Did Beyonce make a racial slur ‘Becky’ in Lemonade?

BeyoncéBeyonce‘s highly anticipated visual album Lemonade aired Saturday night on HBO — and immediately got the internet buzzing.

Why? Because of these seemingly harmless eight words: “He better call Becky with the good hair.”

The album has a strong theme of adultery and betrayal throughout, with many people under the assumption that Jay-Z cheated on her. And Becky is the one he did it with.

Society is now dying to know: Who, in fact, is Becky?

A laundry list of “suspects” quickly emerged, but Iggy Azalea has spoken up to say the use of “Becky”is a racist stereotype for white women.

The rapper said she’s been called Becky many times before, with no “kind of positive intention behind it,” and that “generalizing ANY race by calling them one stereotypical name for said race” isn’t “cool.” She then likened calling a white woman “Becky” to calling an Asian woman “Ming Lee” or a black woman “Sha Nay Nay.”

Questionably racist terminology aside, Iggy has certainly sparked a conversation. So now it’s less about who Becky is, but rather, what does Becky mean?

Well, according to Behindthename.com, Becky is a diminutive of Rebecca, a Hebrew name meaning “a snare.” A snare is defined as “anything serving to entrap or entangle unawares; trap.” 

This is quite interesting considering the pervasive cultural usage of Becky, which goes as far back as the 19th century. In William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1847 satirical novel, Vanity Fair, the protagonist Becky Sharp is a woman who uses her charm and skills of seduction to climb the social ladder in Victorian England.

In Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca, Rebecca is the haunting (and dead) first wife of well-mannered Maxim, who turns out to be a wicked, promiscuous woman who carried on multiple affairs and was pregnant with the child of another man.

Are we sensing a pattern here?

Dierks Bentley was next to parody the name in “What Was I Thinkin'” in 2003, a song about getting into some serious trouble with a hard-partying, white tank top-wearing Alabama girl named — you guessed it — Becky.

In 2010 probably the most damaging usage of the name appeared in rapper Plies’ song “Becky.” In it, he uses the name as a verb for oral sex, with such lyrics as “I want yo mouth, give me that Becky.”

So it seems Beyoncé is referring to a social climbing, loose, quasi-succubus man eater.

But how do we know she’s white?

Well, Sir Mix A Lot’s 1992 tune “Baby Got Back” might be the tipping off point to this stereotype. The song doesn’t paint Becky as promiscuous, but more so as the typical clueless “Valley Girl” as she became very well known in the ’90s. The song begins with a pair of white women in dismay over a black woman’s voluptuous behind, spouting the famous first words: “Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt…” This may very well be the birth of Becky as we know her today.

Next, in 2014, was the Taylor Swift/Becky meme. Look it up. This is followed by actress Gabourey Sidibe playing an assistant named Becky in Empire. When one character asks her, “What kind of black girl is named Becky?,” she claims her mother is half white. That’s actually just pretty funny.

So let’s add this all up — Becky is a two-dimensional social climber, a seductress who really enjoys sex, she’s a “basic,” small-minded, (predominately blonde) white girl.

If you look up “Becky” on Urban Dictionary, the name is defined as “the act of performing oral sex” (no thanks to Plies’ song), a definition which is a long, long way away from “a snare.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Susan • April 28, 2016 @ 10:50 AM

    Its all a publicity stunt for her new album.

  2. RyeHuy • April 28, 2016 @ 11:37 AM

    Who cares what its about, I could give a flying **** about a celebrity’s personal life. You’re just here to entertain me with movies or song etc, other than that I don’t care go away.

  3. MA • April 28, 2016 @ 11:52 AM

    ‘Society is dying to know’….NOT!!! Society does not give a rat’s ass what is going on between these two narcissists. IF Becky is a racist name for white women……guess it is OK in Beyoncé’s books for HER to be racist! Have NO interest in her or her ugly husband.

  4. Mike Hunt • April 28, 2016 @ 12:24 PM

    She looks like a tranny.

    Over-rated as far as talent is concerned as well. Same with her ugly husband.
    Gansters & hos

  5. Tharsos • April 28, 2016 @ 12:29 PM

    RyeHuy… But obviously, you cared enough to comment…. While I tend to agree with you, I prefer to read about movie stuff, No one is forcing you to read these “Articles” Some people enjoy them. Some people see them as time wasters, and some people… dont see them at all. If you dont like them, dont read them. It really is that simple

  6. Dude • April 28, 2016 @ 12:30 PM

    The sad thing is, Beyonce who calls herself a Feminist has no problem writing a song knowing her fans would eviscerate any perceived “basic white woman (Becky)” they thought would have the nerve to try and take Beyonce’s man.

  7. Terry • April 28, 2016 @ 3:12 PM

    Hmm.? I was in love with a black woman named Becky and I don’t give a shit what the street interpretation is. And man there ain’t no such thing as a two dimensional woman.

  8. Trevor • April 28, 2016 @ 7:19 PM

    Beyoncé is one ugly chocolate nicker.

  9. FEMPOWER • April 29, 2016 @ 9:52 AM

    Beyonce Racist?!? thats impossible! she can’t be racist she’s Black
    and black people can’t be racist. its just like sexism where women can’t be sexist. only straight white CIS Men can be sexist. So if Beyonce was white
    then I would believe that she was racist because only white people are capable
    of being racist.

  10. Debra • April 29, 2016 @ 12:17 PM

    hmmm…..just think if whitey or other minority said this, seems like there are too many sacred cows out there!

  11. Arlene • April 29, 2016 @ 6:01 PM

    It seems by the last two appearances on NFL and her new album she thinks she is the Queen Supreme for staging a msg against police and then her cheating husband JZ. These two are desperate for attention and the money made for their record sales. They think they are an empire, but they don’t fool anybody.

  12. Kiamolee • May 4, 2016 @ 1:45 AM

    @fempower…. Really? Like really? With a mind like that I wonder if you even know how to wipe ur own ass.

  13. OokumsSnookums • May 6, 2016 @ 5:32 PM

    That was no innocent remark because anybody and everybody knows what “Becky with the Good Hair” refers to and means, it most definitely is a racist slur and remark! The Super Bowl was just her stepping stone into the racist world she has apparently hidden from the rest of the world until she could squeeze enough money out of all her unsuspecting innocent fans so she could come out of the closet, so to speak and show her true self! She apparently has enough money and doesn’t care what she does or says or what anyone thinks about her behavior, and she apparently still appeals to all the other racist in the world or the dummies of the world! She just needs a good wig and some psyco-therapy! And,her lyrics and music have never been that good, people just liked to watch her shake her ass on stage in a totally tasteless skimpy outfit! But, even now they call her fat ass and thunder thighs behind her back! Now they just add RACIST to the list!

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