2 Songs: “Freakum Dress” by Beyoncé x “You Want War” by Lil Wayne

Beyoncé: Kitty Kat (Video 2007) - IMDb

I love playing music into the ground. I also love listening to old shit, and I only listen to CDs or MP3’s. I don’t stream. I download. So I have certain albums at a time on my phone and the rest on my hard drive at home. I’m also obsessive and latch onto songs or a sequence of songs and listen to them many many many times. Right now I’m obsessed with two songs–“Freakum Dress” by Beyoncé and “You Want War” by Lil Wayne.

I’ve been playing them back to back (to back) the past couple days. I don’t know, it’s the energy the confidence the boast the presence in the car as you’re driving through the number blocks to go get food by your school. And on the way back. And on the way to the store and back. And maybe once more cuz you realize you forgot to get soap while you were out. So it’s not that my exact plot matches that of those songs. “Freakum Dress” is about putting on a super sexy dress. “You Want War” is about fighting shooting and killing an enemy. It would also seem that even the two songs are not relevant in plot. But they are.

My dress is perfect isn’t so far away from my aim is perfect. It’s taking action and not waiting another second to do so. Put it on and take it out. It’s a boast of something extra. It’s style. Both activities are a honed art form–to dress right and to fight right. Beyoncé’s song tells women to dress up and go out and have fun. Period. Even if you have a man (especially if you have a man), you need to get cute once in a while. And that bridge when she goes to “when you put it on it’s an invitation, when they play your song get on up and shake it,” literally makes my nipples get hard. Like it is that perfect and impactful and full of life.

Lil Wayne

Then beat of “You Want War” starts out with the same exact energy. Bursts of dum dum dum dum. Lil Wayne jumps right in after a few uh’s. Zooms in with his crazy ass flow. I listen to his old stuff so fondly. He was a talent from the get go. And that beat switch up during Turk’s part is so smooth. It’s three guys making that song nice–Lil Wayne, Turk, and Mannie Fresh. But the Beyoncé of the three is Lil Wayne. He’s spitting so smooth about being tough and cool and fly. He’s talking to the listener too like “it’s a must they recognize that I’m untamed brotha, disconnect a boy like a damn changed number, uhh hang up and try again, I kill ya wake ya up and make you die again.”

On “Freakum Dress,” Beyoncé is popping shit about herself at the start and end mostly. She’s telling everyone to wait a second before she goes in in the beginning, and that whole ruse of fixing hair or running the beat back is the intro. Then she riffs off the title at the end of the song, saying she has her freakum dress on. She definitely grabs the whole song for herself. The beat is fun too, but she’s the one making a statement and taking up the space. Between her and her little dress and Lil Wayne’s vest and diamond necklace, those two songs are all about showing out.

-Rachel Wagner

My books: 
– Jacob’s Hip: Poems
– FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion
– Abandonment Issues: Alive in New Jersey
– Back Like I Never Left: Dating as a Single Mother

My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books

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