Beyonce’s 2006 hit “Irreplaceable” remains one of the R&B diva’s most successful singles. The melody, the voice, and the message of apparent female empowerment were all contributing factors for its global acclaim and chart-topping success.
It’s also a big part of why the YouTube video surpassed 109 million views this week after being posted in 2009. And while I won’t argue the merits of it or the catchiness of the tune — I actually kind of like it — it seems from the YouTube comments and most of the fans I know personally that the wrong message is being taken from it.
In fact, when you drill down into the heart of the lyrics of this thing — reportedly penned by Ne-Yo — it’s quite pathetic.
You have a woman kicking out her man for cheating. Nothing wrong with that.
YouTube comment: “This song is the truth, ladies if your man is cheating throw his a** out!!!
While that alone is not enough reason to call the Beyonce “Irreplaceable” character pathetic, it’s what comes next that leaves me shaking my head and thinking, “Why don’t fans of the song GET this?”
“You must not know bout me / You must not know bout me / I could have another you in a minute, matter fact he’ll be here in a minute…”
So what is Beyonce saying here?
She’s saying that she will replace this guy with another one just like him. And just what kind of guy is he? Let’s look at a few more of the lyrics to get a clearer picture.
“So go ahead and get gone / Call up that chick, and see if she’s home / Oops I bet you thought, that I didn’t know / What did you think / I was putting you out for? / Because you was untrue / Rolling her around in the car that I bought you / Baby, drop them keys / Hurry up, before your taxi leaves.”
This is the “another you” that she plans to have “in a minute.” While I don’t fault her for “throwing his a** out!!!” I would say that dating a new loser just like the old one instead of learning from your mistakes is far from empowering. It’s stupid.
These guys can’t afford their own car. They see in the Beyonce “Irreplaceable” character a sugar mama, and she’s apparently fine with that, rather than trying for a guy who is equally successful, or at the very least self-sufficient.
What happened to learning from your mistakes? Why does a super-successful woman have to “date down” in order to feel better about herself? Why can’t she at least look for an equal instead of jumping from one bad relationship to the next and wasting her youth on all the wrong people?
What do you think, readers? Are the Beyonce “Irreplaceable” lyrics more than a little pathetic? Sound off in our comments section.