From the On The Run Tour to Elevatorgate to Jay and Bey’s divorce (which somehow segued into their pregnancy) to the supposed second surprise coming of her self-titled 2013 album, 2014 been a banner year for Beyoncé rumors. As the music editor of Flavorwire, I am required to pay attention to these rumblings and at times, parse them. As a Beyoncé fan, I am mostly unhappy about this job requirement.
For one, verifying this gossip is never as simple as an email to Beyoncé’s publicist, Parkwood Entertainment’s Yvette Noel Schure. Even if I worked at The New York Times, getting answers to America’s burning questions would be a struggle in this case. Beyoncé is a master of manipulating the rumors to serve her own purpose, and not answering until a strategy that achieves as much becomes clear. Sometimes we never really get answers; if Beyoncé addressed all the ludicrous allegations about her on Necole Bitchie or Gossip Cop, she wouldn’t get a damn thing done. Sometimes it seems so plausible that her team engineered the rumors that I start to convince myself that it may be safe to share my Bey conspiracy theories with other people. Alas, I refrain. (Though seriously, how boss did Jay and Bey look when they shut that divorce shit down in their HBO special and Christmas card of an appearance at the VMAs? Even if you didn’t fall for it, you must recognize their game.)
Not only is the personal life gossip blatantly gross, it has and will always exist around Jay and Bey (and every other celebrity couple). Best to just ignore it, if at all possible. But when the conversation steers towards Beyoncé’s actual work in an attempt to force her hand based on the validity of a fucking piece of paper that could have been fabricated by anyone with Microsoft Word, I lose my shit just slightly. Look, I’d love to hear a Beyoncé-Nicki Minaj track called “DONK” as much as the next pop music fan, but do I believe it exists? Hell no.
A fucking piece of paper.
Part of me wants to vilify my peers for lending credence to these rumors in the way seen so commonly in online entertainment blogging masquerading as “journalism” (I’m not going to pretend we haven’t done it here on Flavorwire too): “Here’s crazy rumor X, here’s where it came from, and here’s a joke to distract you from the fact that we have no fucking clue if it’s real, nor do we have any hopes of getting a confirmation from the publicist.” When there is a crumb of validity — like a vague-as-hell UK Amazon link — those sites you’ve never heard of but look relatively legit to the general internet population run with it as a confirmation. Even after the truth comes out, there are still outlets holding their ground: MTV cracked me up today by claiming that the rumors of Beyoncé: Volume 2 are somehow true, simply because Beyoncé announced a four-disc deluxe edition of her 2013 self-titled album to be released November 24. I don’t need to tell you that a box set is far less exciting than a surprise new album, though I probably will hang the included mini calendar by my desk anyway.
Maybe I’m just naive to take Beyoncé at her word instead of reading her announcement today as a distraction tool so that she can release Beyoncé: Volume 2 with just a hint of secrecy. I really do think the only new Bey material we’ll be getting this year are the two previously unheard tracks set to appear on Beyoncé Platinum Edition Box Set, titled “7/11” and “Ring Off.” The fan in me is sad, but the editor who’s sick of the rumors? Oddly pleased.