Songs like “Drunk in Love,” “Rocket” and “Partition” are frank in their celebration of a healthy sex life, and the accompanying music videos are just as risqué.
For those used to Queen Bey wearing a “Halo,” her embrace of raunchier themes was probably a shock. But to the singer, reveling in her womanhood was a necessary – and liberating – change of pace.
“I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation,” the 32-year-old tells Out magazine in its May issue. “There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist – whatever you want to be – and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.”
Bey says she wanted to create a record that was not only impeccable but intimate. So while she’s happy that some of the tracks have become words of inspiration or empowerment, she was just trying to find a way to speak her truth.
“While I am definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to my music, I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make,” she says. “I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart. … We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love.”
That’s not to say Beyonce didn’t have her doubts while working on what became a surprise December 2013 release – keeping the album a secret was one thing, but keeping the album a secret while simultaneously performing in an international tour was daunting.
“I was recording, shooting videos, and performing on the tour every night, all at the same time. At some point I felt like, ‘What am I doing?’” the singer recalls. “Is this too ambitious? Even the day the record was to be released I was scared to death. But I also knew if I was that scared, something big was about to happen