Track of the Week 12/16: “Flawless”

beyonce-chanel-chain-bootsLast week, Beyonce did what only Beyonce could do. She released a new album, unannounced, accompanied by music videos for each song. In an interview explaining her creative process, she stated that when she listens to music, she naturally sees its intended vision. For her, music and vision are one, and that is proven time and again throughout this groundbreaking endeavor.

Beyonce was a pioneer in the now common practice of releasing singles prior to an album, in attempts, for her, to gain  more creative control over her work. Now she is taking the reigns once again, releasing her album unannounced to the world , in a highly unprecedented move.

The track of the week is “***Flawless.” I could have picked a more sentimental, meaningful song, like “Blue” that captures Beyonce’s motherly role and what has become most important to her in life, but the song is just so infectious and yet also has a great message. While a good chunk of the album is especially sensual in nature, Queen Bey changes direction to bust out “***Flawless,” (clips of which were featured on last spring’s “Bow Down/I Been On”), which likely would have been the hit single had she followed the typical album release trajectory.

Beyonce is at her best when she is being a badass feminist. Past hits like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” “Irreplaceable,” “Diva” and “Run the World (Girls)” center on women taking their lives into their own hands and not depending on a man. The diva is back again for “***Flawless,” where she once again asserts herself in the world and reminds us all how powerful women are. It’s an incredibly empowering track.

However, Bey doesn’t spread this message alone. She takes a sampling of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche during a talk at TEDxEuston titled “We should all be feminists.” She speaks about girls being held back by society from a young age, and having the world reinforce the idea that motherhood is all they should amount to. Adiche questions these assertions in saying:

“Because I am female

I am expected to aspire to marriage

I am expected to make my life choices

Always keeping in mind that

Marriage is the most important

Now marriage can be a source of

Joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach to aspire to marriage

And we don’t teach boys the same?

We raise girls to see each other as competitors

Not for jobs or for accomplishments

Which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men”

Beyonce backs up this sentiment with her words “I took some time to live my life/ But don’t think I’m just his little wife/ Don’t get it twisted/Get it twisted/ This my shit/ Bow down, bitches.” Beyonce is saying that she made the choice to get married and start a family, but that she will not be overlooked because she stepped back for a while. She is still the talented artists she was before she made those choices, and she’s going to show us all what she can do now that she has made a family of her own. Yes, she’s telling bitches to bow down, but it’s promoting the healthy competition that women need to be encouraged to display more often in work.

Queen Bey is back — with an edge. And we all better listen up, because we might learn a thing or two.

Watch the official video for “Flawless” Here:

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