Mark Twain once claimed that the only things you can count on in life are death and taxes. But with all due respect to history’s greatest humorist, he never met Beyonce. To that list I have added the Queen Bey, who I believe it the world’s great equalizer, the common thread of humanity that brings us all together and a shared language by which to communicate. She is her own Esperanto.
Think about it: If you met someone and you found out they didn’t share your fascination with the world’s most bizarrely flawless human, would you want to keep knowing them? I once broke up with a guy for not liking Tina Fey, because I didn’t feel like we could have that much in common. For Beyonce, I wouldn’t break up with it. I might have to have him murdered, out of mercy. It’s just the right thing to do.
As humanity’s center of gravity, I have long argued that Beyonce is perfect for every occasion. From weddings to funerals to abortions, she goes with everything, except for mediocrity. The last time I checked the definition of diva — noun, female version of a hustla — it does not include the word “K-Mart.” It also doesn’t include snuggies or eating nutella straight out of the jars, my preferred diva activities (#YOLO), but everyone must define their diva for themselves. Let this Beyonce playlist help you channel yours.
1. When You’re Walking Down The Aisle
Listen to: “Halo,” “Crazy in Love”
It really depends on what you want out of your wedding. If you want to go classic and elegant, “Halo” is the ideal choice, a soaring ballad to transformative love. However, I’m saving “Crazy in Love” for my non-partiarchy-affirming commitment ceremony (to be held on whatever commune Patti Smith has blessed that day). Instead of going quietly into that good marriage, I want to strut in like I already own the joint.
2. When You’re Dying
Listen to: “End of Time”
It might seem a little grim and melodramatic to listen to a song about death while you’re dying (you could just put on “Hurt” and call it a day), but if you have to die, you might as well die to Beyonce. Although “End of Time” might bespeak of apocalyptic overtones, it’s less about the end of the world than finding someone to share it with, the one who will never let you go.
3. When You Want To Dance Like No One Is Watching You
Listen to: “Sweet Dreams,” “Get Me Bodied”
Beyonce is known for her “unique” choregraphy, which is kind of like an avant-garde pee pee dance. Bey is at the vanguard of urine jams, from the “Single Ladies” dance to whatever is happening in the “Deja Vu” video. Beyonce marches to the beat of her own spastic bladder, and we love her for it. We don’t always know what the hell she’s doing, but Beyonce is beyond normal human comprehension. She’s the James Joyce of dancers.
4. When You Run Into An Old Hookup At The Grocery Store And You Don’t Remember His Name
Listen to: “Naughty Girl”
Hey, you’re having enough sex that you can afford to not remember someone. You might feel bad for that awkward moment where the name just isn’t coming (and you have to settle for “Hey…buddy!”), but I think this is something to celebrate. Get it while you can, you proud slut you.
5. When You Need to Eat Your Feelings
Listen to: “Emotion”
Just let it out if you need to. You want that fourth burrito? How about that fourteenth? It’s your process. There’s no such thing as too much Mexican food when you’re going through something. Consider Mexican food like a workout — but for your feelings. You go the distance, gurl.
6. When You Need A Trio of Strong Black Women To Tell You What To Do
Listen to: “Independent Women (Part One),” “Survivor”
Almost any Destiny’s Child song applies in this category. Destiny’s Child was a small army of self-help gurus dedicated to making the world a better place through inspiring lyrics and booty-shaking beats. They told you that you could leave your man at home because he’s a bugaboo who can’t pay your auto-mo-bills, and you buy your own shit anyway because you’re a survivor who isn’t going to stop until she’s bootylicious. If he isn’t ready for this jelly, that’s his problem.
This is now the part where you listen to “Irreplaceable.” Sounds about right.
7. When Your Mother Wants To Talk About Her Medical Problems
Listen to: “Run the World (Girls)”
I’m not suggesting that you affirm your mother’s bunions (because when Beyonce sings about empowerment, she’s not talking about your mother’s foot pain), but that you play “Run the World” because it’s Beyonce’s loudest song. If you break out that subwoofer, you might be able to drown your mother out entirely. Thanks, Diplo!
8. When You’re Engulfed In Flames
Listen to: “Ring the Alarm”
You’re on fire, asshole. Finish your song and then fucking call for help.