Just checking in on the Twitter today -- are we all alive or has Beyonce officially blown up the internet?— Melody Beyonce Lau (@melodylamb) December 13, 2013
With so many year-end lists already written, queued, or published, everyone figured that 2013 in music was over, right? Well, then Beyoncé released a surprise 14-track self-titled album (and accompanying videos) at midnight. No pre-release singles nor big business promotions; not a peep from the dancers, models, song-writers and producers who all played a part. So after all that secrecy, how did the Internet react when Beyoncé arrived?
It went batshit crazy.
By 12:30 a.m. EST, the Internet had morphed into a moving, breathing, shrieking mass of Beyoncé fangirls. Under her spell, people no longer knew what was happening. Who could rememember life before this album? Seriously, were we even alive before Beyoncé blessed us with these songs and videos?
Hahahahahaha I can't believe we thought anything in 2013 mattered before this album. Thank you @Beyonce. THANK YOU.— beatrice (@beatriceLCC) December 13, 2013
Do you even remember your life before seeing the "Flawless" video? This is not my beautiful house. How did I get here?— Danielle (@knottyyarn) December 13, 2013
THE PRETTY HURTS VIDEO, I'M CRYING, my god, OH MY GOD, she is the future, WHAT IS HAPPENING— Tavi Gevinson (@tavitulle) December 13, 2013
From its raunchy, Skittles-referencing sex odes to its breathtaking music videos nodding to Beyoncé's entire career, this magnum opus of black female sexuality and power had the Internet, literally, bowing down. At 2:00 a.m., what would YOU do for Beyoncé?
If Beyoncé told you to kill 3 people, what kind of weapon would you use?— LIFE WITH JEANNIE (@JeanGreasy) December 13, 2013
Every second was alive with someone uploading to their Tumblr a perfect GIF of Beyoncé writhing on the beach in her "Drunk in Love" video, or screen-capping every lingerie look of her "Partition" clip. A seriously GIF-worthy moment across the Tumblr and Twittersphere for the intersectionalist feminist community was Beyoncé spouting the "BOW DOWN BITCHES" chant in her video for "Flawless" as she moshed and freaked out to the voice of of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "We Should All Be Feminists" TED talk.
Beyonce put Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Flawless.SEX-POSITIVE BLACK FEMINISM WON TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!— A$AP Feminist (@FeministaJones) December 13, 2013
It's a big deal that Bey kind of explicitly invokes feminism here. Ppl will get bent out of shape abt it, but good.— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215) December 13, 2013
When the rest of humankind awoke from its clueless slumber, everyone caught up with the magnificence that was Beyoncé and reactions came rolling in. While the rest of the blogosphere debated whether Beyoncé's work was "feminist or not" or if the album was even good, the feminists of the Internet just could not care less.
"Excuse me, but I have an opinion on whether Beyoncé's new album is feminis-" "- I VOLUNTEER THAT WRITER AS TRIBUTE."— Haley Mlotek (@haleymlotek) December 13, 2013
I LITERALLY don't care what white dudes have to say about music anymore. I like my reviews how I like my life--INTERSECTIONAL AS FUCK.— Danielle (@knottyyarn) December 13, 2013
Pre-emptive: if you're going to try to discount Beyoncé's feminism this time around: good luck, adios.— J. Escobedo Shepherd (@jawnita) December 13, 2013
One particularly hilarious side-affect of this online Bey Bomb was the consistent agreement that everyone needed to drop everything and listen to the album. Work, in a world with a new Beyoncé album, can simply not be done. It's not that Beyoncé stopped time she just sort of, well, stopped time?
Honestly, how is any publicist trying to do a single goddamn thing today?— Sasha Go Hecht (@sashahecht) December 13, 2013
"Oh, I'm sorry, did you have finals?" --Beyoncé— Heben Nigatu (@heavenrants) December 13, 2013
Hahahahaha I'm running on an hour of sleep because beyonce fucking knowles hahahahahaha— Arabelle Sicardi (@fashionpirate) December 13, 2013
There was backlash on Tumblr to anyone who so much as thought of publishing anything other than Beyoncé-related content. "THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE UPLOADING SELFIES BITCH TAKE A SEAT" read one Tumblr post. "I'm really about to unfollow u if you're not talking about Beyoncé," read another. Save the rest for later, this is Bey worship time.
Don't talk to me about shit but Beyonce this weekend.— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) December 13, 2013
(yep, totally gonna tweet about Beyonce all damn day. Get into my joy. GET INTO IT.)— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) December 13, 2013
Beyoncé commanded so much attention that people were actually getting mad at her for releasing such exquisite material unannounced into cyberspace. After Beyoncé casually Instagrammed a picture of vegan cupcakes ('cause, you know, that's what you do when you drop one of the biggest albums of the year) someone commented: "Whew you a bad a bitch. God bless you."