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Who is Beyonce?

Beyonce is a Creole surfborting maven who, if she was an athlete, would be tested for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) right now.


Why's that?

Because the difference between 2005 Beyonce and Beyonce today is like the difference between pre-steroid Barry Bonds and post-steroid, head the size of a Toyota Prius on 26-inch Lexanis Barry Bonds. Lemonade is basically her 73 home run season. And that it came from the same person who created "Soldier" and spent the first decade of her career saying things like "Nice things are nice" in interviews will never not be amazing. And suspicious.

What is Lemonade?

Remember when you were a kid, and your grandma left you alone in the kitchen, and said "don't take any cookies from the cookie jar," but there were like 17 cookies in the jar, so you took one thinking she wouldn't notice, but when she came back in the kitchen you started acting all guilty like you know she knows you took a cookie? Well, if you're a man in a relationship with a woman, both Lemonade the album and the short film are that cookie jar. The only other thing that's ever made this many men this self-conscious is Lexington Steele.


It's that bad, huh?

Let's just say that 60% of the men in America are spending this week vacillating between feeling bad for Jay Z and being mad at Jay Z for doing whatever he did with Becky With The Good Hair and putting the spotlight on all of us. It's one thing to do some fuckshit when you have 600 million to fall back on. You might be forgiven. You'll be memed. But forgiven. It's another thing if your girl is paying your wifi bill. And your Netflix bill. And your electric bill. You have much less of a rope. You're practically ropeless. And there are A LOT of ropeless niggas out there, and I'd imagine they're all very mad at Jay Z.


I see. Wait…who is Becky With The Good Hair?

Becky With The Good Hair is apparently the woman Jay Z cheated on Beyonce with. As far as who Becky With The Good Hair actually is, Sunday it was apparently Rachel Roy. (And then, for like 15 unfortunate minutes, it was Rachel Ray.) Monday it was Rita Ora. And perhaps by Thursday it'll be Gwyneth Paltrow.


Interesting. All of these women have nice hair I guess, but none of them are named Becky. So why Becky With The Good Hair? Where does "Becky" come from?

For years, "Becky" has been used as a general reference for a particular type of White woman.


What type of White woman? What's the criteria?

It's actually easier for me to say whether a White woman would be considered a Becky than it is to explain the criteria. Hillary Clinton? Not a Becky. Natalie Portman? Not really a Becky. Taylor Swift? The Beckiest. Iggy Azelea? Darth Becky. There are several theories on its etymology, but the one that makes the most sense is that it stems from the first line of "Baby Got Back."

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt

I see. Well, it's fitting that you called Iggy Azelea "Darth Becky," because she's in the news today for claiming that using that word is racist. Do you think it is?


Do I recognize the irony in Iggy Azelea — the hip-hop equivalent of cucumber salad wrapped in a week-old chitlin — calling something racist? Yes! Of course I do. But is the use of Becky racist? Well, no. But it's complicated.

Complicated how?

There are two schools of thought on what qualifies something as racist. The first is that something is racist if the act stems from either a belief of racial superiority or a position of constructed/structural racial superiority. (Or both.) The second encompasses all unfavorable acts which might be race-based. Basically, one school of thought is right (the former) and one is wrong (the latter).


And it's not a surprise that the rapping Quiznos frappuccino would be wrong on this too.

So it's the difference between something being truly racist and something being racially insensitive, but not actually racist?


Yes. Admittedly, referring to White women as "Becky" isn't particularly nice, but it's ultimately a reaction to a certain type of privileged young White woman who exists in a state of racial obliviousness that shifts from intentionally clueless to intentionally condescending. Basically, if Iggy Azelea doesn't want to be a Becky, she should stop being a Becky.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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