Reflections: An odd surprise from Queen Bey

If you have heard Beyoncé’s new release, “Bow Down/I Been On,” you have probably joined the multitudes who are asking, “What’s up with this?”

The song can have so many meanings. Is it to address the women who do not like her? Some believe that is why she keeps repeating the shocking words, “Bow down, bitches!”

This seems especially strange coming from a woman who is known to be a nice person and who is so much into empowering women, such as hiring all-female bands.

Maybe the whole point is just for “Sasha Fierce” (Beyoncé’s aggressive alter ego) to get people talking. If so, mission accomplished.

If the song is indeed a matter of the beautiful megastar firing back at her female critics, it wouldn’t be the first time. On “So Good,” a song featured on the Destiny’s Child album “Writings on the Wall,” she sang forcefully, “I know you don’t like me, you made that really clear. You’re always talking about me from what I hear. I know you hate it, but I’m doin’ so good.”

D.L. HUGHLEY proved very quickly that although he is a great comedian and a commendable actor, he is certainly not a dancer. In the season opening of “Dancing With The Stars,” Hughley, partnered with the outstanding Cheryl Burke, was stiff and awkward, much like Wendy Williams was a few seasons back.

Situations such of these make you wonder why people with extremely limited dance skills would be a part of a dance competition show — on national television.

But, of course, no one could ever be as bad as rap star Master P. That was almost unbelievable!

PRINCE, who is still amazing at age 54, recently appeared in concert in Austin, Texas, and his show was 2 hours and 40 minutes long!

That is very unusual and generous, but I once went to a Funkadelic-Parliament concert at Masonic Auditorium (when “One Nation Under a Groove” was hot) that started a 8 p.m. and was still going strong when I left at midnight. Those who remained (about a fourth of the original audience) seemed to be in a P-Funk trance.

Prince joked after the second of a half-dozen encores, “Don’t make me hurt you! You know how many hits I have?” Then he added playfully, “I feel like a servant to you.”

THE INTRUDERS are a group I always liked and felt should have received more attention, although they had a lot of hits from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

The thing that intrigued me most then and now is the voice of lead singer Sam Brown (“Little Sonny”). It was very different and even sounded slightly off-key, but in a charming way.

Fans of the Intruders, who hailed from Philadelphia, should make it their business to acquire the double CD titled “The Intruders: Philly Golden Classics.” Among the 30 tracks are “Cowboys to Girls,” “I’ll Always Love My Mama,” “Together” and three of my favorites, “Slow Drag,” “I Wanna Know Your Name” and “(Love Is Like A) Baseball Fame.”

GIVE RIHANNA credit for a creating, or at least agreeing to, something different. She recently took a group of 256 journalists and fans on a fast-paced world trip on a Boeing 777 — seven concerts in seven days in seven cities around the world, namely Mexico City, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London and New York.

Trouble is, the journalists complained that they were not granted access to the star.

Music icon Chaka Khan is celebrating 40 years in show business as well as her 60th birthday. (She was born March 23, 1953.) Those two things landed her on the cover of Billboard magazine.

Brian McKnight took a real public and media lashing for that blatant, over-the-top, completely out of character sex song he recorded last year, “If You’re Ready to Learn.” Longtime fans were very offended. His new album, “More Than Words,” is a return to what made him famous — and respected.

Tina Turner, who has mostly been under the radar in recent years, is working on a new CD. (She was on the cover of the German edition of Vogue magazine, at the age of 74!)

Meanwhile, the much younger Ashanti is planning her re-entry into the recording business, but now wiser and more focused, having learned from experiences and mistakes. I always felt that she shot to fame too quickly.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that when “Johnny’s Greatest Hits” by Johnny Mathis was released in 1958, it was the very first album with the words “greatest hits” in the title. Today, of course, that is standard.

MEMORIES: “You Ought To Be With Me” (Al Green), “The Jam” (Graham Central Station), “Easy Lover” (Philip Bailey with Phil Collins), “Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.)” (Tom Browne), “Turn Back the Hands of Time” (Tyrone Davis), “Show and Tell” (Al Wilson), “Remember What I Told You to Forget” (Tavares), “Practice What You Preach” (Barry White), “I Gotcha” (Joe Tex), “I’ll Make Love to You” (Boyz II Men).

BLESSINGS to: Henry Fambrough, Karen Dumas, Myron H. Wahls, Jr., Charlene Uresy, Tony Stevenson, Ronnie McNeir, Kimmie Horne, Carolyn Crawford, Michael Brock and Esther V. Smith.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Bette Midler: “Cherish what makes you unique because you’re really a yawn without it.”

Let the music play!

Steve Holsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

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