Greetings and welcome to my poetic planet,

My last blog was written to publicly praise two legends who broke barriers on the Billboard country charts recently, Tracy Chapman and Beyonce. However, this one is a public critique of the most decorated Grammy winner of all time, and my intention is to urge Beyonce to advocate for more unity in her community, similar to the likes of other legends like Bob Marley. (I loved the film One Love, by the way.)  Before I share my open letter written to Beyonce aka Queen B, aka Sasha Fierce, aka Jay Z’s Belle, may I share lessons from my beloved ancestor and a guiding light who lived to be 100?

My mother Rose, would say, “Tell the truth and shame the devil!” Celebrity worship in America in the Black and Brown community scares me. Given I was once a foster child, I think about the motherless often, and too many celebrities are failing them. Growing up in the church, I was told the truth hurts, but it will set you free. And she’d also warn me that all things done in the dark will be brought to light.

Some say 2024 is the year of the dragon and I say it’s the year of Truth, with a capital T.  Well, Katt Williams came in lit spitting fire and name dropping, in line with his fellow comic and colleague, Monique. Many entertainers have been exposed for making money their God or prophet and placing that profit over people.

And for too long the most marginalized voices have been righteous ones who have been given less air time than the ratchet. So to see a Christian rapper named Dee-1 on the Breakfast Club. Is like What?  YES! I’m inspired by the amazing independent Hip Hop artist, children’s book author, and Harvard professor, Dee-1  for not canceling anyone but calling them to start the conversation. Check out his Platinum Pledge aimed to usher in more art for change. He is definitely giving God all his glory and winning against the Goliath  that seeks to destroy our communities by only financing irresponsible messaging in our music. That interview with Sway last year was a hallelujah moment for me. I was in tears. And if you read my book Lyrics for Langston you already know why.

I’ve been equally passionate about leaving a blueprint of integrity for Black children for twenty years. The difference is he’s been speaking directly to some of the most influential men in the rap game. Leading me to wonder who’s calling on the most influential women in the industry to rise to the same challenge of being their best selves, and practicing compassion, for the sake of the motherless and fatherless in their footsteps?

And after Cassie served Diddy a lawsuit and gave us Hip Hop heads something to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner. I started penning the  poem “Unsettling.”  It didn’t stop there I began looking more closely at the age difference between Jay Z and Beyonce and that he met her when she was 18 and he was in his 30s. Her admittedly needing to develop a fierce alter ego and singing a bit too much about using drugs to escape, causes me to question a lot. Does she have something in common with Cassie? Has she been sending us subliminal messages about being a “survivor” for a while?

Did you know that According to the FBI, 1 out of 6 young girls get lured into trafficking before they even hit puberty and nearly 60% of those arrests are Black children? It’s a harsh reality that effects historically exploited people in marginalized communities the most.

How does this tie into my work as an artist and activist? My award winning animated short called, Lil Red is Riding the Wrong Way in the Hood, could not be more timely. It’s an entertaining and educational tool about a wolf in sheep’s clothing that lures a young boy in to a trap with a beat. And my intention is to teach parents of Black and Brown children about the ever present dangers of grooming, and help them establish circles of trust and communication codes, as protective measures. Because the person who is giving you a big break in business, can one day contribute to your breakdown. How do you get back on the right path?

And since Dee-1 said, “Public art requires public response.” This is my open letter to Beyonce. I don’t need her to respond in any official way except an official public divorce from someone who jokingly pretended to be Ike Turner on one of his darkest days in song mocking one of her idols, Tina, who’s one of the best survivors we’ve known.

Some can’t handle the truth or any critique of their American idols, and others long for a progressive change lead by industry leaders. Will we choose to make more music with meaningful and positive messaging that leads the most marginalized among us to live healthier and happier lives?

Feel free to drop your thoughts in the chat below especially if you catch any and all lines that allude to lyrics– because dialogue matters more than debate, and it makes this journey around the sun, all the more enlightening.

Dear Beyonce,

I’m writing you out of concern and this is not me seeking to belabor or bicker. Could you stop singing lyrics mentioning getting drunk or partying with liquor? First, I know you got killers – Kanye told us. Honey, don’t send bees for my head. Can you sing about praying more than slaying? I mean it. I said what I said.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” got folk running to the bar. “Cuff It” got em’ sinking with a prescription. Since you ignored Jay’s lyrics about Ms. Mae eating cake, I must offer this transcription. I’ll never forget that video of you crying alone. I saw the tear drop from your eye. I can relate to being manipulated as a talented Black Woman questioning God why.

But now I’m questioning you, seriously, tell me, do you really want to go missing? Is the church girl fighting herself? Who is America’s top diva truly dissing? How long have you been holding that hoedown? I’m asking because I care. What queen chooses to sing these lyrics? Do you chase trends or his double dare?

It’s not good to see spaceships when you’re going full speed, blinded by the light. It’s not good to be a star levitating, but not at peace with your co-pilot in flight. Where’s your grown folk music, one more motherless child going down the dead-end path? It’s irresponsible to be so drunk in love with yourself that the enemy gets the last laugh.

Some say you don’t like to lose, and I watched you in concert singing “Forever Young.” But what happens when you only value power and lust? How many flings will be flung? When you have a nation and a big ego to feed, your revenge is not just money and paper. It will never be enough if your concern is Forbes’s evaluation that’s guaranteed to taper.

Do you sometimes want to Makaveli and finally let wrinkles and some grey show? Your impact on social change could be much greater if you took time to spiritually grow. Queen B, I wish you wellness, more than flawless luxury, fortune, and fame. Queen B, I hope you leave if only to find yourself and escape that high-hustling game.

Love always,

Your big sister from another mister,

Venus Jones

Audio version of the above letter:

Spoken Word Artivist | Educator | Author of She Rose | Filmmaker | Host
Waging Peace through Poetry
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
– Alice Walker