Mrs Carter! How dare you use the same mouth that lip synced for the President’s inauguration to sing those nasty words!
Beyonce’s bizarre new single “Bow Down / I Been On,” released earlier this week on her web site, has caused a veritable public outcry, with some fans applauding Queen B’s more aggressive sound, and others criticizing her for straying from imminent R&B sainthood.
In short, it’s just a bad song. There are so many problems with it … so many convoluted messages … that it’s hard to know where to begin.
The foremost problem is that Beyonce’s greatest strength is her voice … obviously … and you barely hear it here. The song is actually a mash-up of two distinct songs. In the first segment,”Bow Down,” the vocals are standard Beyonce, but their beauty is overshadowed by the stupidity of the lyrics themselves … we’ll get to the lyrics in a second. About mid-way through it shifts to “I Been On.” In that section, the vocals are so distorted that you can’t even tell it’s Beyonce. It’s a slow-style rap with an operatic backing and her voice is heavily altered to sound like a man’s. Who knows why.
The controversial aspect of this song is that substitution of Beyonce’s typical girl power/anthemic pap for somewhat harder lyrics … she even uses the other B word! But it sounds more sad than raunchy. It’s not going to be included on a Kidz Bop compilation, but it’s hardly Lil’ Kim.
“I know when you were little girls, you dreamt of being in my world/Don’t forget it, don’t forget it, respect that/I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife/Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted. This my shit. Bow down, bitches.”
First, get over yourself. No one likes conceited, uppity mega-stars. Second, Beyonce’s new tour may be called “The Mrs. Carter Show” … presumably a title she chose … but who on earth considers her to be Mrs. Jay-Z? Their careers are pretty distinct and she is, dare I say, pretty successful in her own right. So why would she tackle this kind of nonsense?
In the second segment of the song, Beyonce’s weird man-rap is very disconcerting. The lyrics are conventional, old-style rap-misogyny.
“Didn’t do your girl but your sister was alright, damn/In ya homeboy’s Caddy last night … I heard your boo was talking lip/I told my crew to smack that trick.”
A lot of critics are bashing Beyonce, calling the song anti-feminist, including Keyshia Cole who quite aptly tweeted:
“First ‘Women need to Stick together’ now bitches better Bow.”
Beyonce’s defenders point out that she transforms into her ballsier alter ego, Sasha Fierce, when she’s performing … which is so fucking stupid. It’s not a split personality. She knows what she’s doing. At best, this song can be written off as poor guidance by producers. At worst, it’s unlistenable horseshit.