Published on March 21st, 2013 | by thevyne1
Vyne Music Review: Beyonce “Bow Down/I Been On”
By Keesha B.
Earlier this week Beyonce dropped her new single “Bow Down/I Been On”. It’s been two years since the self professed “Queen B” has had a new single in rotation so I was very much looking forward to hearing it, blasting it and learning the moves to it once the video comes out. But alas….I have to say….I wasn’t really feeling it. Now don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a good, gritty “hood hit” with the best of them and I’m not terribly offended that she’s cursing on the song it’s just….well….after her other hits, you get used to a certain caliber of music quality from Beyonce. My trouble with this single is the lyrics and the beat.
Love her or hate her, she is an amazing performer and up until now she’s always dropped albums that made people want to either get up and dance, sing along loudly, proclaim their independence, have fun and feel good about being a woman. This song however, is I guess directed at her “haters” but because she doesn’t do a clear enough job of articulating that in the lyrics, it just feels as if it’s directed at all women listening to her song who aren’t where she is. Check out these lyrics:
I know when you were little girls
You dreamt of being in my world
Don’t forget it, don’t forget it
Respect that, bow down bitches
Bow down bitches, Bow, Bow Down bitches
Now, everyone who knows me knows I’m a hip hop head. I expect this type of “in your face haters” language in hip hop (I’m growing tired of it but I expect). Let me be clear, I don’t think Beyonce should be pigeon hold to one type of art, she doesn’t always have to do catchy feminist themed songs. But at the same time, if she’s going to do the “I got a lil hood in me” lyrics, it may have landed better if she did it the “Beyonce” way. Anyone can say, “Bow Down Bitches”…in fact, several artists have used the phrase “bow down”. Say something slyer, slicker…send a message to your haters in a way no one else has done before. That would have been hot.
As for the beat, I’m a dancer so I generally listen for the beat first, lyrics second. Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole “Houston chopped and screwed” music genre, but that aside, the beat didn’t really work for me. I found myself already hoping that someone decides to remix it and give it another life.
Who knows, maybe this is one of those songs you just need to hear really loudly in a club, after an adult beverage and see other people dancing to it in order to really get the feel for it (I can name several songs that fall into this category!). Regardless, I’ll treasure the days I dreamt of starting a flash mob of one to “Who Runs the World..Girls!” Unfortunately, I think I’ll be staying in my seat on this one.
Listen for yourself here and let us know what you think! Agree? Disagree? Sound off!
Check out what Wendy Williams and her panel had to say about the single here