I’m Cool On Bowing Down, B

March 18, 2013  |  

Over the weekend, “Queen Bey” sent out a special invitation — or suggestion rather– to non-fans of hers everywhere via new music:  “Bow Down Bishes!”

I think I speak for listeners across the globe when I say after hearing the verse and chorus of the new track, I couldn’t help but think, excusez-moi?

Let me start by saying I’m all for the beat, and as someone who listens to ratchet music on a daily, my issue isn’t really that I’m offended by her “message,” if you will, although I can certainly see why some people would be. I’m more so… confused.

I may have been one of the last few people to realize Bey is really H-town down south hood — minus the middle class upbringing — so while at this point I’m not surprised at her venturing off into this chopped and screwed genre, I am a little befuddled by the timing. After all, isn’t this the same woman who was just singing The National Anthem (sorta kinda) at the Inauguration of the President of the United States, and who Michelle Obama said she wanted to be if she could be anyone else, and oh, who just became a mother. And let’s not forget Oprah practically salivating over the woman she deemed “Mistress of the Universe” during her “Next Chapter” special. For someone held in such high regard by other notable public figures in their own right, I’m curious how this image fits in with Beyonce’s brand.

Truthfully, I would have expected this type of track from a younger Bey; not a 31-year-old new mother working on her fifth solo album. I would’ve thought a song like this would’ve come out after “Soldier” back when she really was rocking dookie braids with the baby hair. But then again, I don’t listen to Beyonce for substance so maybe the problem here is my own level of expectation. And though I see the fun in “I Been On,” the second part of the new music track she released, and can almost guarantee it will be in heavy rotation on my smart phone, I don’t know what to make of this “bow down bishes” ultimatum from a woman so keen on woman empowerment. Plus, this isn’t even a female anthem like “Single Ladies,” per say, that her legions of Beylievers can even buy into and that would give the whole b**** thing a pass — because we know women call each other that word more often than we like to admit. This song is really just about Beyonce and some bishes that may or may not exist.

Matter of fact, just who is she talking to? Rihanna? Keri Hilson? I mean who’s really trying to come for Beyonce’s crown? And this whole “I took some time to live my life/But don’t think I’m just his little wife” line? She’s just making up imaginary controversy now because everyone knows Bey and Jay are pretty much neck and neck in terms of net worth and the way 2013 is looking she’ll probably bring in more cash than her hubby. Who has ever, in their wrong mind, confused her as just Jay’s little wife? Besides, isn’t she the one who named her latest concert series, “The Mrs. Carter” tour?

Perhaps Bey is talking to the people who don’t worship at the feet of Beysus as if they don’t have a right to choose what music they succumb their ears to. Or, there’s my final theory that she’s not really talking to anyone at all because even if you’re not a fan of anything Beyonce has ever done in her entire  life, there’s a general respect for her talent as a performer and there may be 1% of the world population who would ever try to refute that. Maybe Bey is just on her Mariah Carey, post Tommy Mottola ish and is finally putting out the music daddy Knowles would have once forbade.

There’s little Beyonce can do without causing a stir, and I’m sure it won’t be long before feminist commentators shoot down this song the same way they did “Who Run the World.” I personally take less issue with the song from a womanist standpoint than I do age appropriateness. But then again, she’s gotten away with worse before so I imagine people will end up doing exactly what she’s telling them too: bowing down bishes.


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  • scandalous7

    oh give it a rest. Too many articles on Beyonce

  • Kay

    To me, once you’ve reached a certain level of maturity, age, and wisdom you learn that some things should not be recognized or even addressed. Everyone has haters, but when you acknowledge them with this type of response of cursing and vulgarity it shows where you are at standpoint. I know sometimes you just have to “let them know” but there are other ways and the true way is to let your actions of work ethic and success shine on its own. True class, humility, and the realness of your personality speaks for itself. If you know who you are and what you have done you do not have to result to telling someone, if anyone, in a song to bow down. Respect is earned and showed. It’s not given on demand even if this is directed to a hater. Not everyone will like you so a simple way to get past your haters is to simply do you. No ifs ands or buts just simply do you because you give them unnecessary power and thoughts out of your time and day when you acknowledge them with this.

  • Facts or Opinion?

    Jay-hova now Bey-sus…? Crowns and bow downs ? Blasphemy/ I am scared for them.

  • Bey is known for taking her sound left field because she doesn’t want to sound the same. So should she do a “B’day” part II? I don’t think so, like she said in Life is but a Dream, she has to stay current and relevant if she wants to stick around.

  • Pingback: Bow Down, Haters: Money, Race, and Gender in Beyoncé’s Latest Track | progress on the prairie()

  • mac

    Bey’s promo team got all of y’all eating out of their hand.

    These outraged reactions is probably exactly what her team was going for. Any reaction really.

    And they got it. Hook, line, and sinker.

    Clap for yourselves.

    • 808

      Actually that’s not how marketing and public relations work.

      Its not like all these haters are going to now buy her song and its not likely that this is going to resonate with and welcome many fans in South Africa, South Korea, or Luxembourg I know that the general assumption is “any reaction is a good reaction” but that’s far from the truth. If that phrase were true there wouldn’t be a need for Public Relations team–who are probably all huddled together right now trying to “control the storm” if judgement/e-whining gets out of hand. In a worst case scenario, new found King Bey of H-Town/Smacker of Tricks will undergo a slight persona change and the tracks on her (or is it “he” now?) album to pacify everyone. So actually… it may be getting her attention, but it *can* do more harm than good to her image. Not sure about sales though, this song is hardly intense enough to destroy those I think

  • LMJ82

    Love your article. Might just be the best I’ve ever read on MN.

  • I know that people change and their music evolves, but this just isn’t doing it for me. I really miss the “Dangerously In Love” and “Bday”, even “I Am” Beyonce, I felt that those songs were timeless. I feel like this Beyonce is conforming. I’ll still give the whole album a listen, but I don’t care for this song. At all.

  • Just saying!!

    The article is on point all though I don’t think she’s really all about women empowerment….that’s just a gimmick in my opinion. (although it might have been real in destinys child). So I’m not surprised in that respect. She’s trying to hard to stay “in”. That’s her bigger problem that’s keepin her from being the “icon” she says she wants to be. She follows trends…she doesn’t set them.

    • Just saying!!

      I apologize for all the typos…I’m writing from my phone. *sighs*

  • Jay Trevy

    I hate this song… Bey is wack for this.

  • wandaarmstrong

    Bey has a Ged dropped out of school for the money smh . She really needs JESUS Christ.

    • Rayjulian85

      And yet she’s still probably more successful, traveled, and influential than you. Seems to me like she’s already got Jesus in her corner. #IJS

      • Kenedy

        Or the devil….it may not be Jesus after all

  • Wow

    I still think it’s funny the author mentioned the second half would be in heavy rotation on her phone. So, you talk about how ratchet it is yet still play it? Typical.

  • Thats the problem here she wants for everyone to worship he her like some kind of goddess…well honey you aint God….I aint bowing down to nobody but Jesus Christ himself!!! SMH!

    • JaneDoe

      Look who she is married to.. Jay-hova lol.. These folks are a mess. I would be scared to go to bed at night playing with God like that
      Anyhoo I just don’t care for today’s music..

      • who you tellin’?!! i am scared for that baby!! these two losing their minds with all that “Jay-hova” and “I AM” stuff…they crazy!!

    • Shaybaby

      And let the church say… #amen!

  • kierah

    Age appropriate and Beyonce don’t really belong in the same sentence.

    • another Madonna. and she went all out with that crazy ish, and people bought it. i’ll keep my Johnnie Taylor and Keiko Matsui thank you!

  • Ms_Mara

    Why “try to make anything of it”? It’s a I’m-feeling-myself-y’all-ain’t-on-my-level-so-bow-down-and-kiss-the-ring kinda song. lol I guess if I had Oprah and the Obamas eating out of my hand, I’d be feeling myself too. The last thing anyone should feel about a Beyonce song is “confused”. lol Her music is very simple. And that song is GODAWFUL.

  • Trisha_B

    Reminds me of the movie atl, where new-new acted like she was from the hood to fit in, but then everybody found out she was rich lmao…Bey always had a hood side to her, & she always show a lil bit of it on every album, but this is completely left field lol. Like its just too much, plus the song content is way to arrogant for me. I don’t listen to Bey for that. I listen to beyonce for empowering &, love songs. I wanna hear an arrogant, ratchet song I’ll listen to Nicki M. The bow down thing just puts me in the mindset of worship, & the fact that stans call her beysus just adds fuel to the fire lol

    • and her husband calls himself “Hova”. seriously??? they on some other stuff!! ima leave that alone!

  • Shaybaby

    See, this is what happens when folks continually allow this chick to think she’s hood & about that life. We get crap like this. I will never deny her talent cuz she’s very talented & I like some of her music. However, the only thing this song did for me was confirm even more than her so-called documentary is how conceited & stuck on herself she really is.

  • I instantly loved it…..Beyonce said in her documentary that people are so busy judging HER and not the music! Forget her age, child, marriage, whatever…..that’s not her job or our business…Her job is to produce MUSIC. Poor Beyonce seriously, she can’t do anything right huh? SMH

  • Wow

    Members of her team are saying it’s a buzz song to get ppl talking..lets hope smh I can’t see this being anyone’s lead single, it just doesn’t sound like one.

  • Shanice

    I feel people are taking this snippet way too seriously.

    Gosh, let the woman have fun and be braggadocious in the same manner that Lil Wayne, T.I., and other rappers are always being praised for.

    It’s not the first time Beyonce has done it, “Hip Hop Star”, “Upgrade U” and “Back Up”, “Diva” and “Ego”, “Schoolin Life”, she does it on every album.
    Sure, I didn’t like the song at first, but then I realized it was just a fun song, I liked her ratchedness, the not so serious/love-sick side of Beyonce.

    • Wow

      Yea, I always figured it was a “just for fun type of track.” I also dont think she was talking to the average chick on “Bow Down”, it sounds like a diss to those in the industry. I took it as a joke after I heard her free styling and laughing while talking about baby hair and ratchet braids. I’m not a fan of ratchet Bey but I don’t think this is actual material. Who knows.

    • JaneDoe

      I agree… But you know what much was expected from her first drop and this ain’t it..

    • Stac

      I agree with Shanice, let the lady have fun. It’s entertainment. We all realize she’s a wife, mother, sister, daughter & BUSINESS WOMAN! Let her be a boss! Who knows what she faces on a daily…industry shade, female shade, male shade. I take it as expression. ALL women have moments when we have to express. I’m a fan. It’s music. Enjoy & haters relax urselves. Dayumm.

    • mac

      Thank goodness. Someone with some d*mn sense.

      Rappers talk about their imaginary kingdoms and thrones all the time, Rihanna even said “That Rihanna reign just won’t let up”. But when it’s Beyonce, she’s blaspheming and asking to be worshiped .

      Lmao as I always say, you jawns kill me.


      I totally agree with you. She has a hood/ratchet track on each album she produces, and I love it, people must not be listening. Even in ring the alarm (I been through this too long and Ill be Damned if I see another chick on your arm) In Diva ( This is a stick up stick up you see the mask or the money) Yeah clearly… she has BEEN snapping in her music, the only ones offended are the average chicks that could never understand the mindset of a BOSS LADY. Plus its just entertainment and there are other songs out there by other artist that are far worse than this.Most women putting this song down are the first on the dance floor dancing to men calling them out their names.. LOL and SMH

      • mac

        THIS ——-> ” the only ones offended are the average chicks that could never understand the mindset of a BOSS LADY.”

  • Lolo

    Thanks Madame Noire!!!! This article is perfect it states everything very clearly!!!! Love it! No need to repeat anything you said it all!

  • Really?!

    That song is all up and through WACK!!!!!! I like Bey, but I dunno what direction she’s trying to go in now. Then, she repping Houston in this ratchetness. No ma’am, continue to rep yo boo city cuz Houston do not want to be associated with that ratchetness, Bey!

    • sammi_lu

      Lol!! I agree leave the hoodtastic facade to Slim Thug or Zero, we don’t need you to rep Houston with these kind of wacktivities.

    • olg

      Thanks and this girl is not from the hood …. middle class? Have a seat.

    • mac

      “Houston do not want to be associated with that ratchetness, Bey!”

      Lol funny that you say this. I live out here. People were going crazy. And she was getting nods from Houston heads (Bun B. etc.) all over Twitter.

      Houston very much wants to be associated with that ratchetness.