Following the release of his debut album in 2007, Justin Vernon, the enigmatic singer behind Bon Iver, was best known for locking himself in a hunting cabin in Medford, Wisconsin, growing a grizzly-ass beard, and writing nine lovelorn folk songs for a woman named Emma. Then, in 2010, Vernon was launched further into the public eye after Kanye West tapped him to lend vocals to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Still, no matter how close Vernon has gotten with Yeezy over the years, or how many Grammy’s he’s won, the BeyHive has a message for the man behind Bon Iver: Stay in your damn lane, dude.
Earlier this week, Vernon sat down with the Guardian to discuss how he’s coped with fame since his much lauded collaboration with Kanye. But when the subject turned to social stances and celebrity endorsements, the folk singer took some shots at Ye’s fellow illuminati leader, Beyoncé—specifically calling into question her partnership with Pepsi.
Well, Vernon should be afraid. It's common knowledge that Beyonce's fans are incredibly protective of their queen. If the BeyHive feels like even slightest bit of shade has been thrown in the direction of their almighty goddess, the group attacks with a vengeance, turning even the most casual hater's mentions into a sea of bee emojis and insults.
While Vernon's ideas about celebrity endorsements may not be entirely wrong (earlier this year, a study linked endorsements of sugary foods and drinks to childhood obesity), calling out Beyoncé probably wasn't the best way to go about it. Online, fans and news outlets were quick to call Vernon a hypocrite, pointing out that he had once enjoyed a regular paycheck from Bushmill's whiskey.
According to the International Business Times, Beyonce first signed on as a brand ambassador for Pepsi in 2002, and reportedly renegotiated the deal in 2012 for $50 million.