Shade Court: The Grammys, WNYC, Beyoncé Earns PhD in Shade Studies

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Shade Court: The Grammys, WNYC, Beyoncé Earns PhD in Shade Studies

This week brought us a truly diverse group of cases. We have old man shade, sleepy vampire shade and the greatest shade to ever cast its chilly, chilly judgement—Beyoncé shade.

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000027


The Case: When Beck won for Album of the Year over Beyoncé at the Grammys, Kanye West jokingly rushed the stage like he was going to pull his infamous “I’m gonna let you finish” hijack all over again. The internet reacted.

The Defendant: Nylon magazine

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Yes guys, we all saw. We saw because it was shown on national television. We saw.

Also, not really that crazy.

Bum-rushing a stage is not shady. Making an obvious reference to the time you pulled arguably the biggest, most hilarious dick move of your entire career is not shade. Basically yelling from the rooftops “BECK DOES NOT DESERVE THE AWARD HE IS CURRENTLY BEING GIVEN” is not shade. Shade is not any fucking thing you want it to be. Shade has a limited transformative ability. The context and degree of shade can change, but shade does not change its meaning based on the convenience of the person trying to make a tweet go viral.

Besides, Kanye very rarely subtle and therefore, very rarely shady. By my (very limited) calculations, he’s thrown shade exactly once. It’s not his forte, folks.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000028


The Case: This case comes by way of a loyal Shade Court reader. At the end of an episode of WNYC’s On the Media, host Bob Garfield included one final remark that our tipster suggests might be some shade thrown Brian Williams’ way.

The Defendant: Bob Garfield

The Evidence:

But before we go, an apology. On this broadcast last year, in an attempt to commemorate the outbreak of World War I and honor those brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice, I recounted my personal witnessing, in 1914, of the Sarajevo assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand. This was a bungled attempt to give heroes their due and a terrible mistake. Somehow I conflated my visit to the 2012 Sarajevo Film Festival and my ninth grade history curriculum.
I unreservedly apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

The Deliberation: I’ll admit, this isn’t the slickest execution. Bobby got so caught up in layering this remark in a way that most resembles the Brian Williams fiasco that he almost lost me due to boringness and me not giving a damn where he was going with this.

However, I cannot deny that his shady intentions were in the right place. There is a rather amazing degree of pettiness displayed by older men, particularly in the media, that I very much enjoy. Maybe it’s because I like seeing men display the exact behaviors that are almost solely attributed to women, or maybe it’s just because I find a sick hilarity in this type of rudeness.

Bob also did a good job by not mentioning Williams directly and relying on the superb timing of his “correction” to do much of the work for him. A little clunky, Bob, but you got it.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000029


The Case: In today’s Dirt Bag, our dear Maddie Davies called out Robert Pattinson on some potentially shady behavior during a conversation about Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Defendant: Robert Pattinson

The Evidence: Discussing both the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey fandom, Pattinson said:

“There’s some kind of profound connection that a bunch of people have to it, and I’ve never figured out quite what it is.”

The Deliberation: It’s no secret that Robert Pattinson cannot fucking stand the series that made him a famous multi-millionaire. What I love about this is that it’s almost like he really tried to be genuine, but his utter disdain could not be contained.

His use of “profound” is especially rude because we all know good and goddamn well that there’s nothing profound about obsessing over a lovesick vampire. By saying that he’s never figured out why fans love the two franchises so much, Pattinson is attempting to place the blame on himself. He’s the one that just doesn’t “get it.” Sure, dude. Sure.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000030


The Case: Beyoncé and Jay Z attended Kanye West’s fashion stand around show for Adidas. Beyoncé was seated next to Kim Kardashian and her daughter North West during the show. Beyoncé posted a picture of this occurrence on Instagram with a rather interesting caption

The Defendant: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter

The Evidence:

Beautiful Princess North

The Deliberation: Look, while I have my suspicions, I don’t know for sure how Beyoncé feels about Kim Kardashian. Moves like this, however, do not help the case against the idea that Beyoncé cannot stand this woman.

This truly is a PhD-level display of shadiness. I’m inclined to hand over my robes and call it a career because I’m so moved by Beyoncé’s ability to send the clearest of messages with so little effort that all the work I’ve done in the world of shade seems trivial. Honestly, this might be better than her Shade Hall of Fame wedding selfie.

We’ll just assume that Beyoncé doesn’t feel the need to identify herself because, duh. Then, we have a picture of three people, one of which is an omnipresent figure that doesn’t need to be called out by name, and two others. Beyoncé only bothers identifying one of those people. Of course everyone knows who Kim is, but hell, we know who North is also. Beyoncé isn’t identifying her for clarification—she’s letting you know that she’s only interested in North.

Let’s also note that North isn’t even paying attention in this picture. She looks adorable because she’s an adorable baby, but this isn’t the best shot of her. So to pick a picture where this woman’s baby isn’t even looking at the camera and then to go out of her away to only mention the baby? Does anyone else need a sweater?

The brilliance here is that how could Kim argue this? She can’t get mad at Beyoncé for calling her daughter beautiful. She’ll look like she’s jealous of her baby if she asks why her name wasn’t included. And she’ll look super childish if she makes a big deal about an Instagram post.

It seems that Beyoncé is totally just fucking with Kim’s desperation for relevance and recognition by denying her both. Bow down to your queen.

The Ruling: Shade

Images via Getty, WNYC. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

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