At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, it happened. Beyoncé, the greatest living entertainer and connoisseur of short notice, announced that she will be going on tour later this year. Giving fans only two days to get “in formation” before the pre-sale, Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z will be entertaining the world for On The Run II, a follow up to their 2014 joint tour. A Beyoncé tour is an exciting time for any member of the Beyhive, even those of us struggling to come up with last minute funds for the trip. For many, the fact Jay will be joining his wife is an added bonus. But as for this Bey stan, I’m hoping that the final show of this tour is also a happily ever after ending to the journey of their relationship — at least the public part. Call me selfish, but I'm looking forward to more solo Beyoncé tours with Jay and the kids watching from backstage.
When the tour was announced, Vulture was the first publication to point out that OTRII is symbolic of Jay and Bey renewing their wedding vows in front of the world. This venture comes just as the dust has settled on a two-year saga — told by the entertainers themselves — that revealed some of the most intimate cracks and dents in the relationship that many believed to be perfect. It started in 2016 when Beyoncé dropped her album Lemonade in the form of an hour-long film that aired on HBO. Although the sixth studio album from Bey tackled broader themes of black liberation and female empowerment, it captured listeners as a tell-all in which she melodically grappled with the aftermath of her husband’s infidelity. Lines like “Becky with the good hair” sent the internet into a frenzied search for Jay’s mistress, despite singles like “All Night” making it clear that the couple had found their way back to one another.
A little over a year later, Jay confirmed Beyoncé’s accusations on his own album, 4:44 — another powerful body of work that saw Jay reconciling his own emotional immaturity and how it negatively impacted their relationship. He even admitted to some of his indiscretions in an interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine, just in case anyone thought that the tea being spilled on Lemonade and 4:44 were just songs.
For a couple that spent over a decade staying very tight-lipped about their relationship, the past two years have been a bit of a creative renaissance for the Carters. They have braved the responses to their confessions as a united front. While the rest of the world grappled with the truth that there was trouble in their billion-dollar paradise, Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed a set of new twins and graced industry events hand-in-hand throughout 2017. Through it all, Bey provided photographic evidence of their reconciliation on Instagram. The Carters are forging ahead with their lives and careers, acknowledging that their love story is one of redemption. The video announcement for OTRII is set to the chorus of Alton Ellis’ “I’m Still In Love with You,” the keyword here being, ‘still.’ They have weathered the storm, and OTRII feels like the victory lap on a reunion tour that started months before Beyoncé took Formation on the road. And I hope that’s true.
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to see a different side of Beyoncé as she allowed Lemonade to expose more of her vulnerabilities and fears. My heart broke listening to both accounts of their rough patch, and I’m glad that they appear to have moved passed it. Bey appears to be at peace as both a wife and mother. And I hope that after OTRII, this also translates into more work that does not centre Jay. No shade to Hov, but only one of the Carters is Beyoncé, and she is worth all of my savings on her own.