Elevator Fights and the Elevator to Success: What We Can Learn From The Knowles and Carter Clan


I rightfully admit I was in a funky mood yesterday morning.  It wasn’t anything particularly wrong, just one of those moods most folks in their late twenties go through.  You know, feeling like your life is uneventful, like you’re a step behind on everything.  The usual bullshit.  I was sitting around busily bored at work when I decided to take a trip to Facebook to see if anyone was as over “it” (whatever “it” is) as I was.  I did the usual thing, scrolling up and down the timeline looking at leftover pictures from Mother’s Day, silently chuckling at sub-statuses, and liking all post lamenting about Monday.  I saw this one post on my newsfeed emboldened with the words “SOLANGE VICIOUSLY ATTACKS JAY-Z ON ELEVATOR.”  Now my first thought in all this was, Shit’s gotta be a Facebook virus so I ignored it.  The more I scrolled the more posts I saw with a similar title.  Damn, this virus is spreading faster than smallpox.  When I finally saw TheGrio posting the link and a story, I knew it was real.  I hit up a friend of mines page and clicked the link to see what all the fuss was about.

I’m ashamed yet truthfully admit, that small snippet of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Ratchet lifted my spirits.  Not that I overtly rejoice in the misguiding moments of others, but I won’t lie and say that a little part of me feels good when others are acting bad.  At least when I’m in a crappy mood.  After watching the video for at least three or four times, I made my way to the comments where friends and strangers were trying to make sense of this masterpiece of menagerie.  What I found most interesting in most of the commentary I read was two things: 1) Why did Beyonce step to the left and not get involved,  and 2) The praising of Jay-Z for not giving Solange the Ike Turner turn-up in the elevator.  I rightfully do not have the answer to question one and depending on the ENTIRE story of why Solange (who deep down actually is my favorite Knowles sister) made the Met Gala meet Worldstar that evening, I can’t say I’m totally into comment two as well.  But, I do have my ideas on what we’ve just witnessed.  And of course if you know me, you know my ideas always go back to a theory of some sort (this situation, I see two and a possible).  But no worries, due to the hoodratchetness of the hoopla, I won’t go toooooooo deep as to why I think Jay stepped back and Bey stepped aside in that elevator. 

In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a book called Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique (Of The Social Contract or Principals of Political Right).  The main argument of the text was an explanation of how the monarchs (the rich folks) are empowered to legislate and rule over the serfs (poor folks).  Putting it in perspective, Rousseau was giving a breakdown of our societal system between the have and the have-nots (no Tyler Perry).  In 1988, Carole Pateman used the same format as Rosseau and wrote a book called The Sexual Contract where she discussed the discrepancies between men and women.  In 1997, Charles Mills used the same format as Pateman and Rousseau but discussed the discrepancies of race in The Racial Contract.  In all three texts, it was pretty much covered that there is levels to this society shit, as Meek Mills would say.  With all that out there, I begin to answer the question that I think is pretty much on your mind at the moment, “What the entire fledgling fuck does this have to do with Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Solange serving that ass whooping in an elevator?”

Understanding the theories of these contracts, specifically racial and social, it has everything to do with it.  It has everything to do with how and why Jay and Bey may have reacted to Solange’s actions.

As Mills (Charles, not Meek), contends, “The Racial Contract is political, moral, and epistemological, the Racial Contract is real, and economically, in determining who gets what…” (9).  There are several components to the functions of the racial contract in terms of signatories, beneficiaries, and sub-beneficiaries.  Signatories and beneficiaries are what Mills (again, Charles and not Meek) considers the White people who benefit from the way the societal system is designed.  Sub-beneficiaries is a group I categorize as the non-Whites who benefit from the spoils of the Racial Contract under strict conditions.  By being a commodity under the guise of camaraderie, sub-beneficiaries of the Racial Contract can enjoy the spoils of White success and acceptance…that is until they are in breach of contract and act up (Chris Brown, O.J. Simpson, need I go on).  If you haven’t noticed, Jay and Bey have been making TONS of White money for the past few years.  Endorsements out the ass.  Partnerships galore.  Ventures everywhere.  They are truly enjoying their lives as sub-beneficiaries of their racial and social contracts.  Why would they want to give all that up in an elevator?

Seriously, let’s look at our contenders here.  You have Solange and then you have Jay.  If Jay put his hands on Solange, it would be bye bye for the Samsung partnerships.  So long for the showings of Made in America and Picasso Baby on Showtime and HBO.  And as for that tour?  Aside from the demands of our schillings being refunded from the stadiums, the real money that would be lost would be ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the major endorsements for said tour, especially those that may have a morality clause (look it up, that’s a sinker for most celebs).  Pepsi would peace out.  Chase would be chased away.  All of that.  Gone.  It may not seem like a lot to lose for some people, but as someone who watches major endorsement deals go down on a regular basis professionally, that is a HUGE deal.  It also wouldn’t be a good look for those associated with Jigga if he behaved like a nigga.  Bey was already catching the feminist fire from Jay’s Ike Turner line; had he actually put action to those words………wooooooooo fucking wee.  And Obama has enough issues to address with Nigeria kidnapping schoolgirls (#bringbackourgirls), the Ukraine and Russia acting up, our debt crisis, and everything else that’s turning his hair white.  Why would he want to waste the precious time of his speechwriters to come up with something to say about his homie acting an ass in the elevator?  And then we have Solange.  Again, while she is my favorite Knowles sister, the truth is the truth.  Compared to Jay and Bey, she’s not really losing much.  Yes, she has her own endorsements with Puma, but it’s not the same kind of bread in the bakeries of Jay and Bey.  She’s rich, but has no contract. 

Let’s get back to Bey.  As stated before, like Jay, she is a beneficiary of a social and racial contract.  As part of her contractual agreement, she has to look and act a certain way in certain situations.  The fight and the aftermath in the pictures are proof of that.  I feel like she knew cameras were rolling in the elevator.  As many events as she’s attended in her life, she has to.  With that being *possibly* understood, if she were to go out and join Solange in this Love and Ratchpop response to whatever Jay may or may not have done, that’s a breach of her contract.  That’s a bye bye to her endorsements as well.  Lo’Real won’t love you cooning out, girl.

While I’m definitely not saying all this tells the entire story of what happened, it is still an interesting little lesson to consider and learn.  With that I leave you with these immortal words when talking about folks making Jay-Z and Beyonce money:

Man, we already did that

Now I’m into big things

No time to get sidetracked

Now I’m into big things

Get money now, besides that

Some more big things

I’m into big things

The big things

The big things

(Nas, 1999)



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