Beyoncé continues to rollout her “Self-Titled” documentary, giving context to her fifth self-titled LP, Beyoncé, which took everyone by surprise on December 13.
We’re now up to Part 5, titled “Honesty.”
In it, the 32-year-old beauty opens up about the responsibility and limitation she felt in the past about what she could or could not talk about in her music, based on having grown up with her fans while starting in the business at nine-year-old.
“Now I’m in my 30s, and those children that grew up listening to me have grown up, and I always felt like it was my responsibility to be aware of kids and their parents and all these generations,” Beyoncé explains.
“And I felt like it stifled me. I felt like, in a sense, I could not express everything,” she adds.
In the five-and-a-half-minute clip, the superstar is seen recording “Rocket,” one of the most vocally rich of the 14 tracks on her stealth-released “visual” album, and a song she co-wrote with Justin Timberlake and Miguel.
After one particularly emotive take, Timberlake tells Beyoncé,
“There’s something wrong with you.”
The songstress goes on to reveal getting older and growing up gave her confidence to record it.
“It was a moment in the studio where I didn’t want to stop singing it, and I just kinda zoned out,” she recalled. “I don’t think I would have done it back then. I don’t think I would have been confident enough. I would have been too afraid of what other people thought, but I kinda dropped that fourth wall and I did it,” she adds.
A mix of new and longtime collaborators and producers offer insights in the clip, including the elusive Boots and veteran hitmaker artist Pharrell, who gets the most excited we’ve ever seen him when he tells Beyoncé during a session,
“You set women free. I’m trying to tell you, that record is a phenomenon.”
Breaking records left, right and center, Beyoncé sold exclusively through the iTunes Store and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after only three days on sale. It sold 617,000 downloads in its first three days according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the album’s first 10 days of release, it sold 991,000 copies and has so far sat atop Billboard’s 200 album chart for over three weeks.
Reviews across the board have been ecstatic. Of these, one of the best comes via Variety’s Andrew Barker, who writes:
“Beyoncé rank [s] as the year’s most accomplished and engaging mainstream pop album by a rather laughable margin, but its calculatedly shrugged-off release strategy can’t help but read as an imperious kiss-off toward the singer’s competitors for the 2013 crown — Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and even her husband Jay Z — all of whom worked up gallons of sweat and employed every eyeball-grabbing trick in the book to move their product, only to be upstaged by Beyonce’s abrupt digital data-dump.”