Beyonce: ‘Bow Down/I Been On’ (Review)

As you already know from my previous posts on Beyonce, she is currently working on her 5th studio album. The new album is yet to be titled but may include the tracks; Grown Woman, Standing On The Sun and Rise Up which have been circulating online and on radio. In the video above American gossip queen Wendy Williams and her guest panel discussed the track ‘Bow Down/I been on‘ at her ‘Hot Talk’ desk.


Queen B – ‘Bow Down’

Bow Down/I Been On‘ is a medley of two heavily hip-hop influenced beats produced by Hit-Boy (Bow Down) and Timberland (I Been On).  It’s been a while since Beyonce has performed over a decent hip-hop/r&b track since gaining her mainstream appeal. Bow Down seems like a direct response to Keri Hilson’s 2008 verse on the leaked ‘Turnin Me On (Remix)‘ where she sung the lyric;

She need to go have some babies
She needs to sit down, she fake

Keri Hilson (2008/Turnin’ Me On Remix)

If you haven’t heard ‘Bow Down/I Been On‘ listen to the track below:

Now I’m from the school of ‘Don’t Start Nothin’ It Won’t Be Nothin‘. I believe that if someone has something disparaging to say about you then you have the right to respond no matter how harsh your feedback may be. So in the case of ‘Bow Down/I Been On‘ I think Beyonce did a good job, this track sounds like it’s been on hold for 5 years just to stop any drama kicking off!

On ‘Bow Down‘ Beyonce flows easily over the Hit-Boy instrumental which is full of boom and clack and surround-sound bass. The lyrics are on point and relate to the new generation of young upstarts who feel like they have arrived without paying any due’s to their elders. This cocky track brings Beyonce’s angelic persona back down to earth! It takes her off her pop-pedestal and puts her back in the hip-hop-hood for 5 minutes.


Beyonce – ‘Been On’

I Been On‘ is a straight-up hip-hop interlude with some operatic elements thrown in. This is a brave effort from Queen B! Some may think that she is trying too hard to be hood but I think she was just having fun in the studio. Beyonce raps on the ‘I Been On’ verse, her vocal is pitched down to a lower key making her sound like a man (King B her alter ego). Timberland produced this slick instrumental. I’m not sure if this track is a work in progress or an interlude but the concept is off the wall and unlike anything Beyonce has recorded in the past. ‘I Been On‘ is either a purposely leaked gimmick or a signal of a new direction Beyonce is heading in musically.

People can claim that Jay-Z is a bad influence or that these tracks do not empower women but I disagree! Before B met Jay, Destiny’s Child had ghetto hits like ‘No, No, No‘ (ft Wyclef), ‘With Me‘ (ft Master P), Get On The Bus‘ (ft Timberland) and the ultra-platinum ghetto anthem ‘The Writings On The Wall‘ I only hope that this new Beyonce album is a no punches held hip-hop/r&b bonanza! It’s great that Beyonce does pop but she needs to drop some new hip-hop heat for 2013.

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