Before she was officially flawless and posting cryptic Instagram pictures (and before Instagram even existed, no less), the Beyoncé-obsessed searched for clues about the pop star’s personal life the old-fashioned way: through her lyrics. So when she released the furious breakup anthem “Ring the Alarm” in 2006, fans naturally speculated about the identity of the other woman caught in Bey’s war path — never mind that pop music can sometimes be the work of fiction. No, Beyoncé was definitely trying to communicate with fans, sending them secret messages.
Rihanna was the target of these rumors, probably because she was a Def Jam artist who worked closely with Jay Z, Bey’s then-boyfriend-now-husband and the head of the label at that time. When asked, Beyoncé brushed off the idea the song was about Rihanna, but few could resist a classic tale of workplace temptation, so the rumors stuck, and now they pop up every time something happens in the Beyoncéverse (ahem, Solangegate conspiracy theories).
Which brings us to the latest “scandal” — Beyoncé changing the lyrics to “Resentment” during a recent concert as a way of publicly calling out Jay Z’s rumored infidelity (this time the focus is Mya, not Rihanna). But here’s the thing: Beyoncé has been changing the lyrics to “Resentment,” another song from 2006’s B’Day, for quite some time: videos of years-old performances show she’s often sung the song that way, references to “whack bitches” and all.
The main differences are that she’s wearing a wedding dress-like outfit during the performance and that she updates the line “Been ridin’ with you for six years” to “Been ridin’ with you for 12 years,” which would maybe be more telling if it weren’t such weird math. Six years before 2006 was 2000; 12 years before 2014 was 2002. A popular version of the Beyoncé-Jay Z love story pegs the start of their romance to 2002, when the two collaborated on “03 Bonnie and Clyde,” but the singer herself has said she started dating Jay Z at 19, which could mean the year 2000.
All of this is to say: If Beyoncé is trying to open about her life, it’s short on substance (though you’ll find plenty on her last self-titled album). If Beyoncé is trying to remind you that you’re missing out on an awesome summer tour, the concept of which hinges entirely upon the intrigue of her A-list marriage, she’s doing a very good job.
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