I said goddamn! Beyoncé just dropped "Beyoncé" as a 'visual' album, which basically means we get the music album and a 30 second video snippet for all 14 tracks ( + Bey bonuses) at once. Why would you watch seventeen 30 second snippets in a row? Because Beyoncé. And because the list of features on this album and its visuals include Jake Nava, Melina Matsoukas, Hype Williams, Jonas Akerlund, Pierre Debusschere, Terry Richardson, The Dream, Timbaland, etc.
Because here at KNOTORYUS we are behind-the-scenes people, we thought we'd list some of the most remarkable talents that made Beyoncé's fifth album such a triumph.
directed by Melina Matsoukas. Beyoncé is a beauty contestant with doubts about her happiness as a pretty girl.
The director's connect: Melina Matsoukas directed the video for 'Losing You' by Solange Knowles, Beyoncé's baby sister.
(Also : Oh hey Shaun Ross! Quite a commercially successful year you're having, what with ANTM features and co-starring in Lana Del Rey's "Tropico")
The co-writer's connect: the track was co-written by Ammo, who also wrote 'E.T.' by Katy Perry, a track that featured Kanye West, and Sia, who wrote 'Standing on the Sun' for Beyoncé and H&M earlier.
directed by Jonas Akerlund. Beyoncé walks through the halls of a haunted mansion, seeing all kinds of freaky stuff. (NSFW)
The co-writer's connect: the mysterious 'Boots' is listed as co-writer on this track and on 5 other songs on the album but honestly I have no idea about this guy.The Bey legion has been tracking him down ever since the drop: here's the Buzzfeed post about him.
And apparently, this is what he looks like:
celebrating with my dear friend BOOTS who wrote 4 songs and co produced 80% of the album pic.twitter.com/rXvGZbJxMu
— mds (@designedmemory) December 13, 2013
"Drunk in Love feat. Jay-Z"
directed by Hype Williams. Beyoncé playing around in the surf at night, all in black and white.
The co-writer's connect: Jay Z is on it, Timbaland is on it, which means this is a 'Big Pimpin' reunion for both writing and video.
directed by Hype Williams. Beyoncé on roller blades, surrounded by neon, licking her very red, very glossy lips.
The director's connect: see above.
The co-writer's connect: this has Pharrell Williams sparkling all over it (notice the tongue-clack around the one-minute mark of the full track). Pharrell did lots of work with Jay-Z. (Frontin', etc.) and produced 'Glory', the track about Jay Z's and Beyoncé's baby girl, Blue Ivy.
directed by @lilinternet. Beyoncé is just like real people (Shots of real people being real. Shots of Beyoncé pumping gas - being Beyoncé.)
The director's connect: since this whole video is a Karmaloop production (the Director of Photography, Shomi Patwary, is one of the guys behind Karmaloop TV) I'm guessing this is the connect with @lilinternet. Just a week ago, Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe announced they will be the distribution partner for the Kanye West x Adidas collabo.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: producer 'King Solomon' really delivers here. Not only is the beat on point and a welcome departure from the slicked-out Beyoncé clichés, Beyoncé's voice also sounds different on this. It's really endearing how grateful (if somewhat impatient) King Solomon has been on his Twitter about working with Beyoncé. He credits @lilinternet for hooking him up with Beyoncé for the project.
Super stupid shoutout to my day 1 @LILINTERNET for bringin me onto this project + all the Htown homies who showed love + made this possible
— KING SOLOMON (@KINGS0L0M0N) December 13, 2013
Hurry Up Wit My Damn Announcement ????????
— KING SOLOMON (@KINGS0L0M0N) December 12, 2013
Caroline Polachek is a surprise credit for co-writing. She's one half of Indie-favourites "Chairlift" and a collaborator of Das Racist. The only link I can think of is the cover she did of "party" a year ago.
directed by Jake Nava. Beyoncé wriggling about in a shiny bikini / leopard skin projection.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: the track is also credited to The Dream, who was basically responsible for 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', making this a track + video 'Single Ladies' reunion. Justin Timberlake is also credited. Timbaland is on production.
directed by Beyoncé, Francesco Carrozzini , Todd Tourso. Bey hanging out and striking poses in a pretty house with pretty people. This track and video have 'label' written all over it.
The director's connect: Francesco Carrozzini might be a label connect. He directed the 'Phoenix' video for A$AP Rocky recently. He's also Itlaian Vogue royalty so that could also be the connect. Or... if you want to play Seven Degrees of Bey Separation: Francesco directed the A$AP Rocky video, A$AP Rocky shares a bed with Chanel Iman, Chanel Iman is in the "Yoncé" video. (See below) Case closed! Todd Tourso could be several connects: as an art director he worked on the package design for Kelly Rowland's 'Talk a Good Game' album (see: Destiny's Child, *natch*) but he's also associated with House of Gaga (see: 'Telephone').
The co-writer's/producer's connect: again with the 'Boots' credit (see above). I'm guessing the elusive 'Fisher' on the credits is actually 'Eddie Fisher', the drummer for One Republic. The connect would be Ryan Tedder: he wrote 'Halo' for Beyoncé and was also the singer for One Republic.
directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Bill Kirstein. Beyoncé in bed, rubbin' on herself and peeping at you over the edge of the blankets.
The director's connect: Beyoncé in bed: Beyoncé in control (I'm guessing...). Ed Burke is a long-time collaborator and trusted partner of Beyoncé: he directed many of her live show DVD's and was the main guy behind the 'Life is but a Dream' documentary. Bill Kirstein was a producer on that documentary, so I'm guessing Ed brought him along for this project.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: I wonder if the opening line "Let me sit this ass on ya." or lines like "Climb my mountains 'til I reach my peak" were written by Miguel or by Beyoncé. Anway: Miguel co-wrote it and Timberlake and Timbaland are credited as well. All in all, this is a verrrrrrrry "D'Angelo" track. (We miss you, D! I wish you would to do a surprise drop, too.)
"Mine feat. Drake"
directed by Pierre Debusschere. Beyoncé on the beach again, but this time with slow-mo dancers and great styling all around.
The director's connect: Pierre Debusschere is a 29-year-old from our neck of the woods: Brussels. He's a long-time partner of Raf Simons and Dazed & Confused. We love Pierre! Another connect-option is Karen Langley: she styled the "Mine" and "Ghost" and "Flawless" videos and also styled Beyoncé for her Dazed & Confused 'Pop vs. Life' cover shoot earlier.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: Drake didn't own 2013 (Yeezus did.) but he came close, so it's no surprise he's on here. Noah "40" Shebib is Drake's go-to producer so he came along for the ride.
directed by Terry Richardson. Beyoncé goes to the fairground. The fairground is happy. Uncle Terry keeps the raunch for another day and takes a sweeter approach to the 'look at Beyoncé: she's a real person' angle.
The director's connect: Terry Richardson remains a force to reckoned with, so it makes sense he would do a Beyoncé video at one point. He did a photo shoot with Beyoncé for GQ back in February, so maybe that could be the moment when the connect was made for the video, which was shot at the beginning of September. This video was already famous before it was cut, thanks to a woman complaining Beyoncés paparazzi and entourage shut down the Wonder Wheel, trapping her on the ride.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: Ryan Tedder (see above: 'Halo') and The Dream (a.k.a. Terius Nash: see above: 'Single Ladies')
"***Flawless feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
directed by Jake Nava. Beyoncé in a checkered shirt and ripped shorts dancing in an 'urban' setting. (See: flaming trash cans, graffiti, you know what it is.)
The director's connect: see above ('Single Ladies')
The co-writer's/producer's connect: this is the much-anticipated production by Hit-Boy, who's still dining on his 'Niggas in Paris' beat. The Dream is on it, too. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an author who wrote 'Americanah', one of the '10 best books of 2013' according to the New York Times. The quote you hear on the track is culled from the author's TEDx talk "We should all be feminists."
All in all: new Bey anthem.
"Superpower feat. Frank Ocean"
directed by Jonas Akerlund. Beyoncé leads a street protest. You know what 'street' means: yup, more flaming trash cans and graffiti.
(sidenote: Shakira! Shakira!)
The director's connect: see above ('Telephone' by Lady Gaga)
The co-writer's/producer's connect: Frank Ocean was featured on "No Church in the Wild" by Kanye West and Jay-Z (Watch The Throne). Interestingly, the video for that track was also about a street protest. (Directed by Romain Gavras, who did a much better job than Akerlund's attempt at 'Can You Dig It' Warriors revamp for 2013 in my opinion.)
directed by Todd Tourso. Beyoncé crying over a deceased loved one.
The director's connect: see above (Kelly Rowland or Lady Gaga)
The co-writer's/producer's connect: Boots again! Raise one hand in the air and let that power ballad rip.
"Blue feat. Blue Ivy"
directed by Ed Burke and Bill Kirstein. Beyonce and her little girl (and hubby Sean Carter) in Brazil. Lotsa huggin', lotsa kissin'.
The director's connect: see above ('Life is but a Dream' documentary)
The co-writer's/producer's connect: Boots again! Total tearjerker.
This one has a full video:
directed by Jake Nava. Beyoncé in a Mad Decent-like video: lots of VHS graphics. Do she use that booty? She doooooooooo!
The director's connect: see above ('Single Ladies') Kelly Rowland also features in the video, as does 'mama fierce': Tina Knowles, looking very Queenly.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: The Dream and Timbaland again. (It's not an official track on the 'Beyoncé' album, though).
directed by Ricky Saiz. Beyoncé and Chanel Iman doing things that make it hard not to stare.
The director's connect: so many to choose from: Ricky Saiz is co-head designer of Supreme, a consultant at DONDA (the creative agency headed by Kanye West) and he did some artwork for the A$AP mob (which connects it back to Chanel Iman in the video).
directed by Pierre Debusschere. Beyoncé and the floaty fabrics.
The director's connect: see above. Brussels goes in twice! Styled by Karen Langley, who styled Beyoncé's Dazed & Confused cover shoot with Sharof Hamza.
The co-writer's/producer's connect: no info available at this time. Boots again?
"Beyoncé" is available now http://smarturl.it/beyoncevisualalbum.