Beyoncé And Co. Run the World on Leaked Single

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Beyonce Runs The World

“Girls (Who Run the World),” reportedly the first single from Beyoncé‘s forthcoming album, leaked last night, and one thing’s for sure: Sasha Fierce is definitely not trying to sound like much else on the radio right now.

(For the moment the song is streaming at The Fader, but just a heads up, the stream may not last long.)

The track’s brief piano intro, akin to that of Lady Gaga‘s “Telephone” (on which Beyoncé featured), is a fake-out: after five seconds, the air is sonically sucked out of the track and replaced with a thumping dancehall snare sampled from Major Lazer‘s 2009 single “Pon de Floor.”

What follows is a pounding track, full of sidechained compression, but not trance-y in the least. Mostly the track is a call-and-response chant of “Who run the world?” “Girls!” but several pointed comments on empowerment are skillfully weaved into the lyrics, without feeling out of place: “I’m repping for the girls who’re taking over the world/ have me raise a glass for the college grads”—not to mention a shout-out to those “strong enough to bear the children then get back to business”—sit comfortably in the same song as “I think I need a barber/ None of these b*****s can fade me.”

In a way, this track is the flipside of The Prodigy‘s 2004 single “Girls,” another compression-heavy club track with a “girls” chant. But while The Prodigy’s Broken Glass sample is about “telling stories about all the young girls,” Beyoncé’s track restores the girls’ own subjectivity.

The “Girls”-chanting is further justified by the bridge, for which the beat falls back and the lyrics get as grandiose as the leaked video stills: “My persuasion can build a nation/ In this hour our love we can devour/ You’ll do anything for me,” the practically Cleopatra-channeling Beyoncé coos.

All in all, the single is fairly unprecedented, in its collision of Caribbean club beats and diva-rapping with girl-power anthem tropes (that don’t rely heavily on sexualization). Who knows how it will fare against the surfeit of RedOne and Dr. Luke Euro-house hits? One thing’s for sure: the song is certain to strike a chord.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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  1. Nadine says:

    This song is Sexist and tbh is gonna have a lot of contraversy its quite obvious women do not run the world i now have lost complete disrespect for this woman!