Pop sensation Beyoncé has often played around with her image and music like with under-the-radar album, Speak My Mind, a collective of b-sides and remixes quietly released in 2005. The first of her albums where she rapped a la "Bow Down" and the first to get a "Parental Advisory" label due to some of the albums explicit content. Speak My Mind was probably the most vulnerable album Beyoncé had put out at the time. So why didn't critics catch on and more importantly why was her label so mum of the release? Was this because it was perhaps during the time of Beyoncé's "wholesome image" days as a media darling and figured some of the material on the album would put the pop star in a bad light?
Back in March 2011 Beyoncé did one of Cosmo's infamous celebrity quizzes where she referred to herself as King B, a light introduction to her brand new alter ego, the name continually stuck throughout that year with release of the artwork to her single "Best Thing I Never Had" where she stood mirrored with the writing "King B" signatured across. The very bold and mannified title would ignite a Twitter firestorm from critics and social peers alike similar to the much recent backlash with curmudgeon R&B songstress Keyshia Cole.
So, could Beyoncé be getting tired of her perfect image now that she finally holds the reins to her ever growing career and brand? One would definitely think so with the latest release of "Bow Down," a boosting Beyoncé sings "Bow down bitches!" on the playful, Hitboy-produced track which finds the Houston native harmonizing while rapping "I been on ... Tell me who gon' take me off?" on a chopped-n-screwed doozie. The song itself has been streamed nearly 2 million times on SoundCloud but has so far received mixed reviews split down the middle, VIBE called it "the most experimental work [Beyoncé] has done" while MuuMuse was less favorable, calling "Bow Down" nothing short of a "buzz track". Thus, was this Beyoncé's very well intention: to get people talking (good and/or bad)?
The pop star has been known to ruffle feathers knowingly or unknowingly from time to time like with the public outcry of 2004's "Soldier" when the the singer was accused of endorsing drugs and thuggery and in 2009 with "Diva" where critics did not approve of her choice of words, citing singers like Diana Ross and the late Whitney Houston would not dare proclaim themselves to be divas and parade around as Beyoncé. But perhaps because they are not Beyoncé and vice versa, not alone that but could it be that Beyoncé comes from a very different era as the aforementioned singers to where label execs and PR cannot muzzle her into the cookie cutter pop star she once was earlier in her career.
With the rumored "Ratchet" collaboration with Lady Gaga and rising Harlemite Azealia Banks and the sudden release of "Bow Down", is this what we can expect from Beyoncé's forthcoming project? Whatever the case, it's hard to deny that King B is officially in full effect.
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