Beyonce’s ‘Run The World (Girls)’ Video Premieres

B's new clip debuted Wednesday night during 'American Idol.'

As if solo singles like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Diva” and Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” didn’t alert you, [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] works the female-empowerment angle hard. But in case you missed the message the first (half-dozen) times, she’s taking no chances with new single “Run the World (Girls),” which hammers the point home with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. It is, for all intents and purposes, a pneumatically powered anthem for the ladies.

And the video for the song , which premiered Wednesday night (May 18) during “American Idol,” is no different. Directed by Francis Lawrence , the video transports B to Africa, where she leads a ragtag army of females into battle against the forces of the Y chromosome, who seem none too impressed with her (many) gyrations, or her reappropriations of gender stereotypes, including the owning of hyenas as pets and the whole concept of a warrior chief.

But perhaps it’s reading too much into things to assign sexual politics to the video’s visuals (though it’s certainly an interesting practice), since, really, “(Girls)” is a lot like most Beyoncé clips: a big, brash thing, full of elaborate, hip-displacing dance routines, haute-couture costuming, wide-screen cinematography and expensive-looking sets. Fans may be divided about the song itself — it’s definitely a departure, borrowing heavily from Major Lazer’s rattling “Pon de Floor” and dancehall riddims in general — but they will certainly have no issue with the video. Not if they’ve followed her entire career, that is.

It remains to be seen if the rest of Beyoncé’s upcoming 4 album will follow in the footsteps of “Run the World” or if she’ll pull things back a bit with each successive single. Regardless, with her new clip, the Queen B returns to claim her throne. She certainly knows how to make a big-time video and how to drive her message home — subtlety be damned.

What did you think of B’s latest video? Share your reviews in the comments!