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“Kitty Kat,” B’Day (2006)
Lyrics: “It's like we at two places, but different paces / We in trouble but you won't meet me at the bridge / It hurts, it feels deserted / Did you forget where your heart lives?”
What does it mean? Kitty Kat is known to be a euphemism for Beyoncé’s lady parts, which had apparently been feeling rather neglected at the time. Through sexy, slithery vocals, Beyoncé speaks of a severe lack of intimacy in her relationship that's tempting her to find pleasure from another source. Although we can’t imagine any man not jumping at the chance to do the horizontal tango with Beyoncé, the absence of bedroom action may very well have inspired the Queen to pen these vengeful lyrics.
“Ring the Alarm,” B’Day (2006)
Lyrics: "Tell me how should I feel / When I know what I know / And my female intuition / Telling me you a dog / People told me bout the flames / I couldn't see through the smoke / When I need answers, accusations / What you mean you gone choke?”
What does it mean? Talk about foreshadowing! The Queen’s senses have been tingling for some time now about foul play on Jay’s behalf. Even though we’re to assume that this is purely fictional, Beyoncé’s role as a deranged, fed-up spouse à la Fatal Attraction is way too convincing a performance for us to chalk it up to pure make-believe. As the song shot to No. 1, there were whispers about Rihanna’s inappropriate relationship with Beyoncé’s then-fiancé Jay Z. The Carter-Knowles camp strongly denied the rumours, but the fiery passion Beyoncé applied to the record and visuals had us scratching our heads. Was the ugly truth being disguised and ultimately processed through art?
“Resentment,” B’Day (2006)
Lyrics: “I'll always remember feeling like I was no good / Like I couldn't do it for you like your mistress could / And it's all because you lied / Loved you more than another, more than my own life / But that part of me I gave you, it was sacrificed / And it's all because you lied”
What does it mean? Vocally, this might be one of Beyoncé’s strongest live performances. She delivered this somber ballad with such gusto and vulnerability, it became perhaps the most telling song of hers signalling trouble in paradise. Not only did she swap out the original lyrics for factual details about her own marriage (Bey sang "been riding with you for 12 years" instead of the original words "been riding with you for six years"), at some point she froze mid-song with her teary eyes fixed on the audience. Only a handful of outlets connected the dots that major trouble was brewing in the Carter household. This was, of course, way before the Lemonade bombshell went kaboom.
“Broken Hearted Girl,” I Am…Sasha Fierce (2008)
Lyrics: “I know that I love you / But let me just say / I don't want to love you in no kind of way no no / I don't want a broken heart / And I don't wanna play the broken-hearted girl”
What does it mean? What’s a Beyoncé album without at least one heart-wrenching ballad? This track was featured on the “I Am” portion of this double-disc album, where a vulnerable, conflicted Beyoncé considers the possibility of a breakup. Crushed by the betrayal of her unfaithful lover, she desperately musters up the courage to consider walking away. Through melody and prose, Beyoncé tells the all-too-familiar tale of a woman ready to hang up a tumultuous relationship for good. Notice a pattern here?
“Why Don’t You Love Me?” I Am…Sasha Fierce (2010)
Lyrics: "I got beauty, I got class / I got style, and I got ass / And you don't even care to care / Looka here / I even put money in the bank account / Don't have to ask no one to help me out / You don't even notice that"
What does it mean?: This track was co-written with her sister Solange (who had yet to take Jay Z to task in that infamous elevator smackdown). For the video, Bey put on her finest Betty Draper attire and played the domesticated yet fiercely fed-up housewife, slaving away (in style) to keep the house in order while sorely missing out on love and appreciation from her husband. Beyoncé admitted that this single reflected her time spent away from the stage. And while the visuals are absolutely stunning, Bey’s lyrics — “There’s nothing not to love about me” — resonate in real life. Everyone seems to know that except for her man, who, if this song is any indication, simply doesn’t realise what a catch he’s got at home. Not cool.