People I Don’t Want To Be: Solange Knowles

Did anyone catch Solange Knowles on Letterman Monday night? I caught a glimpse of the performance on accident and was reminded, yet again, how much it sucks to be in the shadow of a sibling/spouse/parent who is bigger, badder and better than you at everything. An individual you will be compared to and will never be good enough to satisfy those who became enamored with your loved one/rival.

Solange is an average, but pretty performer who tries really, really hard and because of this I know that if she weren’t the other daughter of Tina and Matthew Knowles, the parents who produced Beyonce, she would be doing anything but singing. She’d be in college. Or she’d be working at a bank or sewing in your weave. But she wouldn’t be singing for her supper.

Not everyone can be Janet Jackson. Most are Tito Jackson. Not everyone is Eddie Murphy, but if Solange is lucky she can find her own niche like Charlie Murphy whose career was reborn once he started playing a thug life version of himself on the Chappelle Show and famously recounted tales of slap fights with Rick James.

Maybe Solange had slap fights with Rihanna or Jamie Lyn Spears or something. Maybe she got in a scuffle with Jennifer Freeman or Kyla Pratt or Meagan Good or Jurnee Smollette or [insert young blacktress here]. Maybe she’s a better actress than her sister? Or designer? Or she could run for senate? But by singing and performing she is just ramming her head into a giant brick wall of Beyonce.

Every performance Solange gives will be like she just had to come on stage after her sister ripped it up dress in an homage to Josephine Baker while singing “Crazy In Love.” It doesn’t matter if Beyonce isn’t anywhere in the room. That’s what everyone is thinking.

She’s a cute kid. It’s a shame really. Especially the dancing. The dancing looked extra crazy. Some described it as “Suge Avery-esque.” I would have gone with seizure-esque, but see, this, this is what happens when you’re Beyonce’s sister and you have no hips because you’re skinny and you look ridiculous trying to dance like a wild woman like she does.

But shake that weave any ol’ way. You’ll figure it out on your own.

31 thoughts on “People I Don’t Want To Be: Solange Knowles

  1. I like Solange;she seems cool and down to earth. Her album is great in my opinion, very eclectic.

  2. Ok as I was watching this video my 16 yo informed me that he thought Solange had more talent than her big sis. LOL I don’t know, but it was painful watching her dance, seemed like she was trying too hard. I think I am with you as far as your assessment of her skills. Methinks, if her big sis wasn’t in the business, she would be doing something else.

  3. blackgirlinmaine: She’s really adorable. Maybe she could have gone into modeling (depending on how tall she is.) She looks gangly, so I’m assuming she’s tall-ish. I just know that it’s hard to be judged by your own merits if you’ve got all that ass and weave and big-big vocals in front of you.Solange has to be the “anti-Beyonce.” Like, become a beat poet or sing cabaret. Cut a blues album. Be a muse for a reclusive artist. Start a celebrity gossip blog. Write a tell-all about her family. I don’t know. Just don’t do stuff where you get compared to your sister.

  4. Black Snob I just discovered blog and was loving it but you didn’t have to do my girl Solange like that. I think she is talented. Beyonce dances super wild,too and there are no complaints. I do want to complain about her tights.You make the wrong assertion about her not being in the business were it not for Beyonce. She has written many hit songs for Beyonce and Destiny’s Child; so homegirl has proven herself in the past. It could be she just isn’t your cup of tea.

  5. I think there’s an opening for her, especially after big sis gets pregnant with a couple of J’s babies.

  6. Ms. Snob–I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’ve read write-ups about Solange on other blogs and so many people seemed to actually appreciate her “look at me I’m soooooo different, eclectic, crazyyyyy–but not a crazy in love type of way like B cause I’m not anything like B” manufactured style. Haven’t we seen this before with Jessica and Ashley Simpson? Anyway, I’m glad to see I’m not the only person cringing through Solange’s performances. Hopefully she’ll find her way soon enough. Perhaps she should go back to just writing the songs and not actually trying to perform them.

  7. I have to agree with blackgirlinmaine’s sixteen year old son. I like Solange’s style and the fact that she isn’t force fed down your throat the way Beyonce is.

  8. Yeah, I’ve read some of Solange’s interviews and she’s defintely came across as blunt and forthcoming. She really seems like a cool, down to earth, intelligent chick. Is it all a masquerade? What in the crazy business that is called “show” isn’t?I disagree, Snob, in that I don’t find Solange to be much of a looker but she does seem to have a personality so maybe she could be an actress. Or do like J.Lo’s little sis, Lynda and become a TV personality. There’s options!

  9. She IS the "anti-Beyonce" talking about smoking weed and having sex, hanging out with little wayne, I started to say dressing tacky, but I think that runs in the family… I kind of like her. I bought her CD from Target because it was only $6.98 & once she realizes her vocal limitations she may be able to put Janelle Monae out of a "I'm so quirky/My music is old school…" job.

  10. I have to disagree with you on this one.I think Solange is great. The strength of her voice isnt as credible as Beyonce’s but her style of delivery is brilliant. She’s more of a free spirit which I find very attractive in an artist. Perhaps the easiest thing to conclude is that while Beyonce is a better performer (sings and dances like she was Tina Turner in a previous life), Solange is a much more genuine artist (style, emotion, expresses herself visually with colours as well as through audio).Beyonce is all business, I can almost feel myself being ‘fig.1’ in a text book about consumerism whenever I commend her. I don’t get that feeling with Solange.I’m not trying to discredit Beyonce, just being honest, I do like B alot. I do think Solange will go far. Let’s put it this way: I’ve never actually bought a Beyonce album, but as soon as Solange’s album drops in the UK ,I’m getting it!The dancing was a bit nuts though

  11. I have to disagree. Solange is more honest and open than Beyonce will ever be. She isn’t trying to be something she’s not. Unlike so many other people. Her dancing was a little off in this video, but I’ve seen some of her other performances and they were actually pretty decent.I’d pop in Sol-Angel and the Hadley street dreams anyday before I pop in the over manufactured, rushed and recorded in 2wks that is Bday.and at least solange actually sings live…unlike her sister.

  12. I like Solo! She can dress her butt off…maybe they should put her over the Derion collection, let B stick to the recording, and put Mama Tina and Papa Ike, oops I meant Knowles, out to pasture…

  13. 1990 said “I’d pop in Sol-Angel and the Hadley street dreams anyday before I pop in the over manufactured, rushed and recorded in 2wks that is Bday.”Thank you! It’s unfortunate that Beyonce gets all the love because Solange’s new CD is niiiice! I absolutely love it.

  14. I think she is a little, um, different. I don’t hate her singing… it doesn’t sound bad. She has to same voice as her sister, except her sister’s voice is a little bit more “free”… does that make sense?I like the way she dresses and I like how she does her own thing. I just don’t want to watch her flap around like that on stage anymore. It looks awkward and I get embarrassed for her. LMAO!!!I wish her well though because she’s really trying and that’s a mite more than I can say for a whole LOT of people. 🙂

  15. Solange is my guiltiest pleasure of '08 (excluding this ONE Katy Perry song – not I Kissed A Girl). Her CD is really good Snob, I don't know if you've heard it or not but you might like it given how you feel about the current state of R&B and what you say you like. LoL. I like it a hell of a lot more than I ever liked B'Day, which was shoved down my throat. I doubt Solange will ever reach Beyonce's success but I really like her so I do hope she keeps doing music. Well, I really like THIS album… That other one was shit.And this is my song! But like the other person said, she should have sang "I Decided." Solange is the anti-Beyonce musically… Sorta. Even though she does sound like she's doing an offbeat impersonation of Deena Jones (was that the name of B's character in Dreamgirls?) sometimes.

  16. i actually really like solange’s music. it’s quirky and fulll of old girl group which i like. but she should never dance. ever. ever.

  17. Okay, so I hadn't watched the video before I commented but you know what, I didn't see anything wrong with her dancing. I thought she mixed a little rock style with 60's dance moves (which fits her music).I think after hearing her song "F–k the industry" I understand her better. Check it out:

  18. I believe she needs to quit. In all honesty, I think the family plan, once they get Beyonce in business with Jay-Z officially in some capacity, is finding a rich guy for Solange.Sexist?Certainly. But, you don’t think B’s with Jigga cause he’s so charming. Come on, people. If Jigga weren’t a fabulous entrpreneur, B would have been to steppin’ a long time ago. But, I doubt there can be a Serena and Venus in the entertainment industry.

  19. Snob, Rikyrah and Ms. Martin,I think that you all are off on this one. Solange is an accomplished song writer and she is very financially successful from her writing.Everything that I have seen of her in the past 7 years has shown me that she really is eclectic. When she was a teenager she was designs her own furniture and creating art.I don’t think that she is TYRING to do anything. Truth be told I think that Beyonce is more into poetry and spiritual well being, than what she opens up about on TV. Solange is a lot more outgoing that her sister. If you all knew anything about her, you would know that she really is not in anyone’s shadow.And Rikyrah,I have met twice and chilled once with Mr. Jay Z and he is one of the most charming and humble men I have met. He is the type of guy that what have the “hottest lady” in what ever circle that he is in, believe that!His success put him in the circles that would allow him to met Beyonce (and vice versa), but he is the guy that other guys look up to and women are in awe of, without having to look like Denzel.And every woman is not into looks like that, you know.

  20. I don’t like Solange. She’s trying to hard to be ghetto. She just looks ignorant. Solange you are not ghetto you have been rich pretty much your whole life. Please go sit down.

  21. She has a very weak voice. After she sang I could not remember a word she said unlike Beyonce’s songs (I always memorize her lyrics whether I want to or not). Also, she moved around the stage like a 5 year old that just learned how to dance. Pretty girl STFU.

  22. I agree with most of the people that have stated that Solange’s music is good. I was really surprised by her cd but it really blew me away. To the person that said she’s trying to be ghetto…I think ghetto is the furthest thing away from what Solange is representing.

  23. I LOVE Solange’s album, and although I am a Beyonce fan, I must say Solange can actually write (she wrote some of the best songs on b’s previous albums too). If you listen to her album, you’ll know that she is genuine, and I think she’ll break free of sis.P.S. Check out her blog, she is so funny. And listen to this song from her mixtape:

  24. Watching Solange perform is painful for me. I see Diana Ross and Donna Summer influences but I don’t see who or what Solange is about. I think she desperately wants to be a star but simply doesn’t have the talent, moxie or fortitude to achieve that. I do think she has talent but not what is necessary to be a star in her own right.

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