up', Jay-Z’s vocals from 'I’m a Hustler' and trumpeting horns from C-Murder’s 'Down for My Niggaz'. Once she noticed every guest is on their toes, she led us to the living room as she conducted ’Lift Every Voice and Sing'- the black national anthem.
Baby, she is back by popular demand.
Every single guest feels included from the crowd to the people at home and documentary footages. As we are overwhelmed on the Beta Delta Kappa symbols, they pledged for a spot in Bey’s “Bug-a-Boo” fraternity. So often we have seen previous hosts that get so muffled up in their performance, they neglect to have fun and embrace the people they are entertaining.
Not once did Beyoncé bore, but only show gratitude with her dancers. Alongside the corridors, you are mesmerised by the flexing dance, which originated in the 1990s in predominantly black areas of Brooklyn, New York. As Beyoncé tours us around the living-room, she reveals a vivid art piece of Master P’s 1995 single “Bout It, Bout It” which was sampled into “Been On.”
Beyoncé walks through the lounge to get us to the kitchen, which is the heart of the home. The band played “Party” as Diddi Emah took centerstage and expertly twirled her batons. She continuously makes us feel welcomed with songs we all love and know; she is making us feel right at home.
The kitchen is one of the most personal rooms in a house. In the documentary, Beyoncé reveals she personally picked everything from the dancers, to the lights, to the materials, to all the stage arrangements.
Not only is the ‘kitchen’ personal, but it's considered the heart of the home. She gets personal as she gives us guests glimpses of her beautiful family. From the twins who were brought to the set of the production, to Blue dancing and watching rehearsals. Even with the huge amount of love we have for Beyonce’s artistry, the most loving part is the connection she has with us. So, Beyoncé made sure to share personal anecdotes such as her suffering high blood pressure and preeclampsia during her pregnancy.
As we cruise along the hallway, the level of satisfaction is on a high. Hallways aren't just there to take you from room to room, it should be the perfect transition and Beyoncé does this by narrating us through her storytelling. She initiates the tone with Malcolm X’s speech;
“The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
Nonetheless, as a host, she made sure you had fun with compelling songs that would spark joy. For instance, cheeky teasers of Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam”, Dram’s “Broccoli and Vybz Kartel’s “Fever.”
She moves right on, which has everyone on their toes. Throughout her performances, Beyoncé features essential symbolisms such as a black power fist, a side profile image of Nefertiti, a black panther glaring and a bee. While we approach the end of the hallway, we are overwhelmed by the band tribute to the late legend Fela Kuti's “Zombie” track.
She swiftly takes us to the family room with the band reference to the intro of The Jackson 5’s “Can You Feel It". An area to watch, listen, laugh, think, and converse amongst each other. She is not bothered about perfection, she worries more about the energy. She stated “I wanted different characters—I didn't want us all doing the same thing. And the amount of swag is just limitless, like... the things that these young people can do with their bodies and the music they can play”
Remember your home and family are your nest, the focus of your life. This explains why Beyoncé had appearances from Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child. Beyonce clutches guests with the trio ushering us with hits “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name,” and “Soldier”.
While we party alongside Destiny’s Child, songs like Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know,” Tupac’s “California Love” and The Jackson Five’s “Dancing Machine” have us all on our feet. Beyonce and Solange then go on to grasp everyone’s attention as they danced to “Get Me Bodied”.
We are stunned by her own flawlessness of a housewarming and the perfection of her dancers, musicians and creative team. But what's a housewarming party without thanking the guests? She made sure to thank everyone for coming to her home with the band ending the set with her DJ Khaled song “Shining”. Her goodbye is so sincere as she gives bonus track, "Before I Let Go". Like every other function, you end it with a electric slide. As it brings multiple generations together for the last big dance. This song is a cover of a 1981 song by Frankie Beverly and the Maze. Beyoncé knows she had the biggest housewarming in the neighbourhood, she emphasises with new lyrics;
“I pull up to Coachella
And boost with the ghost fellas
I brought the squad with me
Black on black bandanas
I Dussé and Champagne
I did the damn thing
Singing and dancing all in the rain.”
What else is there to say? This homecoming is more of a representation of her ascension to her “rightful place”.
This is her home.