Beyoncé has debuted her gauntlet throwing new song “Bow Down/ I Been On.”
The tweet also says Hit-Boy only produced the “Bow Down” portion, while “I Been On” is credited to an R&B duo called Planet VI and Timbaland, which — frankly — would put her new jam into better perspective.
After months of relentless, almost hysterical coverage of the Houston native’s every move and/or performances — inauguration lip sync scandal, comeback a capella, Super Bowl with Destiny’s Child cameo, Life Is But A Dream premiere and documentary, Oprah’s next chapter, first glimpse of Blue Ivy’s face full on— it seems these were in fact just a foretaste of a new sound for the R&B titan.
Returning even harder than 2009’s “Diva,” this year’s equivalent makes no pretense of Beyoncé’s solidarity. This time round, she’s leagues ahead and is letting the world know it.
Posted to her SoundCloud account this Sunday along with an Instagram of a very young Beyoncé surrounded by wall to wall trophies, the lyrics are nothing if not honest.
“I know when you were little girls, you dreamed of being in my world,” Beyoncé warns over staccato beats and the sound of an equally grim little girl. “Don’t forget it, don’t forget it, respect that. Bow down b*****s”
“I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife,” she continues, referring to her time-out to have her daughter. “Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted, this my sh-t, bow down b*****s.”
“Bow Down” is produced by Hit-Boy, the producer hehind Jay-Z and Kanye’s Grammy winning “N—-s in Paris.” Aged just 25, he has worked with some of the biggest names in the game — Eminem, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj — and a stack more.
Keen watchers of all things Beyoncé will recognize the track from 02’s Priority adverts promoting her upcoming Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, featuring male courtesans and the 31-year-old dressed like a hip-hop Marie Antoinette.
Response to “Bow Down/ I Been On” has split fans and critics alike. Some love it, some found the profanity offensive, while some didn’t understand it. Notably, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills tweeted: “Is that Beyonce song a joke?”
Given that the singer is currently prepping her fifth studio album, there has already been some speculation about the set for the tour. A supposed leaked tracklist and recent confirmations by Ne-Yo and Azealia Banks added fuel to the fire.
Speaking to GQ magazine earlier this year, Beyoncé said of the new album:
“I’ve been working with Pharrell and Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and Dream. We all started in the ’90’s, when R&B was the most important genre, and we all kind of want that back: the feeling that music gave us.”
She went on to cite musical flavors on the new record as, “mostly R&B. I always have my Prince and rock/soul influences. There’s a bit of D’Angelo, some ’60’s doo-wop. And Aretha and Diana Ross.”
All will be revealed when the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour kicks off on April 15 in Belgrade, Serbia. The 42-city trek finishes on August 5 at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center where husband Jay-Z may make an appearance on stage.
Until then, what do you think of Beyoncé’s new song?