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!