Beyonce's Not So Fierce Year

I have to admit I have been reluctant to write anything about Beyonce since she 's been getting a lot of backlash over her single “Run The World”

These past few months haven't really been sweet for Bey. To add on to it with another negative article would somewhat feel like beating a sister when she is down. Down? Did I just says that? My apologies. 

Queen Bey can never really be down. Let's face it Beyonce can spend the next five years without releasing an albumn and she will still rank in millions of dollars because of her brand value and mechandising empire. 

When I first heard the new single from her up coming albumn I was shocked. Look, I love Bey but have always known that she has her weak points. She is definitely not the greatest of singers and relies heavily on the theatrics of her performances and videos to sell her records. 

Be that as it may, she is by far the most influential artist of our generation. So upon hearing this horrid track I went straight to my facebook and wrote;

"Dedicated my morning to Beyonce's new single "Girls (who run the world)". Verdict: The track's up-tempo tune will be a def club hit but the track is nothing special. The lyrics are just lame, repetitive and def lack the magic of "Diva", "video phone", "Ring The Alarm" or "Get Me Bodied". Still, it's a catchy track but Riri's "Only Girl" trumps it big time. Sorry Bey"





I prayed that Bey would come up with a video that will save this song for being the worst track of her career. Everybody is complaining about her screaming but I dare you to listen to the lyrics and you will be shocked. 

I swear you can not sing along to this track and not feel stupid as the lyrics are just silly at best. The beat however has a charm about it that will definitely see the track be a club hit. The Swizz Beats' trademark sound is weaved into the track with a marching band beat. 

That combination works but after a while with all the screaming from Bey you feel like you've heard the track before. And you may have...




Bey has been slated for “usage” of other people's material without crediting them. It's important to note that the beat for this track was “lifted” straight from a track by Major Lazer, Switch's side project with Diplo. So nothing nothing original there. Still, credit is due to Bey for not playing it safe with her music. This woman is always trying new things and let be said that not all of it will work.


Fans:

Beyonce fans ought to understand that if you are an experimental artist like Bey, you are bound to fail at some point and that's ok. You should take the bad as gracefully as you take the goods. 

Most Bey fans do not like it when she is not praised all the time thus leading to most critics seeing her as a narcassitic egotistical individual. I personally think it's her fans that have a problem not her. 


You can't say anything unflaterring about Bey without being attacked which in turn calls her artistic cred in question. A true artist is the one that will happily receive bad reviews as she would accept the awards. 

Artists put their music out there to be judged, that's why they submit their music for award shows. Awards commitees do not just nominate people unless they submit their music for recognition so if an artist does not want to be judged then they should also refuse to submit their music for awards. Simple.


The Video




Everybody on Facebook has been going on and on about the “Pantsula” in the video that one can actually be distracted from appreciating some of the element that makes this a beautiful video.

For instance, we have seen this this pseudo post-apocalyptic landscape in Rihanna’s "Hard" and in Britney’s "Till The World Ends,". It's nothing new BUT the director created a visual masterpiesce of his own with Run The World

The opening shot with Bey on a horse is just a marvel and sums up the theme of the track perfectly. Move over Xena- The warrior princess, there is a new Diva in town!





I doubt that any of the dance moves on the video will become a cultural phenomenon like the “Single Ladies” choreography. American critics have already slated the dance moves as being way too simplistic and that much of the dancing is Beyonce just shaking like she is having an epileptic fit. 

Personally I give Bey a high five for her dancing abilities. Damn this woman has the energy of a 5 year old. Those little stunts in the dance moves require great strength and full command of one’s body. 

I don’t know much about dance nor do I even dance myself but watching the video you can't help but be mesmerised by the way some dancers can keep some parts of their bodies immobile while concentrating the moves on other parts on the anatomy. 

Of course the big hoohah in Mzansi is about the 'Pantsula' routine at the beginning of the vid which is performed by Bey flanked by two Mozambican dancers.




The fashion in the vid is stunning. Bey knows how to push the boundaries of fashion without looking ridiculous ala Lady Gaga. The Queen called on the business' most fashion forward houses and the result is an array of stunning outfits that put Rihanna's entire career to shame. 

We are dazzled by an Alexander McQueen red dress with her newly Jlo-like blonde locks. She tantalizes in a pointy satin bra against the bearskin shoulders, the insanely smooth golden belt and mini bearskin fringe on the Alexander Wang stilettos.


Then there the white Givenchy tulle gown works which is perfectly paired with a futuristic take on a retro updo hairstyle. The Gareth Pugh gold dress steals the shot when reflects the exploding car behind Bey. 

Emilio Pucci yellow dress with an embroidered front and sky-high slits up Beyonce’s thighs has become the video's signature poster pic. The black unitard with strategically placed cut-outs is stunning and the sequined green number is a show stopper. Should I mention the gold headpiece?


The Controversies

As I stated at the beginning of this article, these past few months haven’t been rosy for Bey. Amid all the negative reviews about run the world the was an embarrassing incident in Paris when her husband, Jay Z, had a little “accident”. 

While leaving a restaurant, he was photographed with a visible hard-on. Why Jay Z got an erection in the middle of lunch is anybody's guess but I bet he did not want the whole world know about it.




Now another controversy. Beyonce has been hard at work promoting Run The World. Unfortunately her recent performance of the track at the Billboard Awards has caused some controversy as the routine looks a lot similar to a performance by lesser known artist from Italy, Lorella Cuccarini. 

What bothered me personally is that no-one from Bey's camp or herself has made any mention of Lorella when Beyonce was getting praise for her wonderful performance for the night. 

I think Bey missed an opportunity there to shed the copycat label if she could just give a one sentence mention of "inspirations" when she is congratulated on material that is clearly not hers from the original conception. That's just my thought.


Watch the video below of the two routines


All you have to do is just google Beyonce and the word copycat or unoriginal and you will be flooded with information and visuals that prove that most of Bey's material is actually a replica of someone else's work. When does inspiration become stealing? 

These days many artists have built careers of using unknown contemporary artists' creative work without ever bothering to give them credit for it and Beyonce is not the only culprit. Inspiration VS Plagiarism, where do you draw the line?




Can one construe that Bey didn't just get "inspiration" from our Pantsula but our visual art as well. This pic above is by SA photographer Pieter Hugo

I am a bit concerned that is the “pantsula? Moves on the video ever take off in the states, Bey may just take credit for it. I just mentioned above that the beats and pitch on run the world is not that original to begin with now having Bey perform other people's choreography when promoting the track is not really helping to sell the track as an artistic gem.

Then there is the f-word in the song. During her Destiny's child days Bey and her pals Kelly and Michelle used to go on and on about God and how gospel is a huge part of their lives.

Shocking now because bey is gone from a good girl to a really bad bad bad girl. One minute she is preaching the gospel, the next she is running this motha fucken town and giving the finger to the world in the vid.

Then there is the whole thing about the message behind the song being misleading, blah blah blah. I don't have the energy to get into that.


The Verdict

I will be honest, I had high expectation for Bey but I am slightly disappointed. When I initially hear the track, I hated it. Now since someone I like very much is in love with the track and plays all the time when we together, I have kinda warmed up to it.

Unless Bey pulls a rabit out of the hat when she releases more material this year I think I will give her upcoming albumn a miss if Run The World is anything to go by .

Full video below



As for the video: It is a beautiful vid and has become a bit of a guilty pleasure for yours truly.

Song: 3/10

video: 7/10

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