Naturally, whenever Beyoncé’s name comes up, Most of Black Twitter reroutes all discussion to her. It’s a testament to relevance and social capital, which cannot be denied. The stans, fans, non-fans and miserys get to tweeting.
Beyoncé released the mix, sort of a preview, to her songs “Bow Down” and “I Been On.” Below are my initial thoughts on it after I listened to it twice yesterday, and I tweeted a few things. (If you’re viewing this on Tumblr dashboard, it’s easier to view via the web, actually.)
I don’t like lyrics to the new Bey song. The track itself is dope as hell. Those high notes sounding like Amy Lee at the bridge are good.
But the sentiment behind the lyrics regarding internalized sexism & patriarchy making women claim she’s some extension of Jay-Z was well +
+ articulated, except saying “bitches” kinda adds to the very same sexism that she critiques in other women who critique her.
But that bass tho? That’s fix yo weave or your box braids up and ride down the street during a Black step show or parade music. Yasss.
Beyonce tryna tell ya; being light skinned or growing up middle class don’t mean she won’t whoop yo ass on 1 day & be feminist the next LOL!
Lmao. I need the instrumental to “Bow Down” to be a ringtone. It is so southernish US. I think of FL, GA, AL,TX etc. hearing it.
Beyoncé was giving me Amy Lee of Evanescence vibes during the singing during the bridge that starts around 1:25ish. Love it.
So can J rap to that track too while the “ahhhh” part that Bey sings at the bridge is in the background? Cause I’ll catch the holyghost LOL.
That bass is like if being Black in the South is auditory. That bass reminds me of every Black event I went to 8th grade - undergrad.
@soainspired I need some box braids now. And my bamboo earrings, at least two pair, from the store on the corner that also sells food.
For those using Bey as the rubric of collective Black feminism, STOP. Especially if you’re a WW doing this. Just a reminder.
By this last tweet I am referring to the consistent placement of Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Rihanna as “anti-feminist mascots” juxtaposed to White women, mascots who supposedly aren’t “living up” to the invisible rubric of feminism as an absolute destination. I am NOT here for it. They especially love to trot out examples of Black women “failing” feminism (for which they think they are the gatekeepers of), yet will also trot out White women (like Lena Dunham) as an example of its success.
Too many feminists are thirsty for celebrities to join the movement as if that will validate the movement. Feminism requires work. Feminism is all about praxis, having high profile celeb women identifying as feminists will not better the lot of women in the United States.
I sent a few more tweets yesterday.
@carolynedgar You mean the same thing Quvenzhané is hated for? Yes. Indeed.
Lmao @ how topic of Bey, whether by miserys, non-fans, fans or stans can SHUT DOWN and reroute all twitter conversations.
Fuck being modest at times, especially if you’re consistently marginalized & endlessly forced into subordination via multiple intersections.
Bey has 17 Grammys, 54 Grammy noms, multi-platinum albums and over 15 yrs of career. She can brag if male artist who have done shit, brag.
(Correction…number of nominations should have been 45 not 54)
President Obama had less time in elected political office than Bey has in music and he got elected. She can brag about her music.
I’m NEVER gonna be here for respectability politics meant to intraracially police BW who are already interracially policed.
Today, I listened to the song a few more times and the opera-like parts, the confidence and the bass STILL give me life. Certainly, as with any other music (Contrary to popular belief, Black music is NOT the only music that contains elements of sexism or misogyny, nor is it the only type of misogyny in our institutionalized sexist, culturally misogynist, rape culture-defending, kyriarchal society. The implication that it is, is inherently racist.) as I tweeted above, I mentioned how the lyrics aren’t my favorite because of certain misogynist elements (though now I wonder if she simply replaced “haters” with “bitches;” maybe the gendered analysis we’re making is incorrect for “Bow Down” but still accurate for “I Been On”), but the sentiment of confidence and walking into that confidence is great. It’s the same element of confidence that people despise in Quvenzhané, Willow and millions of non-famous Black girls and women everywhere. Gee, wonder why? *rolls eyes*
I also sent a few more tweets in response to some criticisms that I saw on Twitter and on a few blogs.
@anti_intellect Yep. Sexist policing is also ageist. Notice Willow is “too grown” for some and Bey “too immature.” I ain’t here for it.
Song seems like made for Black ppl, who get it. Doesn’t mean all Black ppl like it. But something very intraracial, like AAVE is, is there.
Michael Jackson’s second disc on HIStory was entirely dedicated to telling people to FUCK OFF. Bey made a 2 minute song. Calm down.
Sexism, misogynoir, pop music bias and lack of music history. That’s what shapes the critiques that are stupid, re: Bey song.
Of course no one is obliged to like her music. It just fascinates me how very few people are able to articulate their dislike of this song preview or any of her music without racism, sexism, ageist sexism, misogyny, misogynoir, the politics of respectability, ahistorical notions regarding the actual style of her music (i.e. “this song is not pop enough” complaints; um…she gets down and dirty in many of her songs like “Upgrade U” and “Diva” for two; the grit and aggression in her voice is not new), and rose-coloured hindsight glasses (i.e. “women used to be soooo soft in their music; those were the good ol days!”).
Black women have a long history of aggression (along with a myriad of emotional expressions—it’s never been one-dimensional) in their music whether we’re talking about 90s female hip hop artists or Black female blues singers of the past. Dislike the song, sure. Critique it musically. Critique the elements that may infer sexism or misogyny, sure. But keep the bigotry out of it. At least keep it the hell out of my Twitter mentions.
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