Remember when Beyonce was cool? Okay, not cool, exactly, but cooler. She broke away from the occasionally charming Destiny’s Child thing and came out with this giant solo album Dangerously in Love, dominated international airspace with her runaway single “Crazy in Love” and started showing up everywhere on Jay-Z’s arm.
Since then, her boyfriend has released a mediocre comeback album and is helping sell Budweiser and diet Cherry Coke for dudes. B, meanwhile, had to watch an American Idol reject steal the Dreamgirls spotlight and has been reduced to chasing the alleged “Latin audience” with “Beautiful Liar,” a militant, guy-loathing duet with Shakira.
And now this “Upgrade U” video comes out. It features a bling-wearing alligator, shots of the pop star doing a J Lo impression while sitting awkwardly in the trunk of a white Rolls, some terrifically bad hair and a weird sequence in which Beyonce impersonates her boyfriend. (In her eyes Jay apparently wears gold hoop earrings and regularly curls his lip like a blinged out cross-dressing Elvis impersonator).
For a second there, it was possible Beyonce was going to be the R&B diva version of J.T., transforming from cheesy pop tart to genius pop star in one solo album. Instead she’s become a glossy self-parody, whose artistic influence on her formerly untouchably awesome boyfriend seems to be…the opposite of good.