A Beyoncé album is coming. It is inevitable and it will surprise you. Like the apocalypse, or herpes.
In all her benevolence, King Bey has already prepared you.
In a move so stealth that Mossad took notes, she used Rihanna’s album release the week prior to get us all to sign up for Tidal. Beyoncé used Rihanna as a loss leader. Then just in case you forgot that Beyoncé still has the power to fuck up your schedule, she put out the video for “Formation” ONE DAY ahead of her Super Bowl performance. (There are rumours that Coldplay was the headliner but I never saw them. There’s also word of a football game of some sort.) She is King Bey and we serve Her Majesty with honour and sacrifice.
This isn’t her first go-around, and it’s not yours. Surprise. Visual. Album. Remember?
But as the saying goes: if you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready. Here are the ten steps to getting ready for the Beypocalypse.
Step One: Don’t leave your house. You can’t be out in public when this shit drops. Screaming in the grocery store, flipping your work laptop, and dropping a scalpel are socially unacceptable behaviours. When the dust settles, Beyoncé will not feed you, pay you or cure you. The safest way to live your life is to stay indoors.
Step Two: Set up your alerts. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, e-mail, text message, Tumblr, MySpace. Schedule hourly check-ins on Tidal, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes. Lock your homepage to Beyonce.com. Don’t get tricked because her pictures show her vacationing in southern Spain. Keep your phone charged. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t get left behind.
Step Three: Okay, maybe you can’t stay indoors. You have to assume normal form until you can shed your skin and be reborn as a Yonce stan. Put together your out-of-office responders. If you work in a Beyoncé-positive environment, use something like: “Hey, I’m out of the office getting my whole damn life. If you need me, my god, I feel bad for you. If it’s urgent, why don’t you tell Beyonce that she needs to stop. I will be back when I am good and ready.”
If you work in an environment that is less approving of Bey, quit because that sounds like a hostile work environment. If you can’t quit, set your out-of-office responder to: “Thank you for reaching out. I am attending to a family emergency and will be unavailable until further notice. If it’s urgent, please contact my supervisor who is also attending to my family emergency.”
Step Four: Hydrate. Dehydrated bitches do not slay.
Step Five: Cancel any plans for the next month. Beyoncé is coming for you and it’s going to be a shame when you have to drop out of a quinceañera or family vacation. This is not the moment to start a new job. Do not start on those New Year’s resolutions now. A personal trainer is an expensive thing to waste.
Step Six: Delete unnecessary files from your digital devices. Don’t let 97 pictures of the sunset off your balcony be the reason you have to wait for musical magic. Like Bey says, prove to me you got some coordination.
Step Seven: Read. If “Formation” is anything to go by, this album will have deep references to blackness, feminism, police culture, sexuality, and popular seafood eateries. Once this album comes out, you are a student at the Blue Ivy School of Being Better, and you’d better have done the required readings. Review the literature. Study the history. Watch the “Partition” video again.
Step Eight: Save. Your. Money. Beyoncé is generous with her time but she is not (really) giving you this work for free. “I haven’t heard the album yet because my card got declined,” said a fool.
Step Nine: Find the perfect outfit. Do you think Bey made this album while wearing sweats and smudged eyeliner? A new Beyoncé album has become the black Buckingham Palace and you need to look like you came ready to curtsy for the Queen. Pack a gold lamé body suit, a fur stole and stiletto boots in your Beyoncé Go Bag.
Step Ten: Stay alert. We don’t know when or how the sign will come. Keep an eye on the stars. Watch for strange weather patterns. Check what Kanye is tweeting; if there’s one weak link in the chain at Queen B headquarters, it’s Ye. Catch up on sleep in May.
You got your notice on February 6. You have been warned.