The Problem With... Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)"

After a year away from music, Mrs. Shawn Carter is now looking to get back on the spotlight.

Tracks from the 2008 release I Am... Sasha Fierce endured for a while. With "Video Phone," she pushed the gadget industry to include video phone functionality, which the iPhone eventually did. "Single Ladies," meanwhile, gave me an opportunity to awkwardly interject, "I'm a not single lady, but good for you!!!"

Regrettably, her ballad "Halo" had nothing to do with the video game Halo. A missed opportunity, no doubt.

Now, with her latest single "Run the World (Girls)," she's offering up a female-empowerment anthem similar to others she's done since the Destiny's Child album Survivor.

The track cribs a bit of Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor" and a small slice from M.I.A's track "Boyz." This is probably because of producers Diplo and Switch's input on the song. The problem is that Mrs. Carter is a couple of years late in acquiring this sound.

Also, while the track may be mildly empowering like "Single Ladies" and "Independent Women," "Run the World" doesn't quite hit where it hopes to. For instance, in the title, the "Girls" are locked up in parentheses. What does that symbolize?

What's worse: In a few lyrics here, Beyoncé even concedes to man. It may be a verbal slip, but the line "Hope you still like me / If you hate me" sounds a bit like she's saying "pay me."
Not cool, B.

The video for "Run the World," meanwhile, follows a post-apocalyptic theme, which means that either Beyonce is ready for that predicted apocalypse this Saturday, or she took the idea from Rihanna's video for "Hard."  And, in an about-face to the female-empowerment theme, the women in the end of the video even salute -- a sign of subservience -- to the male riot police they face.

Sisters: Are you giving up your freedom to the man that easily? If I were a woman, I wouldn't take any crap from those dudes.

Huh. I don't really understand that. Maybe it's because I'm a boy. Dunno.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.