Motifs In Beyonce’s I am…Sasha Fierce album many of her songs have the music video with a famous dance and her with two backing dancers. This is a motif she has created. She is known for her great dance moves but these few songs focus mainly on her dancing with the same two girls at the back. A song like “Single Ladies” is very popular amongst her audience especially the dance and it seems like she wanted to leave this affect on people. “Diva”, does have her dancing in her famous leotard also, but has her individually too, to focus on her well known curves and beauty.
Narrative The video starts off with a definition of the word diva which suggests that to a woman and this song in particular is very important. Also that the definition will also define what the audience may expect from Beyonce in the video. The mannequins in the bin suggest roughness and death. They do look kind of scary and weird which you get from the video too. Beyonce gets out of the car in high heeled boots to suggest femininity but her confident walk also suggest power, she wears jeans and a leather jacket and also ‘bling’ glasses on her eyes. The words “Diva is a female version of a hustler” suggests that Beyonce is trying to portray the convention of a male hustler or in other words a gangster. Her only location is a car outside but also a warehouse which again shows that she is trying to be sneaky and be a gangster. Throughout the video there are shots of Beyonce to advertise her great body but also her brilliant dance moves which is one of the things she is known for. The video is dark and aggressive which links in to the tone of the song too.
Intertextual references The intertextual references in “Diva” are only two music videos. This video has been directed by the same woman who directed Lil Wayne’s “a milli”. Therefore, they have very similar feel of video and their songs sound very similar too. Beyonce’s video seems to be he female independent and strong version of Lil Wayne’s video. Secondly, when Beyonce throws the lighter to the car and it blows up it references her old video with Jay Z “Crazy in Love” when the car is on fire but also it is in the same location with the same bridge behind. Thirdly, at the end of “Diva” another song plays which is Beyonce’s new song with Lady Gaga. She has done this to promote her new song but to giver her fans a quick preview to encourage them to take a liking to the new song too.
Goodwin’s Theory Music video demonstrates the genre characteristics: -An R&B video contains women dancing and wearing tight or minimal clothing which Beyonce does. -She subverts the convention of a song about relationships but uses a lyrics to empower women. -She wears string silver shades which is a big thing to have “bling” in a music video. -She does not have a glamorous setting or car which again goes against the convention. The old car and urban warehouse setting would most probably be seen in a hip-hop or rap music video. - The rough setting represents more of a hip hop video with the darkness and aggressive tone.
Goodwin’s theory cont’d… 2. Relationship between lyrics and visuals
‘Stop the track’ she pauses.
‘They call a queen’ a shot of Beyonce alone is shown.
‘diva’s getting money’ fans out a fan out with notes on.
Overall, Beyonce’s lyrics are not expressed by her movements as her dance moves are more iconic to her name.
3. Relationship between music and visuals.
Beyonce’s dance moves are in sync with the beat of the song. When the beat gets faster on the chorus her dance moves get faster and when it slows down her moves slow down.
There are not a huge amount of cuts until the third verse which are all in time with the beat.
Goodwin’s theory cont’d… 4. Influence of record label and close ups.
Beyonce is a huge superstar and I personally don’t think she has an influence of her record label because her and her team create her ideology and who she is from her dance moves to what she wears to what she sings.
There are many close ups of Beyonce because she is a well known artist but also because R&B videos contains a lot of close ups to show the artist singing but to also showcase the artist and make them look glamorous especially Beyonce.
5. Notion of looking and voyeurism - There is a sense of secrecy in this video as Beyonce is acting as a hustler. When going into the warehouse she looks back to check if anyone is watching that gives a sense that we are peaking in on her. Especially when she is dancing the camera shoots from between gas pipes and from secret corners and behind her to give the sense that we are looking in on something dangerous.
Why I have chosen this video First of all I absolutely love Beyonce and her music. This song and music video stands out for me because the mood and tone isn’t something she has done before. The lyrics are very powerful and I like the way she is the female protagonist and it is as if she is encouraging her female fans to take power and be strong like her. I like the way she turns something very masculine, feminine. There is still that feel of masculine toughness however with her beauty body and costume she brings the womanhood to the video. I love the way she is in a dark setting and the spot lights show her and flash around when the beat picks up.