On '7/11,' Beyoncé proves she's just like us

Courtesy of Beyoncé

By Christian Kennedy, Daily Arts Writer
Published November 23, 2014

Beyoncé is set to release the ‘Platinum Edition’ of her self-titled album, which dropped last December. The repackage, a four-disc set, includes ten live performance videos from The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, four remixes and two unreleased tracks, “Ring Off” and “7/11”. Early last week, snippets of both tracks leaked online, leading to underwhelming responses from music fans, particularly towards “7/11,” a beat and auto tune-heavy dance track. At first glance, I too, was disappointed by the snippet; but on Friday night, Bey released a full-length video for the track, and with no fear of hyperbole, it is revolutionary.

The track itself is nothing new in pop music production-wise. Though for Beyoncé it’s out of left field. Her discography includes nothing even remotely choppy, even her previous club bangers (i.e “Freakum Dress”). “7/11” is choppy and in large part does not make much sense, but who cares?

Normally, I am completely against re-releasing previous albums because too often they are cheap grabs for profit and press and don’t offer any material that deviates from the original (*cough cough* Iggy Azalea). “7/11” would not have been cohesive with Beyoncé’s original self-titled LP, and odds are it will not fit in well with her next album. An album repack, in this case, is the perfect opportunity to release new material that did not mesh with the original record.

More radical than its sound, is the video. Bey parties with a crew of friends and tour family in a hotel suite rendering it her most real video she has ever released. She isn’t acting; this is her. She wears fuzzy socks, a crew neck, leopard underwear and drinks from a solo-cup. That’s basically a dream Friday night, right?

Her drunk eyes are on point. I have always wanted to know what Queen B looks like after a couple STRAW-BER-ITAs, or whatever the near-billionaire equivalent is. She answers prayers. Beyoncé is showing she is just like her fans. We booty pop and throw up gang signs listening to her music, and so does she. The entire performance looks like it could go down at my parents’ house while they’re out of town for the weekend (messy bedroom included). Beyoncé videos encompass a fantasyland of perfection, and for this video she must’ve said, “Fuck it, hand me that go pro.”

Is this a sign of a shift in the entire Beyoncé brand? Don’t count on it. In a semester at BeyU, this is that one weekend when shit got real, but as any dependable student (or ruler of the world, in her case) knows, it is time to get back to work. The soon-to-come “Ring Off” is a mid-tempo break up song, if the 30-second clip is any indicator.

“7/11” will be called a musical mess by many. That is OK because the BeyHive is in on the joke. If a beat was assigned to the racing hearts of Beyonce lovers as they jump around their messy bedrooms in their underwear, it would be “7/11.”