I have to address this Beyonce hype track, “Bow Down / I Been On.” I have been listening for a week straight over and over trying to understand what the fuss is all about. While I prefer to hear Beyonce as a fierce and vocally powerful R&B singer, I am enjoying this hip-hop style. If you missed her HBO special “Life is But a Dream,” you didn’t get inside the ever challenging world of the singer who is constantly the center of a media speculation. She was criticized for the birth of her daughter, made to look like a mean girl after the split from her former band mates and is the center of the devil worshiping illuminati rumors. In the documentary Beyonce proclaimed that she would no longer play by the rules when it came to her art and her career. She confessed that she was tired of being commercially successful and fitting the cookie cutter role pop superstardom creates for you. It is clear that after giving birth and getting married, Beyonce’s focus has changed. It is also clear that pop/r&b music was not the same without her. I think if anyone disagrees, then “Bow Down” is dedicated to you.
The second half of the track, “I Been On” presents a chopped trap-style side of Beyonce. It is almost as if her alter ego Sasha Fierce had an announcement for mean internet bloggers and peers who disapprove of her work ethic. It serves as a reminder to look beyond the internet gossip and bring the attention back on her track record. For those who do not know, Beyonce is a southern girl from Houston, Texas where music like “I Been On” has been around for years. In the spoken word at the end she even references UGK, Willie D and other southern rappers who made this sound what it is. This is also not the first time we have ever seen a confident Beyonce. In her 2006 hit “Diva” she references money, power and respect even saying, “What she say? Not to me. She ain’t no diva.” It goes without saying that she has never been afraid to command respect from men or women. So she uses the B-word.. Big deal! That hasn’t stopped Nicki Minaj from getting a spot on American Idol.
What really cracks me up about the entire buzz surrounding the single are the people talking about it. It is people who are obsessed with girl-on-girl bashing in reality TV and critics like Wendy Williams who has molded a career out of being crude and Rush Limbaugh – enough said.
Okay, I digress. Let us get back to the song. The production for “Bow Down / I Been On” is fresh and flawless. It was produced by Hit Boy who is responsible for Jay-Z’s hit, “Paris.” The bass is perfect for loud car rides and dirty dancing. Underneath it all, Beyonce proves her vocals are still amazing as she effortlessly belts out an opera flow as the second half of the song begins. The hardcore lyrics put her neck and neck with some of the biggest rappers in the game. Hey, she may even score her 18th Grammy Award for Best Rap Sung Collaboration.
Regardless of what you think about the song, it is doing exactly what is intended to do. As a hype track, it is giving a buzz for the upcoming Beyonce takeover we are about to endure. I’m just happy Beyonce delivered a song we can all shout out to our haters again! As her husband would say, “It ain’t for everybody!”
What do you think about the single?