New ‘Die With You’ video a short reminder that Beyoncé is an artist in control of her narrative

Don’t hurt yourself, but Beyoncé has a new video out.

On Tuesday, Beyoncé released a music video to celebrate nine years since Jay Z decided to put a ring on it.

The song isn’t new. “Die With You” first emerged in 2015 for the celebrity couple’s seventh anniversary. The video, in some respects, is a spiritual cousin to “All Night,” another home footage homage on “Lemonade,” Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album. But “All Night” largely kept Jay Z’s presence to a minimum, a creative choice that was consistent throughout the album that doubled as an ode to black womanhood.

Here, in the video for “Die With You,” Jay Z shares the frame with Beyoncé at their wedding, vacations and with their daughter Blue Ivy. (Jay Z is also seen presumably playing backgammon.) If “All Night” was a hopeful outlook on mending a fractured relationship in the wake of infidelity, the images in “Die With You” (publicly) show the logical progression of rebuilding trust.

The video was released on the music streaming service Tidal. No surprise there. Nor is it a surprise that Beyoncé continues to release these repeated, brief glimpses into the couple’s lives. It’s “Beyoncé pulling a Beyoncé,” as Salamishah Tillet of the University of Pennsylvania once told the NewsHour, reminding us of her ability “to tightly control her narrative, whether it’s around issues of marital infidelity or simply what she wants to say politically.”

Beyoncé’s sixth studio album, “Lemonade,” made an immediate impact with its innovative release as a visual album on HBO and through the music streaming service Tidal. For more on the groundbreaking work, which addresses both her personal troubles and the larger history of black women, Jeffrey Brown talks to Salamishah Tillet of the University of Pennsylvania.

Still, the collective freak-outs over anything coming from the Knowles pipeline is to be expected — and welcomed. (Did you catch a pregnant Beyoncé, Blue Ivy in belly, in the video?) The comparisons to Nina Simone, who was unapologetically black and political in her time, are also apt. Beyoncé’s career is an example of how a black artist can wrestle control of her work, an option not always available to black women. She has also used that platform to elevate other black artists, ones seen and heard in “Lemonade.”

Jamilah King of Mic said it best: “Black art has always been profitable, but it’s rare for a black artist — and a black woman, at that — to reap those profits. But Beyoncé is proof that it’s possible.”


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