CMU Approved

Approved: Beyonce – Bow Down/I Been On

By | Published on Tuesday 19 March 2013


Spinning the globe on her ring finger aside, Beyonce has contrived to break Planet Earth in half via a divisive new mini-player featuring a pair of new tracks played back-to-back.

One for her ‘Diva’-loving cliques rather than ‘Halo’ sentimentalists, ‘Bow Down’, with its nervy trap beat and ‘self-repping’ lyrics, isn’t safe and it isn’t pretty… in fact, it’s hostile, an acid tirade against all the lesser girl artists, aka the “little girls” with designs on R&B primacy. All of which kind of kills the ‘Single Ladies’-type camaraderie Beyonce has always been so pro, but she does it in a way that says “I’m here and I’m staying, so respect that… or else”. At least, that’s what I want it to say.

‘I Been On’, the single’s even less feminine B-side, if you will, features a deep, stilted backing track by Hit-Boy, and Beyonce repeating rap adages like “smack that trick” in a man’s voice. Maybe she’d been reading this Vice article, and/or wanted to make a dissident play on sexism in hip hop, and in general. Who can say?