Run the World (Girls)

Album: 4 (2011)
Charted: 11 29
  • Beyoncé's first single from her fourth solo album was this club track, which samples the martial drum beat from dancehall duo Major Lazer's 2009 track, "Pon de Floor." Diddy Dirty Money's "Ass On The Floor" also borrowed from the same song.

    Major Lazer mainman Diplo recalled to The Sun how he tried to convince Beyoncé that the sound was old. "When Beyoncé sampled 'Pn De Flllor' it was already done in the clubs two years earlier and I told her that."

    "She said to me, 'No, but people know this s---? So I was like, 'Fine, go ahead.' I don't care, I'm in my own world."
  • The song was produced by Switch with additional production by Beyoncé and Shea Taylor. Switch is one half of Major Lance and the other member of the duo, Diplo, also worked with Beyoncé on the album, but is not credited on this number.
  • The-Dream wrote the lyrics for this women's empowerment anthem. They find Beyoncé singing the praises of ladies who are "smart enough to make these millions/ Strong enough to bear the children/ Then get back to business." It follows other girl-power anthems recorded by the Texan songstress such as "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)"and going back to her Destiny's Child days, "Independent Women Part 1."
  • Beyoncé filmed the video with award-winning director Francis Lawrence whose previous visual is another one you may have across - the clip for Gaga's "Bad Romance." Lawrence has collaborated with Beyonce before, having directed two music videos for Destiny's Child: "Independent Women Part 1" (2000) and "Emotion" (2001).
  • Beyoncé explained to Billboard magazine that the album title, 4, is a number that has great significance in her life. "We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me," she explained. "It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday and a lot of my friends' birthdays are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."
  • The Texas songstress explained to Billboard magazine that she felt a powerful connection to the song. "It's definitely riskier than something a bit more... simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic," Beyoncé said. "It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras - things that typically don't go together - to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That's how I've gotten to where I am."
  • The video was filmed in Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert over three days in April 2011, and boasts a cast of over 200 dancers, a menagerie of exotic animals and Beyoncé as the leader of a female army. The dance sequences were choreographed by Beyoncé's long-time friend Frank Gatson with help from Sheryl Murakami and Mozambican kwaito dance duo Tofo Tofo, who also feature in the clip. The Texan singer first came across Tofo Tofo on YouTube, and the Mozambicans had no idea whom Beyoncé was when she reached out to them.
  • The marching militaristic drumbeat was sampled from "Pon De Floor," a song by Diplo's group, Major Lazer. Speaking with BBC's Newsbeat Diplo said "Pon De Floor" started off as a bit of fun. "I still think a lot of people don't even realize where that song came from," he revealed. "That song never really had a push. It was a joke song we did. Kind of like a funny joke kind of song."

Comments: 1

  • Karen from Manchester, NhHorrible song...big disappointment.
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