I’ve yet to feature a mainstream pop artist in such a way, but given the latest Beyonce tour and the fact that I am just about to board a plane to South Africa for the next two weeks, I’ve decided to stray from the unpopular into the excessively popular. Highlighted in this post is one of Beyoncé’s latest performances of the Timbaland-produced “Grown Woman”, which impressively intersects American pop culture with traditional African imagery as well as dance moves. The entire performance also fits in nicely with charity work, as an added bonus.

This will be one of two Africa-related posts to come in the next couple weeks — the latter of which will be a round-up of significant South African music videos. Stay tuned, for the next one will be amazing.



Beyonce – “Grown Woman”
Live Performance

There certainly is some cause to worry about the generic Africanization of all things in the projections for “Grown Woman”, what with the rolling of Egyptian headdresses, safari animals, and a wide array of African patterning into one generic Africa — but there are definitely some good causes underlying this particular performance, and some Fela Kuti-related connections worth nothing.

According to Okayafrica., “Grown Woman” features percussion and chanting by musician Ismael “Bonfils” Kouyaté of Guinea, who is currently performing on the Fela! tour. Also present on the background visuals is Nicole De Weever, former Fela! dancer and founder/director of Art Saves Lives, a non-profit dedicated to helping the homeless through art.

But all of the sociological implications aside, the dance moves in this video are just wicked, as mind-blowing and impressive as those of Beyoncé’s never-forgettable “Single Ladies” — stiletto heels and all. If this isn’t a badass lady, I just don’t know what is.

Chime For Change Non-Profit Organization Profile

The performance of this female-empowering track took place at the Chime For Change benefit concert in June. Chime For Change was founded by Gucci, with Beyoncé, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Frida Giannin as co-founders.

Chime For Change is powered by Catapult, a crowd-funding site that allows non-profits to post their projects so that people can fund the issues which speak to them most. Their website profiles various women and focuses on three major tenets of change through education, health, and justice, and seems to be a good indicator of the positive work that’s being done through the organization.

“I have always felt strongly about equal opportunity for women. Girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be. It’s up to us to change the statistics for women around the world. I’m honored to be in the company of women who live fearlessly and set an example for the next generation.” – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Beyoncé – Grown Woman Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I remember being young and so brave
I knew what I needed
I was spending all my nights and days
Laid back, daydreaming
Look at me, I’m a big girl now
Said I’m gonna do something
Told the world imma paint this town
Now bitches, I run this (Aah!)

Cause I put it
Down like that (2x)
And I’m making
All these racks (2x)
And I’m moving
Round like that (2x)
When I do it
I don’t look back (2x)

[Chorus 1]
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want
I could be bad if I want
I could do wrong if I want
I can live fast if I want
I can go slow all night long
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want

[Verse 2]
You know the way I walk
Because I walk with a vengeance
And they listen to me when I talk
Cause I ain’t pretending
It took awhile now I understand
Just where I’m going
I know the woman, I know who I am
It’s about time I show it


[Chorus 2]
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want
I could be bad if I want
I can say what I want
I can live fast if I want
I can do whatever I want
(Whatever it is!)

I’m a grown woman
So I know how to ride it
I’m a grown woman
And I’m so erotic
I’m a grown woman
Look down, got you so excited
I’m a grown woman
Look at my body
It ain’t no fun, if a girl can’t have none
You really wanna know how I got it like that
Cause I got a cute face and my booty so fat
Go girl!
She got that bomb, that bomb
That girl!
Can get whatever she wants
Go girl!
She got that tight, that tight
Them boys!
They do whatever she like


[Outro – 11x]
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want

I’m a grown woman


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