Meet the artist formerly known as Beyonce
The pop singer displays her rap side on <i>I Am...Sasha Fierce.</i>
Dec. 05, 2008
Identity crises aren't so rare in the music industry. There's The Artist Formerly Known as Prince who turned himself into a symbol and then, of course, Michael Jackson who transformed from the King of Pop into Wacko Jacko. With the album, I Am...Sasha Fierce, Beyonce decided to debut her own alter ego, Sasha Fierce, a more aggressive, glamorous and fun side of the diva that caters to Beyonce's possible schizophrenia and need to call herself stripper-esque names.
I Am...Sasha Fierce is a two-disc album with 11 tracks. Yes, that's right, 11 tracks on two discs. Forget "going green," don't pay attention to the recession, oh, and also ignore wasteful spending, 'cause Sasha Fierce wanted her own CD for five songs. The two-disc album splits Beyonce's two personas, with the softer, more elegant Beyonce on the first disc, and the new raptastic diva Sasha Fierce on the second.
No, this isn't a joke.
Aside from how the premise for the album is borderline crazy, it has musical merit. Although Beyonce's portion of the album, with tracks like "If I Were A Boy" and "Ave Maria" is slightly boring, it is beautiful. Beyonce showcases the powerful voice she is gifted with, actually providing some skill in today's mess of no-talent Top 40 pop princesses. The songs are meaningful, with powerful lyrics and messages, such as in "If I Were A Boy," which demonstrates the double standards in society.
The second disc of the album is surprising. Sasha Fierce's songs sound as if Lil Wayne mixed them. If you didn't know the artist beforehand, you would assume you were listening to Rihanna or Missy Elliott. Beyonce apparently decided creating Sasha Fierce would provide a good segue into the rap industry. Or, perhaps, Jay-Z's hip-hop influence has been affecting her brain, as the two are married now.
Although it is weird hearing the traditionally classy, beautiful Beyonce rapping songs like "Diva," the results are perfect club beats and they are, overall, enjoyable. In "Diva," Sasha Fierce sings, "Diva is the female version of a hustla," while an annoyingly high voice raps "I'ma, I'ma diva" in the background, much like Lil Wayne's "A Milli."
Most of the second disc is very unlike Beyonce. Although it is initially laughable seeing this elegant woman trying to be slightly ghetto, Beyonce went through her transformation well. The single, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," however, is more like the old Destiny's Child Beyonce, with the catchy hook and fast-paced beat complimenting Beyonce's vocals.
Sometimes artists fail when taking risks, but Beyonce thrives on her experimentation. Sasha Fierce might take some getting used to, and the idea behind her creation is over-the-top and humorous, but there are enjoyable elements to I Am...Sasha Fierce. The novel idea of two different personas in one person, and the differences between them, is something many can relate to. This album shows just how versatile Beyonce, and now, Sasha Fierce, can be.