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She’s a rider, he’s a roller

I’ve been off for a minute in my personal version of hell [1] and a few things have changed around here. Drama has signed off. (Pay them no mind.) Lupe has signed in. (Welcome to our corner of the Internet.) 

Meanwhile, I’ve been bumping Beyoncé’s B’Day and I’m not mad at it. It feels like Beyoncé is in the process of coming into her own—both as a woman and as an artist. B’s voice has matured and her virtuosity is impressive. The project has a spontaneous, playful vibe (which I am really appreciating after a long summer of lackluster releases).

Except for one track. Is it just me or does “Ring the Alarm” sound a little pressed? I don’t think it’s a good look.

I remember when Dangerously in Love dropped. Amy Linden reviewed it for the Village Voice. She called its lead single a “love song with no shame” and went on to note that “some man has got Miss Fat Booty wide open, because this girl is in l-o-v-e.” It was summer and I was in New York and you could hear the horns from “Crazy in Love” blasting out of car windows on streets everywhere. The track radiated that sex-hazed, megawatt glow that comes with new love. It was utterly euphoric.

I think it was then that women started to live vicariously through Bey-Z. (Or maybe it was when “Bonnie & Clyde ‘03” came out?) Hov was King. Every girl I knew wanted to look like B and every guy I knew wanted to get with her. Beyoncé was one of the only female artists in the industry that kept things classy. [2] The fact that she had a thug so sprung gave a lot of women out there hope that a Thoroughest Good Girl wasn’t just a nice term for getting played.

Three years later, though, the Jayoncé honeymoon is obviously over. It’s not the gossip, either (or the fact that Jay refuses to even look at her in the Deja Vu video.) It’s her lyrics. One could let a few “you know I hate sleeping alone/but you said that you would soon be home” lines slide. And B’Day could stand to have a “Resentment” track or two on there without getting too many tongues wagging, but “Ring the Alarm”? Come on. It’s way too extra for Beyoncé. It gets you thinking: if the hottest chick in the game is that worried about her man cheating—and has to go on wax and call other chicks out all agro—what does that say for the rest of us?


[1] Serving cocktails to sloppy drunk golfers, since you asked. Sometimes a freelance writer has got to do what she has to do to pay bills, and get her bartend on, you know?

[2] I’m not going to diss you on the Internet cause my Mama taught me better than that, and what not.

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