“Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé,” premiered on Wednesday, April 18th, and it has since taken the world by storm. Along with the accompanying album “Homecoming: The Live Album,” this is the event that must not be missed by music fans of any genre.
The documentary was written, directed, and produced by Beyoncé herself, and shot over eight months leading up to her appearance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, making her the first black woman headliner to perform the concert. The Netflix project is part concert footage, and part documentary, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Beyoncé preparing for this landmark occasion.
The entire stage was taken over by Beyoncé and her orchestra from historically black college and university. Appearances also included her former bandmates from Destiny's Child, her sister Solange, and her husband, rapped Jay-Z. There were so many people dancing in unison that it seemed miraculous. A drumline and a full brass band introduced themselves, while male and female dancers dressed as fraternity and sorority pledges, and background singers formed to accompany her fantastic vocal performance. And the choreography was absolutely breathtaking. The performance tipped it's hat at some of the greatest black performers in history, including the Clark Sisters, Big Freedia, Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, and James Weldon Johnson.
The performance and documentary is very pro-black, with many famous black intellectuals, dancers, and band members providing quotes throughout. The “Homecoming” title itself embraces the importance of homecomings on black campuses, primarily with the sorority and fraternity events.
The crowd was also embracing the Beyoncé-craze, through a popular dance called “swag surfing.” Attendees could be seen dancing and singing along to the pop idol with a sense of awe. It's an admiring trait to these people that Beyoncé uses her fame and celebrity to shed light on the state of people of color.
“Homecoming” not only shares the music of Beyoncé, but also showcases her life in ways audience members have seldom seen before. Being a perfectionist, we could see how she controlled every aspect of the performance, down the beading on the costumes. And this was also only months after she had given birth to twins, Rumi and Sir. When her husband Jay-Z appears, we could see his sense of pride that his wife is such a perfectionist. The documentary also shares Beyoncé's wanting to be with her family and newborn children.
As for the album “Homecoming: The Live Album,” it is monstrous and legendary art. It is a 40-track companion piece, and showcases her abilities in singing, physicality, and confidence. The album takes a pride in her black roots and love for the black culture, but also nods to her talents as a rapper and all-around musician. This is all after releasing six solo albums, a self-titled album, the legendary Lemonade, and the rap album with her husband. She definitely shows her talents by reimagining and remixing a lot of music from her own catalog, and there's plenty of content to go around.
All in all, Netflix has introduced some far-reaching and fun entertainment with this documentary. It is not to be missed, and there's is no doubt she will gain more fans from this rare and contemporary event.